Christmas Things and Getting Lost – London Part 1

Hola amigos!

I am currently in London, where I have been for the last 6 days or so and it has been pretty different and cool thus far. I basically came because the thought of spending Christmas by myself, in Salamanca, was not so appealing. So I/my parents (perhaps mainly my parents) were like why don’t you go and invite yourself over to your relatives in London and spend Christmas with them? That’s more or less what went down and here I am! It turns out I have a lot of family here. A LOT. Like a bajillion cousins and some aunts and uncles, most of whom I haven’t even met yet and I leave on Wednesday. It was my first time meeting any of them, although they were more of less all familiar with my dad and the older ones remembered my mom from when my parents got married here a million years ago. But it is nice meeting family. I am staying with my aunt and uncle and their almost 8 year old son, Mr. T. He got a lot of Lego for Christmas and we (I) basically put it all together so I am now a Lego master if I do say so myself. And he likes to make fun of the way I say things like washroom instead of toilet or how I pronounce “water” like the “t” is a “d”. But we tend to do that in North America, pronounce lots of Ts like Ds. But enough with phonetics (I hope that’s what it is – if not I will definitely fail my phonetics and phonology course. I never know which is which).

I spent Christmas Eve on Oxford Street, doing some very unnecessary but fun shopping. All the boxing day sales had started Christmas Eve which that was great for me, bad for my wallet. I discovered the awesomeness that is Primark as well as later realized that the pound is a horribly expensive currency and with an exchange rate of 1 pound to 1.5 Canadian dollars, I wasn’t really getting thaaaat much of a discount with the sale prices. Not like that stopped me. Also Top Shop continues to be my favourite store. Word to the wise, NEVER go to the one in Madrid. It is such a disappointment. Even our little Canadian not-fully-a-store versions are better than that one.

My dad was so kind as to pay for a London Pass for me, which I am going to say is a Christmas present, because those things aren’t cheap. But they are well worth the money I think. The pass basically gives you unlimited access to the Underground and buses in all the zones (if you buy the travel part) as well as free entry into a lot of the most popularย  tourist attractions and some of the lesser known ones along with discounts in stores. I bought a 6 day pass. You can get the pass on its own without the travel feature but because my family doesn’t live in central London, I got the travel part is necessary. It’s perfect because when I got it, I had 7 days left and it if valid for that long. It expires the day I go back to Spain.

I spent yesterday and today traveling around central London, doing touristy things, after spending the last few days inside with Mr. T, perfecting the art of electronic Guess Who while becoming hooked on Eastenders and Coronation Street. The Tube isn’t hard to figure out – I just wish that the door closing bells were louder. I got caught in them one time when I wasn’t paying attention. It is when I get above ground that I can get sooooo utterly confused. And I am VERY good with directions and almost always know my orientation, north, east, what have you. But I find London streets terribly confusing. Now I appreciate the brilliant grid-like system that is North America, where things make sense. Take for example, Piccadilly Circus. I went there with the intention of walking from there to a place I wanted to go, a few subways stops away, just to take a walk and see what was around. But I could not get my bearings what so ever. The map outside the station was oriented in a different way than the map I was walking with and I couldn’t tell what street was what and eventually I just gave up and went somewhere else. Also, I don’t get what’s so great about Piccadilly Circus. I always hear about it but nothing’s there really…

Annnnyyyywhoooo

I was gonna write about the sites and places I have seen so far but it’s late. And I’m tired. And I’m still fairly sick (I’ve been trying to cough silently for the last 2 hours to no avail). I’m going to go to bed now and leave you with some photos of nothing in particular.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

To the Abbey!
I’m pretty sure SALE is the greatest word ever invented

some products of said sales – bracelet and earrings from Primark, ring and necklace from Top Shop

Stereotypically British

THE coolest rock I have ever seen in my life – Natural History Museum

at the Tower of London

not called an exit

A girl’s best friend (or maybe just mine)

Walking to Buckingham Palace

Until tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

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