Wednesday, 4 January 2012

England: Day Eight

This is Day 8 in a series. You might want to check out the previous day, or start at the introduction.

Even though we didn't have anything planned for today, we still managed to get a lot done. More than most other days, I'd say.

So, because we had no plans I got to sleep in. While I was missing breakfast (which closes at 10), my dad went out to Stamford Bridge, which is the Chelsea FC stadium. He walked through a cemetery on the way there, and apparently he saw a fox. In the middle of London. Who'd have thought?

After I woke up, we went out and took the tube to the Tower of London. There was a tour starting just as we arrived, and we clumped onto it. The tour guide was fascinating and exciting, and he was good at telling stories to get people's attention. To get to be a tour guide at the Tower, you must be a member of the Tower's guards, which requires a minimum of 22 years military service. It's interesting to think that if you misbehave, your tour guide has been trained to snap your neck.

Anyhow, after the tour, we went in to see the Crown Jewels. And man, are they ever impressive. So much gold and diamond... The First Star of Africa (520.6 carats or something) is beautiful, and massive. I'm pretty sure that that was the one that was important in a Doctor Who episode, so that was cool.

There were no pictures allowed of the Jewels and I didn't feel like being arrested, so you'll have to make do with this picture of the other beautiful thing that I found at the Tower:
An ice rink set up on the premises of the Tower of London.
An ice rink!
After the tower, we hurried as fast as we could over to the Emirates Stadium, to take a tour of the place where Arsenal plays. It is quite the building, let me tell you that. Apparently all of the seats are upholstered. And the home team dressing room has a bath in it with a submerged bench. Really fancy stuff. My camera was acting up again, so no pictures, sadly.

So all of that took us to suppertime. We went to Piccadilly Circus and had supper there. We wandered around for awhile, trying to find the place where they would allow us to activate our 24 hour bus pass. We probably spent an hour going from place to place, trying to find the right one. At the end of it all, we discovered that the place we needed to go had closed at 6, and it was now 7:30. And raining.

So we took refuge in a sports bar, ordered some hot drinks (I had tea, finally), and watched the Manchester United vs. Newcastle game. Shortly after Newcastle scored the first goal, we left and walked to a theatre that we had seen earlier. We went in and watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Not that bad of a movie. Some of the gadgets were way too out-there, and I found that it required a massive willingness to suspend disbelief (more than I had at times, which is saying something), but overall, an enjoyable experience. A good action movie.

After the movie, we had lots of energy, and the rain had stopped, so we went for a little walk, just to see where we would end up. Turns out, we made our way to Buckingham Palace:
The golden monument to Queen Victoria, lit up at night in front of Buckingham Palace.
The monument to Queen Victoria.
It was nice to see it again after almost 2 years, although this time I got to see it in the dark, and I got to be a (very poor, not very knowledgeable) tour guide for my dad. We wandered around a bit more, found a tube station, and headed for the hotel.

Now, the day is over, and tomorrow involves a very long plane ride. Or is it very short? I hate time zones...

Full Series

IntroEngland Trip
Day 8: The Tower of London and Piccadilly Circus

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