Yesterday was a really big walking day. I woke up early to catch a 10:45 am walking tour of the Royal parts of the city. And we walked about the entire old part of the city including: Hyde Park Corner,
Buckingham Palace (where the queen lives), The Changing of the Guard at the palace, sadly though I was too short and could not see anything though (they playes ABBA sounds though, which was a little surprising haha), The Houses of Parliament, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Colum (which is in Trafalgar Square), Wellington Arch, St. James’s Park, 10 Downing St (Where the Prime Minister lives)., Horseguards, and Big Ben! It was a lot to do and a lot of walking. I went by myself, which kind of sucked cause I had no one to take pictures of me in front of these places. I have to go back to some of them though because the tour moved so quickly and we did not get to go inside. Like, I didn't get to see poet's corner in the Westminster grave yard, or see the inside which I hear is really beautiful. Anyway, I hope I'll have time, I feel like I still have so much to do, but not enough time to do it in, ack!
So after the walking tour I went back with the group and a lot of us had lunch at the same place. That's when I actually got to meet and speak with people which was really nice. I had lunch with 3 Germans, 1 Austrian, and 2 French-Canadians. All of them were so nice, although it kind of makes me feel back that EVERYONE speaks english and I don't speak any of these other languages haha. Overall lunch was very and I was pleased I stuck around to meet nice people.
After lunch I had to think of things to do by myself so I took out my little guide book looked at the map and tried to figure out where in the heck I was haha! It turned out I was in Soho (which was confusing because I had been there the day before and I remembered it being farther away aha). So I decided to go to Piccadilly Circus, which is supposed to be like Time Square--it's nothing like Times Square, it's the shittiest version of Times Square ever! It only had like 3 kinda big screen and gap haha! So after being let down, I decided to go to The National Portrait Museum, which was easier said then done. I walked and found my way (seeing Leicester Square along the way), and realized that I was basically back where I started! This made me realize just how small London (at least Zone 1) probably is. So I could not the the Portrait Museum so I went to the National Gallery (which is right behind Trafalgar Square). It turned out that the Portrain one was right behind, but by that time I dind't have much time so I gave up and just saw the National Gallery. I'm not much of an "art person", but it still has some really cool stuff but some really famous artists.
After that I decided to do the "Grim Reapers" Tour of London, which is a mix of talking about general gross and dastardly stuff (like the tower of london and Anne Boleyn) and a Jack the Ripper Tour. This was the first time I really kind of lost my way and got confused haha. It was fine though! I was just a little turned around and found the tube pretty easily by using my instincts...a compass really would have helped though. I was little late for the tour, but it was okay. Flash forward 3 hours later and I had basically explored the whole of East London and saw some Jack the Ripper crime scenes, it was pretty cool.
After I got back to the hostel I decide to try and be social, so I went to the hostel bar/club for there karaoke night (I wanted to watch some people go crazy haha and sound terrible while drunk). I stayed for a while and no one talked to me, and just when I was about to finish my cider and leave I struck up a convo with an Aussie and he invited me to join a group of his friends. It was so much fun! I met 3 Swedes, 2 Aussies, 1 Canadian, and 2 Englishman, we had a grand ole time and drank (I only had 2 ciders so don't worry), and sang, and talked and laughed. We exchanged info and began an exchange program so if I ever go to the places that they live I can stay with them and vice-versa.
Today I woke up late (because I had gone to bed at 3am) and go going around noon. I went to the Museum of Natural History. It's really neat mostly because it's so interactive. They have an earthquake simulation and this siltation room about erupting volcanoes, lots of dinosaurs, a whole thing about human biology (which was too much for me cause it felt like being back in school) , and this cool exhibit on human evolution. After the museum I walked to Hyde Park (their version of Central Park) and took a few pictures. I need to go back and take a few more of certain famous statues though (like Peter Pan). Then I decide to walk to the famous department store Harrod's. This is when I really had some navigational problems. It looks like like 45 minutes to find where I was going because of the park and construction, etc. After like 8 people later for directions I finally found it. It' a really cool place, they sell really fancy designers cloths, as well as food (it's partly like a really fancy grocery store), souvenirs, and they have these cool food bars with themes like Dim Sum (which is what I had), sushi, meat (it smelled amazing), fruit, desserts, and fish--this place was so fancy and international that they even had stone crab...for about £30 for a small claw. It also had a £1000 container of caviar haha. i couldn't afford any of the clothes or anything (I saw a woman buying 4 Christian Dior purses for £4000 though), so I bought some nice sheep cheese since I like it and it's hard to get in the states.
Overall, I'm pooped. I still feel like I can barely walk haha and I have so much to do tomorrow.