|Location: Tom & Hayley's, Tooting Bec, London|
|Local time: Saturday, 4:35pm|
So I finally made it to London. I had always planned on coming here some time, but hadn't expected it to be so soon. The Eurostar train trip (through the chunnel) was pretty low-key, and the crying/whining children behind me didn't do much for my sanity during the 6hr journey.
Yesterday I used the Lonely Planet book to do a walking tour of central London city. Jeez, whoever came up with that must've been a marathon runner, but I managed to do most of it.
Starting at St. Paul's cathedral, I walked over the Millennium Bridge, along the Thames River and past the 'Eye' of London - the huge ferris wheel tourist attraction that takes 30 mins to do a full circle. Didn't bother to waste my money on that, but crossed the river again to Covent Gardens and checked out the street performers. I was actually expecting gardens, but no, it's just a shopping mall/market thingee. From there I headed to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, got totally lost in Soho (the red-light/nightlife section of London), then headed to St. James Palace. Wandered to Trafalgar Square, then down to Downing St, home of the Prime Minister. By this time I'm dead on my feet and ready to leave, so I checked out Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, then found the Westminster tube station and headed home.
It's great seeing Hayley (and her long-time boyfriend Tom) again. Our friendship is the same as it ever was, which is great. My being here has prompted her to get her guitar out of the closet after a few years, so we've been jamming together too.
This morning at 8:30am (!!) we watched the rugby - NZ vs. England (we won 36-3, yay!), and now we've just watched SA play Ireland. There are three kiwis and five South Africans here, and beers-galore. And we're just about to have a barbeque. I almost feel like I'm back home! Almost.
It lies, it lies!!
St. Paul's Cathedral, looking across the Thames, beside the Millennium Bridge.
It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1710. Very impressive.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
Piccadilly Circus. Larger than life.
Trafalgar Square. Not as impressive as I'd imagined actually.
The Brits will wear anything when they go shopping!
Seems they'll crown anything too!
This is a lamp attached to St. James Palace.
St. James Palace - royal home from 1660 to 1837,
and now home to Prince Charles. Kind've low-class-looking
when you compare it to other buildings around the area (Pall Mall).
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