London Sightseeing

My parents arrived to London Saturday morning where we met at their hotel in South Kensington. It was a pretty eventful next 3 days where we went sightseeing and I had the chance to show them around (namely via Tube). During their stay we went to the Natural History Museum, Westminster Cathedral for Sunday mass, Big Ben & the Parliament Building, the London Eye, the Victoria Station area, the Tower of London, and Chinatown. By far, my two favorite places we visited happen to be the most popular tourist attractions in the city: the Eye and the Tower.

Top of the London EyeThe London Eye is one of those attractions everyone should really do at some point during their stay in London. I mean, who can pass up being suspended 500 feet in the air in a bubble overlooking the entire city? The lines were surprisingly speedy too. My Dad also purchased the little guide book that described the buildings in each direction. You really can’t beat the view.

Yay! Tower of London!The Tower of London was pretty sweet, in the nerdy history-loving kinda way. It was just neat to walk (sometimes run) around a place that I’ve read so much about. The Yeoman Warden tour was pretty entertaining and insightful, another must-do. However, I was particularly enthusiastic–admittedly, I was the only one in my 100+ person tour group who took notes the entire time.

The Crown Jewels were also a highlight of our visit there. I didn’t think I’d be too interested in that sort of thing, but it’s pretty crazy to actually see them in-person. So much sparkle… As I left the Jewel House all I could think of was how badly I wanted diamonds, hah.

Mom and Dad in ChinatownAnyway, all in all, it was nice spending time with my parents. Albeit my Mom was quite keen to return to America as London is pretty insanely expensive, lodging is small, the weather was wet and gray, and the food wasn’t always to her taste. All valid points and that’s London for ya! They left Monday morning to Heathrow and I spent a final day solo in London. Ended up walking around Covent Garden and Leicester Square, shopping and watching street performers before heading to Heathrow that afternoon myself.

However, leaving London was another story. The airport was manic and rumours abound of Terminal 4 closing because of a suspicious package found. I checked my ticket and was grateful that I was in Terminal 1. Nearly all flights departing Terminal 4 were canceled. Throughout the terminal I could hear people one folks talking of 5-6 hour queues and inability to “get out of London” anytime soon. A few folks were begging to be moved forward in line because they had waited for hours in Terminal 4 only to be sent over here. I eventually made to the Gate area (after my own delays and some spaghetti) only to receive a phone call from my Mom.

“Shouldn’t you be half-way home on a plane right now?” I asked. I soon learned that they were part of the unfortunate group of people to be in Terminal 4! All outgoing flights to Seattle were sold-out for the next few days. It was a pretty stressful scene. In addition, my flight to Germany kept getting incrementally delayed and I had no means to contact Val who was to meet me in Stuttgart. We all managed to depart: me an hour late, my parents 3 days later, but everyone’s safe and sound so no complaints. Funny enough, my first day out of London, I started to miss it already :)

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    • M Prins
    • July 8th, 2007 4:53pm

    The tour of the Tower of London is very cool! Take it again when you are there you will learn more about this very unusual place in British history. The “Eye” is also pretty neat although a little to high up for my taste.

    London is one of the great cities of the world.

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