Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living

We went on a bus tour today.  Sort of sight seeing.  However, it didn’t live up to any of our expectations.  We went over the London bridge across the Thames River. There we went by a few markets and the Shard Building, tallest in Europe, and then back over on the Tower bridge, which was of course epic.  We then drove by the Tower of London, the moat is now grassy area and it looks magnificent, I will go to it for my History of London class so I was too worried about just passing it by.  Then we went by big ben, which was renamed Queen Elizabeth Tower for her Jubilee, and Parliament.  Those buildings are so surreal.  The architecture and just the fact that I am seeing them myself hasn’t quite hit me.  Or the fact that I live a twenty minute walk from them!  At Westminister Abbey we stopped for twenty minutes to walk around and take pictures.  That was most exciting for me, given I stayed up to watch Prince William and Kate’s wedding at 4 in the morning back home.  To believe they were actually here!  It is magnificent.  You can’t go inside unless you go to see a service of sorts on certain days, which I may do.  I would be able to hear the best choir in the world there!  After that we drove briefly by the Queen’s private gardens and Buckingham Palace.  I will go back on a day to just spend time visiting.  But man is it magnificent.  Oh what I would do to be Kate Middelton!  I really enjoyed that are of London, there is just the slightest change of culture and way about things every ten minutes or so of a walk.  China town in London looked charming as well and is apparently really good with the food.  Then we headed back to IES in Bloomsbury.  From there we took the tube back and are having an hour or so down time before we go out to a pub and just wander around and socialize with the locals!  A girl here, Rachel, doesn’t have classes on Wednesdays either so we are gonna do sight seeing of random parts of London on those days to take more in.  Other than that, classes start tomorrow!

We went out to Brick Lane today for dinner around 7:30.  Courtney brought a map so we decided to walk and find our own way.  We started out down middlesex road and turned onto another main road.  From that road all we had to do was keep walking until you turn left onto Brick Lane. LITTLE DID WE KNOW… the street is not actually named Brick Lane, it is like White Chapel or something of the sort.  Anyways, they are suppose to have the best indian food and curry in town.  What you are suppose to do is walk down the street and wait for one of the people outside to make you an offer and look hesitant so that they make a better offer.  Basically, by looking at the menu, we saved about a pound.  The meal was the first meal I have had since I have been here too so that was nice.  I got Chicken Chat as a starter, then I got the Chicken Muli for the meal with some egg fried rice, we also got Nan.  It was really good.  We got all of this plus four bottle of white wine, nice wine might I add, for 10 pounds flat. Also, today I took out 100 pounds, don’t worry Grandma I split up where I stashed the money! Also, just an I told ya so for you, remember how I said ‘oh hey I wont need bandaids?’ Well I went to Tesco express and bought me a box of plasters for my blisters 🙂 love you!

There were nine of us and it was great fun talking to everyone and getting to hear their stories.  There are two other seniors so I am not the only old one.  Then we walked back and the closing ceremony fireworks were going on, and since we  live so close to the Olympic stadium they were really close.  Too bad I couldn’t be in to see Rihanna Uncle Bob!! When we got back we went up to the 32nd floor to see if we could see them from there too but they were done, however, it is a study lounge.  So the view is amazinggggg and I will surely be studying up there considering I won’t get that view for long!Below is a picture from the window of the 32nd floor – our study lounge – around 10:30 pm! Right after the fireworks of the closing ceremonies!

Fun facts….they don’t put ice in your drinks here, you have to actually ask for it.  The toilets are flushed by buttons in the walls behind them, at least all that I have seen thus far. On the streets before you cross it is painted on the cement Look Left <- or Look Right -> (thank God for that!).  My sleeping schedule is still way off, but I am working out tomorrow morning! Also, I found out how to get to Jane’s today. If I take the Central Line to class, which is four stops to Holborn Station, where I go to school everyday. I can switch lines there to the Piccadilly Line and just four more stops to Holloway Station. From there it is just a walk to her house! I was excited to find out how easy it was.

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One thought on “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living

  1. i’m reliving so many spots you are seeing. Truly Buckingham and the gardens are just lovely. Even the horses stable and barn where they have the carriages are amazing. I was amazed how tiny the Queen is (didn’t see her but her clothes from various events were on display). Enjoy and absorb. Sorry about your blisters, watch them closely. Stay safe and use your good judgment – gone just almost one week, oh my.
    Grandma Pat

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