Mind the Gap

Friday, September 23, 2011

So many sights in the past 48 hours. On Wednesday, we went to Knightsbridge to see the famous Harrods. I won’t lie, it was a little intimidating to be walking through the Chanel floor, but once we made it to the food halls (as recommended by our trusty tour book), we were in total awe. The whole thing is so unbelievable and over-the-top, Mom and I just kept asking each other, “Who actually shops here?” There may have been a Prince Harry sighting outside, but we can’t be sure.

The overwhelming experience was topped off by the [slightly creepy?] memorial to Princess Di and Dodi Fayed: complete with a dirty glass from their last dinner and the engagement ring Dodi bought the day before he died. I had to defer to the Princess Diana buff (my mother) in order to understand all of this.

After Harrods we walked around Piccadilly Square and had a delicious pub lunch. I’m not sure where all this nonsense comes from about horrible food in London, but I’ve yet to confirm it. I’m sure it’s lurking around here somewhere–I’ll certainly update when I find it.

Later Wednesday we did some practical things like shoe shopping. We also scoped out some of the actually practical stores to buy towels, a duvet, and other necessary college items.

Thursday was the best day so far (although still not topping Westminster). We decided that Thursday would be our get up early day to do the bus tour and the changing of the guards. Although I don’t have much experience in this arena, I think this must be the best way to see London. You don’t get too tired from walking a million miles, the commentary keeps you out of your tour book and looking at the sights, and you can hop off if you want to see something more closely.

Our bus tour (as I’m sure many of them do) combined their tour with a walking tour to see the Changing of the Guards. If I weren’t so partial to boy choirs, the Changing of the Guards may have been my favorite part of the whole trip. It was so exciting to hear the marching bands, see the royal guard, and run down the street trying to catch every ceremonial event. Our tour guide was great at taking us to the least crowded places with the best views, so we got to see it all.

After the Changing of the Guards, we hopped back on our bus to finish the tour. We stopped halfway through that the Tower of London to take the beefeater tour and see the crown jewels. Now, I was expecting this to be like seeing the Hope Diamond (in other words awful and crowded), but everything was extremely well laid out and the crown jewels exceeded my highest expectations. The beefeater tour was also extremely enjoyable (they’re great entertainers!), and the Tower was very impressive.

We finished our day by completing the bus tour at Westminster and taking a ferry (free with our tour) back to Greenwich where we’re staying. It was a relaxing ride, and we loved seeing London from this perspective.

We’ve yet to see Goldsmiths, but today’s the day!

P.S. When we arrived in Greenwich yesterday, they were filming the second Sherlock Holmes! Brought back lovely memories of the incessant movie filming at Agnes. When the movie comes out, look for me in my decade inappropriate attire.

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