Tuesday, March 8, 2011
adventures in london; part 2.
ok guys, you’ve had a few days to digest the first post. here’s london, part 2!
tuesday, 1 march 2011
first off, i can’t believe it’s march. where has this year gone?! anyway..
we woke up around 10am on tuesday and i got on the computer for a while to do some research on the day’s tourist goals. we got ready, and took the tube to the british museum. it.. is.. HUGE. i walked in the building and was immediately blown away by the size of the place – it promised to house a massively extensive array of history and art. and sure enough, it lived up to my expectations. we had a map, so we tried to find the ‘100 steps of world history’ items, marked by yellow dots. these items included the rosetta stone, the hinton st mary mosaic (first known mosaic of christ), the sutton hoo helmet,a sculpture of shiva and parvati,hokusai’s the great wave... so much! i loved it, because i saw several pieces that i’d studied in school.. it’s always awesome when i can make real-life connections to my studies. we finally left, and found a little italian café for a snack. we then walked all the way down tottenham court road, finally hopping on the tube out to buckingham palace. it was cool to see, but honestly, it was a little underwhelming. it’s no versailles, that’s for sure! rachel and i got a kick out of the cars parked in the sidelot though.. apparently, the royal family drives range rovers and ford fiestas. lol. after the palace, we walked a bit more and then found another tube stop.
since i wasn’t able to actually attend a match, i kind of dragged rachel all the way out to west brom so that i could go to the chelsea football club’s home stadium, stamford bridge. it was about 20 minutes on the train.. not too bad, but definitely out of the way. for me, though, it was SO worth it. the bridge is awesome, and they have these fantastic murals with all the players life-size. rachel took one photo of me sitting against the wall, and it looks like i’m cuddling with didier drogba (star forward) next to the championship trophy. there’s another picture where i’m high-fiving drogba and holding up the cup with frank lampard (another star). i love those pictures. we walked around the outside of the bridge, and even went inside the megastore giftshop.. awesome. after i got my fill, we headed back into london and made a stop at harrod’s for tea and some window shopping. that place is EXPENSIVE, i tell you what. it’s amazing. we had a fun time guessing prices of various designer’s pieces, and i realized that i will never in my life be able to afford designer clothing. oh well. at 6:30, we went to meet rachel’s best friend michelle, who is doing her semester in london! they’d been planning on meeting up, and were excited to finally see each other. we found a little italian place for dinner, and my friend caleb (also doing a semester in london from belmont) came to eat with us. the food was good, but the waiter was pretty snotty. after dinner, i really wanted to find a pub to watch the chelsea/manchester united match that was happening at stamford bridge (where i, unfortantely, was not). we squeezed into a pub around the corner for the last few minutes of the first half, and then left to find another pub nearer to home during the halftime. except there was seriously not one place playing it! we walked around for 40 minutes looking and looking. finally, i just gave up because rachel, michelle, and caleb were being so sweet trying to help me find one but i felt bad for making them walk all over creation. eventually, we headed down a street to go walk to brick lane (an area nearby), and lo and behold, there was a pub with the match playing! i ran across the street, and ended up catching the last 10 minutes of what had been a pretty fantastic game. and then afterwards, we ordered drinks and i watched the highlights. i would have LOVED to go to that game.. but oh well. next time. :)
after that, caleb headed back to his dorm, and michelle walked with me and rachel back to our flat, which wasn’t too far. we took a stroll down brick lane and headed towards home. we had intended to get on the tube, but we took a wrong turn and ended up walking all the way back! oh well, good exercise. :) once we got back, i did some contemplating and decided to forget about the daytrip to oxford. i’d been trying to work that into our week, but it was just not worth spending four hours on a bus when there was so much to do in london. again, next time. we were exhausted from all that walking, so we went to bed earlyish.
wednesday, 2 march 2011
with oxford out of the picture, wednesday ended up being a great day. we ate breakfast and then went into the city with several goals. since the tower of london is so expensive to actually tour, we decided to just go see it and take pictures. so we did that, and saw the tower bridge at the same time! that’s the one that most people call the london bridge. but in reality, the london bridge is the next one down the river, and isn’t nearly as impressive. after we got our fill of the scenery, we walked down the river and across the millenium bridge to see shakespeare’s globe theatre. it was SO COOL. we really (really) wanted to see the show, which was macbeth!, but it was only for school groups. stupid school children, i bet they don’t even appreciate what they got to do that day. haha. we stayed and tried to peek in the doors until the ushers finally closed them. sigh. put that one on my “next time” list.
we walked literally 100 yards down the riverbank to the tate museum of modern art, also known as the tate modern. it was pretty fun – we had a great time guessing the meaning of various pieces. my favourite was a large white octagon pasted to the wall. the top floor of the tate modern has a café and restaurant, and an amazing view of london. st paul’s cathedral is directly across the river from the museum, and the huge dome towers over the surrounding buildings. it’s a fabulous cityscape. we headed back across the bridge and found a (cheaper) café with some great treats for teatime. best cupcake of my life, hands down. rachel got a loaf of bread to go and we headed to st. paul’s for an evensong service (which is like a mass, but sung). i got to check yet another item off of my bucket list by sitting and “feeding the birds on the steps of st. paul’s”.. just like the little old bird woman in mary poppins. it was awesome. there are pictures. the evensong service was cool, but really hard to hear (we sat at the pack for easy leaving), and SUPER LONG. we only stayed for 30 minutes, but the whole thing was about an hour and a half. the inside of st. paul’s is gorgeous, and seriously impressive. it’s the masterpiece of the architect christopher wren, who actually designed over 50 churches and chapels in london.
around 5:30, we headed back to the flat because we decided to have a fajita night! tristan came with us to sainsbury’s and we loaded up on all the necessities. a few more friends came over, and we had a great time cooking and eating and laughing.. yet another great couchsurfing meal. i even found an alcoholic beverage that i can tolerate! it’s called kopparberg mixed fruits cider. yummy. unfortunately, rachel must have gotten the one bad piece of chicken in the whole batch, and her body absolutely rejected the meal. and everything else she tried to eat or drink for the next 10 hours. she was sick all night. :(
thursday, 3 march 2011
poor baby rachel was still sick at 7am on thursday. which was 10 hours after she first got sick.. and that’s about as long as anyone can go with no fluids. she was SUPER dehydrated, and still couldn’t hold down even water. i figured enough was enough, so tristan walked us over to the ER, conveniently located a short way down the street. we walked into the empty waiting room, and the receptionist asked rachel her name, birthdate, and ethnicity. after those three questions, we walked through the double doors and they set her up in a little curtained-off room. the nurse took some blood, and put rachel on an IV to get some fluids back in her body. after about 2 hours, the doctor came back and said everything was fine – just drink lots of water and rest. and then she said we were free to go. like, walk out. without signing even a single paper! socialized healthcare is amazing. rachel literally never picked up a pen, or gave them a cent. word. we came back to the flat and she ended up sleeping from about 11am to 7pm, because she hadn’t slept one bit during the night. i woke her up around 2:30 to eat a piece of bread and take a tylenol. while she slept, i took a nap, worked on the computer, and cleaned up from the previous night’s fajita-fest. i did a massive clean in the kitchen, which was therapeutic. we had a light dinner that night, and then watched two movies! :) chicago (awesome, still) and 10 things i hate about you. both classics. michelle came over for a while to say goodbye, and we cleaned up/organized before hitting the hay.
ok, enough for now. final post tomorrow!
ps- happy mardi gras (and international women’s day!)