Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Sunny Saturday

This morning when I walked out the front door, it was so great to see the sun shining everywhere. It was still around 40 degrees, but at least it was sunny. We got on the tube, and got of at Westminster where we started off another walk. The Abbey is just across the street from Big Ben, and also a huge statue of William Churchill. We didn't have time to go in today, but it would have been a good day to go because not many tourists are here right now. However, we did go into St. Margaret's church.
Why would anyone want to go near this horse when there is a sign like this right next to him? Me, and a lot of other people apparently.

This is Portobello Street. On Saturdays there is a huge market that runs down it for more than a mile. There were so many neat things to look at and see. We didn't even walk down the whole street. It's not too far from where I live.

Here we are on the backside of the Abbey on our way the Imperial War Museum (don't get too excited) and St. George Cathedral.

Here we are at the front gates of Buckingham Palace, and yes the queen was in! How do I know? Because the flag on top of the building was up and waving proudly, when it's not up, the Queen is not in. Everything about the Palace is grand, including the journey up to it.

This is me and Sarajane with our maps en route to the Prime Minister's home.

Nothing like a night out in London! Actually, we finished our last walk tonight, and then walked all around Covent Gardens, and through to Picadilly Square. It was a lot of fun, the streets were filled with people either headed to pubs or plays. We did neither of those, but we did eat some great Italian food at a fun restaurant called Zizzi's.

Every great city has to have a ChinaTown.

These are our happy faces, celebrating the fact that all eight walks are done!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman... may have your attention a puhluheese?

Hi... we need to use the phone.

Sweeney Todd and the Demon Barber of Fleet Street... that's me! It's nothing like I thought it would be, I couldn't find Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pie's. But I did find the Temple Bar, a monument in the center of Fleet Street, which officially marks the western edge of the City.
This was taken near the Temple Church. The area between Fleet Street and the Thames is know as "the Temple", because it was orginally owned by the Knights Templars.

Just keep walking...

Yes, all of my English teachers would be very proud, today I saw Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. In case you were wondering, it uses no microphones, no sound system, and no stage lights. All of the building materials and methods used in the renovation of the theatre date back to Tudor times.
Along the Thames we ran into this really unique wall filled with graffiti. It's a huge wall and there were 'artists' working on parts of it.

Here is a glimpse of the London Eye, and in the background is Big Ben himself. The sun came out for a little bit today, and everything looked so beautiful!
Sarajane, Me, and Amanda crossing the bridge to get to Big Ben. A little Big Ben history: Constructed in 1859, technically, the term "Big Ben" applies only to the bell on top of the tower, not to the tower itself-so technically one does not see Big Ben without going inside the tower.

London Bridge is not falling down

We got off to an early start this morning, and headed straight to the Tower Bridge! It was really rainy again this morning, but lots of fun. January is not a popular tourist month here in London, so all of these fun sights are practically empty, only Londoners. It's been around since 1984, and was painted red, white, and blue in 1977 in honor of the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

Aliysa, Amanda, Liz, Krisen, Sarajane, Betsy, and Me just along the Thames Path, which runs parallel with the river.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Seeing the sights

This is a market I came across on one of the walks. It was lots of fun, plus it was covering me from the rain! Right next to this place were some fun shops and eating spots.
The Tower of London
Downtown London

London Walks...

Today has been great! I started the morning out with a walk through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It was a little bit cold, but nothing too horrible. Everyone walking through the park had a dog. I met two dogs, Cheech and Onslo. Even the dogs are proper here! After breakfast, a bunch of started on walk 2 of 8. That took us to the Tower of London, the financial district, some little churches, and we also found our lunch spot. Not only has it been cold and rainy, but it's windy too. My umbrella is completely useless in this wind/rain. The 3rd walk was long, and tough because of the weather, but it was really neat to see some old temple ruins that are practically hidden right in the middle of London. Each walk took about 2 1/2 hours. We made it back just in time for dinner. Now for the best part... after dinner we took the tube to Harrods! No worries, I found the chocolate bar. I also found a lot of cute clothes too, but they appear to be more expensive here than in the states. I had a blast today, lots of walking but lots of fun too.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

27 Palace Court

Today was quite the day of traveling... consisting of planes, trains, taxis, a shuttle, the tube, and A LOT of walking! We got into London Gatwick around 10am this morning, and experienced quite the adventure getting two 50lb bags through the airport, train station, tube, and into the taxi. Once we got to the BYU Centre, I found my bed for the semester, and unpacked.

Kristen, Liz, SaraJane, Betsy, Amanda and I completed our first London walk. Out of nowhere, it started raining, and so we hurried back. After dinner, we took off to Picadilly Square and found our way to Les Miserables. It was great, even though I slept through half of it, okay almost all of it. I'd have to say today was a great day to start out life in London for the next few months!