Towers and Gems – London Part 2

I have been without internet for the last few days so I am bringing you post courtesy of my school’s wifi. Internet withdrawal isn’t fun. Back to London – let me just start by saying the my dad bought me a London pass which basically gave me access to a bunch of tourist places and unlimited travel. I explained it London Part 1. Onto the touristy stuff:

Where I Went:
The first place official place I went was Buckingham Palace. It was a bit of a trek from the subway station to the palace and not very well marked, but I did what I normally do in situations like that,  follow the crowd. For those interested, I went to Hyde Park Corner (the subway stop) and walked from there. It was cold and I had forgotten my mittens 😦

Harrod’s: I bought a cinnamon bun. 

Egyptian Themed interior

Next I headed to the Albert Memorial. It is a big giant statue dedicated to King/Prince Albert I assume. Across the street was Royal Albert Hall, which was my real destination. But by time I got there and found the door, the last tour had already left, unfortunately. Although I did walk around the whole building (unintentionally) and I can say that it is lovely.

Royal Albert Hall
The Albert Memorial

After that I made my way to the well-known Natural History Museum. I LOVE this museum. I didn’t even go to the most famous part with the animal skeletons but I loved the parts I did go to. I saw the exhibitions on volcanoes and earthquakes and stood in a earthquake simulator. I went to another section I don’t remember then headed to the minerals exhibit. I t is really astonishing what Mother Nature is able to produce; the beauty of her creations. I probably spent about 40 mins to 1 hour walking through, admiring everything. That is why I really enjoy going to museums by myself, so I can be as slow as I like.

Once the museum closed, I took the tube to the Tower Hill to see where the Tower of London was because I planned to go there the next day and I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet. I also did my Tower souvenir shopping before hand so I wouldn’t waste time the next day. I left the store with a post card of Henry the Eighth’s wives and a blackberry and apple candy cane (which was delicious).

At night

The Shard

Tower Bridge

THE NEXT DAY!!!

The Tower is lovely. I always imagined it to be a giant vertical structure, but it really is more like a fort/castle. It was very busy but manageable. I also saw the Crown Jewels Exhibition which is housed on the grounds. They really are something, so sparkly and shiny. Although you really can’t stop and look at the most famous and current pieces. There is one of those moving sidewalk things like in airports on either side going in one direction so you are moving involuntarily as you pass by. Security reasons I guess.

After the Tower I walked over to Tower Bridge, the most recognizable bridge in London. First off, it’s blue! I did not know this until I got there. I walked allllll the way up one of the towers and looked at the two exhibitions at the top: one about the Olympics and the other about famous bridges around the world – it turns out that I have been to about 5 of those bridges which is pretty cool. I also saw/briefly chatted with a guy who is in my grammar class here in Salamanca….so random…. After that, I walked back across the bridge to the old engine rooms from when the bridge was first built. I then walked along the Thames, passed the HMS Belfast and walked by the Shard and City Hall to London Bridge Station.

From there I headed to Westminster Abbey. When I left the station, I walked towards what I thought was the Abbey, all the while thinking, since when did Westminster have a giant clock tower??? Turns out it was Big Ben and I didn’t realize until about 10  mins later that what I thought was the church was actually Parliament…whoops. But I found the abbey and headed inside. Audio guides are the greatest and this one was very informative and detailed. I quite enjoyed it. It is a beautiful church. In the gift shop I bought a Christmas tree ornament for my mom and another postcard for moi (shocker).

Westminster Abbey

When I left the church it was already dark and I didn’t have very long until the Churchill War Rooms, my next stop, would close. After finally figuring out how to cross the street without getting hit by a bus, I went and saw the rooms where Churchill and his War Cabinet stayed and led the country during the Second World War. It is a fantastic place to visit and the museum portion, which a lot of multimedia and a good insight into Churchill as a person, is great. I only wish I had more time there.

The Map Room

Lastly I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum (a.k.a. the V&A). On Fridays it’s open late although as I later discovered, a lot of the exhibits close because they don’t have enough staff to cover them. But that didn’t really affect me because I spent an hour there in only two galleries really and went home because I had had an exhausting day. Unfortunately I didn’t get back in time to watch some soaps 😦 But That’s okay. It was a great day 🙂
Inside the V&A

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