Sunday, August 3, 2014

London, England {Part 4}

Day 6 - 09.09.13
We woke up early to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace; however, after waiting for forever and finding the perfect spot, it was canceled due to the rain. To stay out of the pouring rain, we figured it would be a good museum day, so off to the British Museum we went (again free!). We mostly focused on the ancient artifacts from Egypt, Greece, and Rome; things like the Rosetta Stone, mummies, pottery, statues, and the very first English Bible in King James Version. We ate lunch at Savoir Faire, a bistro that used to be a brothel... yeah, you read that right. Some of decor was quite interesting because it was not changed in the renovation. The food was only alright, but we had no regrets on going there; it was an adventure. 

After eating, there was only about an hour left until the Natural History Museum would close. David really wanted to see dinosaurs, so we quickly made our way over. I've only ever been to OMSI, a science museum in Portland, so that was all I could compare it to. The building was beautiful, inside and out! It was fun to basically speed walk through the entire place. 

I wish I captured some pictures of the Lebanese place we visited after the museum for dessert, but I was too tired. I don't even remember the name, but it was delicious! We had tea, baklava, and some fresh-squeezed juice. 

& that's not the end of the day! Like I said: jam-packed. We really wanted to visit the Houses of Parliament to see some heated political debates - and it's free to enter! The House of Commons Chamber is where Members of Parliament (MPs) debate and vote on important issues, this involves MPs putting questions to government ministers, debating issues of national importance and passing legislation. After some serious security, we got our visitor passes and were escorted to the area where we can view the debate. It was near the end of the day so all of the "action" had died out. It got boring really quick, so we left after an hour or so. I would love to go again when it's a full house and serious issues are being discussed. 

Day 7 - 09.10.14
We only had half a day left in London and were taking a train to our next destination later that day: Brussels, Belgium. After meeting up with a family friend, we all took a tour of the Tower of London. I wasn't anticipating anything special, but boy were my expectations blown away. It was the best tour I've ever been on. Informative. Interesting. Entertaining (because of our tour guide). If you ever find yourself in London, go! It was the perfect way to end our England visit.

The Tower of London was built in 1066. It has served many functions: a coin mint, a menagerie (zoo), housing the Crown of Jewels, a royal residence, and most famously a prison. A very cool place that contains a lot of British history. If you're a nerd like me, are into this kind of stuff, and have a Netflix account watch the PBS documentary on it.

The yeoman warders, also called "beef-eaters," take care of the Tower of London. They have to have served in the British military and usually live in the Tower. They also give tours - our guy was hilarious and had an incredible Welsh accent. 

Looking back, I'm missing London the most. I cannot wait to return and explore England some more one day. //  Belgium posts are next. // & take a listen to the song below, it's my jam at the moment & fits the theme of wanderlust so well. If you don't have Spotify on your computer, here's the youtube link:

"Travel. As much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life's not meant to be lived in one place." 


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