Monday, July 22, 2013

London, day one.

Time stretched out sloooowwwwlllyyyyy in Paris, but *snap* it righted itself once we got into London. The last few days have been a blur. At some point I contracted a cold from one of the x million tourists in London, and that's no doubt affected my perceptions.

We arrived in London on Wednesday evening.

Thursday morning, I got up at the crack o' dawn and went for a run. We'd forgotten to change the time on Kevin's alarm clock (Paris and London are in different time zones), so I got up even earlier than super early - something like 5:15 am. We were staying in a hotel right around the corner from the Paul Mellon Centre in Bedford Square, which serves as the office for the Yale in London program. Since I went on that program in college, I assumed I would be familiar with the neighborhood...not so. My internal compass was thrown off by 90 degrees. Eventually, I figured out why and got reoriented, but at the time, I was relieved to make it back to the hotel.

16 Bedford Square. Boolah boolah.

Kevin was, naturally, going to be busy in meetings all day, so I occupied myself thusly:

To wit, a long walk toward Westminster Abbey and back.

Leicester Square. That smooth-facaded building at right houses the M&M museum. Proof of the decline of western civilization. The KFC in the distance is additional proof.

Picadilly Circus.

We passed through this area later on together a couple of times, when it was absolutely mobbed with tourists from all over the world.

St James's Square. I was struck by the variety in architectural styles. I really should have taken more photos from this walk, as it was fairly mind-blowing.

I stumbled across Buckingham Palace. Off camera to the right is a circular bit of road, lined with media vans, tents, and satellites - all awaiting the news of the arrival of Ms Kate Middleton's progeny.

A bit of wandering later, and we have the exterior of Westminster Abbey. To my way of thinking? Glorious.

Sadly? No pictures allowed of the inside. My favorite moment: standing on the paving stones above the tombs of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

The internal cloisters - photos allowed at this point.

Eventually I staggered onward, braving the oh-my-god-so-many tourists, toward Big Ben.

Then a quick crossing-of-the-road to greet the river proper - can't go to a city with a giant river running through it without paying my respects...

At this point, I really wanted to walk all the way to St. Paul's Cathedral (do you sense a theme in my interests? If I can't have flowers, give me big-ass cathedrals) but I was feeling kinda worn out. I contemplated the Tube til I saw that without an Oyster card it would cost 4.5 pounds - something like seven bucks - one way. Screw that. I headed back toward the hotel on foot.

I cooled my heels in Trafalgar Square for a bit, gathering strength.

That night, Kevin and I went out to dinner with some of his London colleagues. Great fun was had. Wine was consumed. Stories were told. England's in the middle of a big heat wave and we were able to sit outside, just as we had been doing in Paris all week. It was delightful... a lovely way to end a pretty long day.

Posted via DraftCraft app

No comments:

Post a Comment