After my 10 day stint in Croatia I headed over to London, England, to spend a few, more relaxing, days with my aunt and uncle (who I had never met and were kind enough to put me up and show me around!). Navigating Gatwick Airport and the train station were easier than expected, especially considering everyone spoke English (first English speaking country in 5.5 months!)! I successfully ended up on my uncle’s doorstep, only getting lost once along the way. Safe to say I was pretty stoked about this. My first impression of London was that it was basically everything I thought it would be. There were houses with cute little gardens and coloured doors, and just a lovely atmosphere (keep in mind I was out in a residential area). My uncle’s house was in a little estate and was small and homey. One of the most fascinating things about living and travelling abroad is seeing how people’s lifestyles differ from mine back home.
|Just casually sitting on the glass floor of the Tower Bridge!
He was also afraid of heights so the fact that he took this
photo was really kind of him!
My first day in London was essentially an admin day where I got all my stuff sorted after the previous 10 days. The next day, however, I got shown around London! We caught the river ferry from Greenwich to the Tower of London and took some pictures from outside the wall (the line to get in was massive). We then opted to climb the Tower Bridge which gave us some awesome views of London, and allowed my uncle to point out some of the places we would be visiting throughout the day. We walked past the Horseguards and I got one of those awesome I’m-actually-terrified-of-horses-but-I’m-still-going-to-get-a-photograph-with-one type touristy photographs. It was pretty successful, no horses got hurt and neither did I, and I scored a half-terrified looking photograph of me in London!
We strolled to Buckingham Palace, which looked pretty much exactly as it does on every TV program that shows it, but it was strange to be there in person. Of course I saw Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, walked round Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. London was much calmer than I expected and seemed very normal in an abnormal way. Coming from Canberra, which only celebrated it 100 year anniversary in 2013, I still amazed me how people can live and work in a city with so much history. Plus there are so many palaces around the place, how cool is that. There are palaces too, like royalty just build palaces because they could, I don’t think we even have palaces in Australia.
The next day we took a bike ride along the riverside path up to the Thames Barrier and back. The Thames Barrier looked like some space ship from Return of the Jedi or something. It was awesome and kind of creepy at the same time. It was actually a really nice ride and my uncle told me a whole lot about the area. Later that afternoon we took a stroll through Greenwich Park and up to the Observatory. The park was the classic European park, green grass, and SQUIRRELS!!! I got to see grey squirrels, and got to make a complete fool of myself running down the path screaming ‘Squirrels’ and looking like a complete tourist. They were so cute though, even if they are ‘tree rats’.
So that’s a brief recollection of my trip to London (the squirrels so weren’t the highlight… really)!