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Sunday, May 1, 2011

London, Have You Ever Heard of it?

After getting dropped off at Victoria Bus Station, we had to make our way to The Tube at Victoria Station and from there to Westminster Bridge.  It was 4 POUNDS for the underground one way ticket.  That is a lot, especially since it was only 2-3 stops.  We had our backpacks and stuff, though, and we were not about to try and walk it.  So, we got to Westminster station and we walked out of there and the first thing we saw...oh...no big deal, just BIG BEN!!  This was one of my few pictures in front of a famous place with an actual backpack on, just to prove that I really actually backpacked my way threw Europe.

I was in a bad mood for some reason (probably money), but when I saw this I perked right up.

From there, we went to the Town Hall hotel and we met up with Rhonda!  It felt so good to see her, we had been missing family for so long, and even though she isn't really my mom, it was still really great seeing her.  We took apart all of our bags and showed her all our stuff and we showered and all that.  From there we had breakfast in the "Executive Lounge" and I felt fancy.  I've never done anything like that.  From there we went out to get our London Passes (so that we wouldn't have to pay for the Underground anymore).  We did have to pay for one more one way though...sigh.

The passes were picked up just south of Piccadilly Circus :)

After we got our passes and Braden changed his Euro into Pound, we walked to Westminster Abbey.  On the way, we passed 10 Downing Street (for those of you who don't know this, it's like the British White House).  I had watched something on the news that morning saying that the PM David Cameron was going to be having meetings deciding what the British were going to do about Libya that very morning!  HISTORY IN THE MAKING!!

I think this is the most photographed place in London.  Just a theory.

From 10 Downing, we walked to Westminster Abbey and got the audio guide and learned about all of the famous and important people who are buried here.  Some people aren't really here, but they have an honorary plaque, like FDR.  Some of the residents include: Queen Elizabeth, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jane Austen, T.S. Elliot, Darwin and so many more.  It is also where all of the Kings and Queens of England go through their coronation.  For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Abbey

We realized that we were not given our very special super awesome royal wedding mugs that we received free with purchase of our London passes, so we walked back to that office and after that got some lunch at a cute little place.  After a good meal we went back to Westminster station to get onto a ferry and go to Greenwich. 

We got there just in time for there to be absolutely no good spots left on the boat (only ones in the middle), so we opted to wait until the next ferry came along in a half hour.  So, while we were waiting I got a good picture of Big Ben in the beautiful weather we had that day!

We got onto the ferry first and got to pick our seats.  It was really nice and the guy commentating was funny and told us a lot of really interesting things about the riverside.  We had to wait a while before we could go because the river's water level was really high and we would not be able to make it under certain bridges.  Once the water was lowered down to a low enough level, we were underway.

A photo of St. Paul's cathedral from under the Millennium Bridge.

When we got to the London Bridge (above), we needed to switch boats because the bigger boat was not going to make it under certain bridges, so we got onto the big boat and it brought us to Greenwich.  We stayed inside this time because it was getting a little chilly.

We got to Greenwich and walked all the way up to the top of a very steep hill all to find out that the place was closed.  Has anyone ever heard of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)?  Well, that is the clock where all of the time in the world is calculated from, and that was discovered right here!  Also, the Prime Meridian (the up/down version of the equator) runs from here to the bottom and top of the world and all east and west longitude is started.  Again, more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwich.  

From there, we took the train back to Westminster and met up with Jeff.  We went out to one of the Carkhuff's favorite London Pubs: The Barley Mow and I had my favorite...CIDER!!!  We walked back along the bridge home and I got some night time shots of Big Ben and the London Eye!

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