Today we got up a little later. Christopher went and got milk and cereal at the little supermarket up the street, so we had breakfast in the room. Then we took a cab up to where we picked up the London Passes (same as the Paris ones, basically). We could have walked, but I argued that starting the day with a long walk would mean definite sore feet by the end of the day.
After we had our passes we were initially going to go to Westminster Abbey. But when Christopher flipped on the tv during breakfast, we saw that it’s the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, and they’re doing a big thing up at the Abbey for it. So no way we were doing that today. Instead we walked up a bit, and saw Big Ben and the Parliament building. We were there at noon, so we got to hear it go off!
We stopped at a pub to look at the menu and so I could sneak to the bathroom (they’re really only for customers). It was a very complicated bathroom trip. First I had to go up really steep stairs, and wasn’t sure which way to go when I got up. Then the stall I went in (one of two) was so small I could barely get the door shut (a bigger person couldn’t have done it). Only the lock was messed up, and it seemed too hard to force it (I was afraid I’d get locked in), so I tried the other one. Only it didn’t have a seat. So I went back to the first one and got the lock working, and peed. But then it took a bit to figure out how to flush because it was one of those with a tank up over your head and you have to pull a chain. And toilets here that don’t flush super weak flush super strong. And I have this horror of not getting out quick enough and it overflowing so I should have waited because first the lock was stuck (as I suspected it would be) and then you have to basically straddle the toilet to get out cause of it being so small which I didn’t want to do. But eventually I escaped and was able to leave. Quite the drama filled bathroom visit.
Then we caught a boat on the Thames (like the one in Paris). It was a double decker so we went up top. The fellow working it did a little “tour” explaining the buildings, so we got to find out what some of them were. We got off at Tower Bridge. It’s right by our hotel, so we’d seen it already, but it’s really pretty. Also, the London Bridge is super boring. Tower Bridge is way better. We walked up to the Tower of London (less than a block), and got some fish and chips from a little stand. Very tasty. I actually ate mine faster than Christopher, though he ate more in the end.
Then we went to the Tower of London. We saw the English crown jewels, which I have to admit were way more impressive than the Scottish ones. There’s a diamond on a scepter that’s as big as a golf ball. We’re a teeny bit sad now that we didn’t find the crown jewels at the Louvre, since then we’d have seen all three. But we were very ready to leave the Louvre when we did, so not that sad. We quite enjoyed the Tower, and did a short tour. We saw where Anne Bolyn (among others) was killed and where she was buried. They don’t know which cell William Wallace was kept in, but we did see the building that it was most likely in. The Tower has been a lot of different things over the years (mint, menagerie, armoury, etc), so they had some interesting displays up about the different things. Also, side note, the Traitor’s Gate was actually named after William Wallace, who was executed as a traitor, even though never was one. To be a traitor you have to have sworn an oath of allegiance. He had sworn to his own king, but not to the English king, so he wasn’t a traitor.
After looking around there quite a bit, we headed to the Tower Bridge exibition. You get to go up and there’s a video about building it (1800’s I think) and you can cross it high up and then see the engine rooms that used to lift the bridge in the middle back when they used
steam engines. It still lifts sometimes, so we might see that tomorrow if we’re near it at a time when it does. If we had a boat we could even get it to open for us, if we gave them 24 hours notice. I think it’s really cool that anyone can get them to do it if they need through. Though overall the exibition was a bit boring.
Then we went to the London Bridge crypt tour. It’s one of the highest rated tours in London. We only got to go through the historical part though. They have this whole other bit that’s supposed to be super scary, but a- I can’t go, it even says on the sign it’s not safe for pregnant women, and b- I don’t get the whole being scared for fun thing. No thanks. The guide did sort of roll his eyes when I raised my hand that we weren’t going on to the scary part. He can get over it. But the historical part was cool. It’s been rebuilt a few times, and was actually first built in Roman times. They had actors in character, instead of just dull guides, and got people involved (like a display on William Wallace’s execution where she handed one person his “entrails” and had another person put his head on a spike). The only bit I didn’t like was the end. For reasons that were unclear but had nothing to do with the bridge, they had a see through walkway through a room that appeared to be spinning (left to right over your head, not around in circles. Rolling might be a better word), and it almost made me sick. Even with my eyes closed I could have sworn I was falling to the right and was about to be flipped on my head. Makes me a bit sick thinking about it. That was the last bit though.
I also might clarify now, that for at least the last 4 days I’ve been feeling sort of dizzyish. Well, not exactly dizzy. You know how when you’re on a plane and it’s almost but not quite perfectly smooth? That sort of just barely moving around constantly, with maybe the occasional slightly more dramatic dip? I feel like that all the time. Mostly not effecting anything, just making me feel a little dizzy. But being on something like that along with the weird feeling was definitely not awesome.
Anyway, after that we headed back and first we placed an order at papa johns (awesome, right?) and then picked up our laundry from the place. Then we got some more milk from the market, by which time I was so hungry I thought I might actually die, so I opened the milk on the way back and drank some. Then we picked up the pizza and I almost burned my mouth eating it before we made it across the street to the hotel. Our room is literally the first room you can get to, and I still couldn’t wait. So hungry.
But that brings us up to date, since I started this email when I finished my pizza and now it’s time for a shower, as it’s getting late.