As some of you may know, I'm currently in London, taking a little vacation throughout the UK. I have the opportunity to travel around a bit before I start my new job. I'm also typing this on my iPhone, as the computers at my hostel are quite slow...so I apologize for any typos/weird grammar.
After arriving in London on Wednesday, I hit he ground running. I dropped off my bags at my AWESOME hostel, and walked over to the Tower of London. I've always wanted to go, and it wasn't at all what I thought it would be. I expected prisoners and torture-y jails (it did have these things), but it was mostly for living! Very fascinating stuff, and my yeoman warden was excellent and so funny. If you aren't familiar with them (I wasn't), they're the "beefeaters," though they don't take too kindly to that word. It's an honor to be a warden and live in the tower after years of service in the military. I especially liked seeing their laundry drying as stood I various buildings in the fortress.
Then it was on to St Paul's Cathedral for evensong. I'm not much of a stair climber (my purse is way to heavy and I'm not agile enough for those spiral stairs), and I only wanted to see the inside. I can wiki the history later. The service was lovely, at least the parts I was awake for. Jet lag hit me pretty hard, and I almost fell off of a kneeler. Whoops.
The next day, I planned my entire day out over eggs and bacon on toast, then promptly forgot them when I walked past the ferry pier. I decided to head over to Greenwich to see the Observatory and Meridian, college and painted hall. It was a great afternoon, and I smiled so hard when I unknowingly walked through the music college's courtyard. This sounds so cheesy, but it was such sweet music to my ears to hear musicians practicing. Ahhh :)
The observatory was fantastic and I loved the planetarium...and yes, I did choke up when it played clips of us landing on Mars. I'm always amazed when I am reminded of what talent and brilliance there is in the world, and how much we don't know about life. Ok back to my pint now...
After that was a lovely lunch where the bartendress asked me if I wanted a half pint with lunch. Do I *look* like the kind of lady who only wants halfsies? No. After the ferry back, I went to the Churchill War Rooms, one of the highlights of my trip so far. They were absolutely fascinating and left entirely as they were during the war. The Churchill Museum was wonderfully presented and a fun interactive learning experience. My only wish is that I had had more than 2 hours. I'm the museum-goer who reads every little plaque. Thanks for that, dad ;)
Then if you can believe it, I headed to both the National Gallery (for the impressionists) and the Portrait Gallery. The Portrait Gallery had an excellent exhibit on Olympians and also the gallery's BP-sponsored contest.
Yesterday I ended up walking for hours to get to Buckingham Palace, only to find tickets sold out. Wish I had known you have to buy them in advance...so I walked through Hyde Park to get to the V&A, where there was a gorgeous exhibit on British ball gowns and fashion. I felt so at home!
I must admit though, I did hit a brick wall. I have resolved to not try to see everything in the world of London, and I suspect I'll be a less exhausted Teal because of it.