Yay, we finally got to an internet cafe! We managed to fly out without any complications, luckily, but of course we were on the red-eye and didn’t get much sleep either :/
SO our first day in London began when we landed at 1:30 in the afternoon. We took the tube down to our host’s house in Bowes Park and finally met him! He’s very nice, and we talked to quite awhile. He’s a financial advisor and lives in a nice two-story townhome, and was able to offer us our own private room with our own full bathroom and a queen futon! We are so lucky and fortunate. He even offered to take us out to London that day so we could get our bearings! We did so much and hit most of the touristy spots, but didn’t spend much time there as it was late and we were just getting the feel for the land.
So, today, we woke up early and went pounding the pavement, but gosh! The begginning of today was just AWFUL. first of all, it was pouring rain, and cold. I know that’s to be expected of England, but still it was dreary after yesterday’s BEAUTIFUL warm weather. We headed straight for Buckhingham palace for the changing of the guard and– thanks to Mark’s great advice — secured a PERFECT photo spot. But minutes before the ceremony they evacuated the ENTIRE GARDEN due to some securiy threat!! We were terribly upset and disappointed because we had already spent so much time getting out there and standing around waiting — in the rain no less. So… not too happy about that. We wandered around the city a bit, and toured the art museum before going to find the Imperial War museum.
By then, of course, we were a bit hungry to we stopped in a little English pub to get food. That was kind of stupid – we must have made the WORST choice in pubs because not only did it take them almost 10 minutes to just TAKE my order while I was just standing at the bar, but it took them another 45 minutes before I asked for my money back. They made us pay in advance and we were only getting simple sandwiches and a handful of potato chips. D:
Thankfully, after that our luck got a lot better. The weather let up, and the war museum was GREAT!! (And FREE!! And HUGE ) it had great exhibits– but if you ever go there, the Blitzkrieg Experience is NOT worth the wait. We then went to the Tower Bridge and the Tower castle before heading home.
As for our impressions of London/England… London is a lot like New York… except british. Everything is painfully crowded and expensive, but it gets better the farther you get from Times Square (or picadilly circus.)
The people are very nice, and there isn’t much culture shock except for a few things. Kids speaking with British accent is one thing, another is just the crazy ways they do little things.. a third is “Mind your head” or “Mind your step” instead of “Watch your step” .
There are a lot of Bricks in London and everything grows OUT instead of UP like New York City.
And Finally, the internet is NOT as prevalent as it is in Canada, contrary to what we were told. Maybe it’s just because we know the places to go in Vancouver, or maybe it’s just London, but this is only the second Internet Cafe we’ve seen, they charge