Trip to Europe- London- Day 8

So we’re on to Wednesday, next to last day of sightseeing. Christopher got up and took a shower and went and got me milk at the little shop up the street (it would have been immensely helpful to have had a fridge in the room, given that I went through about a gallon of milk in 1-2 pint increments!). I got up when he brought my milk, and had some frosted flakes and milk for breakfast. I got dressed in my usual Edinburgh hoodie and jeans(! finally clean jeans!) and we headed out.

We planned to hit Westminster Abbey first, which was a little ways (a mile maybe. Wait, I just google mapped it and no, more like 3) east up the Thames. We crossed Tower Bridge and walked on the north side, just for variety since we walked on the south the other times we went that way. I wasn’t thrilled about the walk (I prefer a taxi for early so I don’t start the day with tired feet), but it was actually quite nice most of the way. There are benches that are way comfier than most benches here, and lots of interesting things to see. We got a picture of the school that Daniel Radcliffe (actor who played Harry Potter) went to.

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The only real issue on the walk was that I had to pee about halfway there. We were in a largely business area, so no pubs or shops to duck in. We FINALLY found a public toilet, but they cost money there (dumb!). We had a pound coin, and 13 pence. It cost 20 pence and didn’t take a pound (which is also dumb, because desperate people like me would use them and they’d make 80 extra pence). Thankfully another person came by while we were trying to look for more coins and they needed to pee too, so they gave me 20 pence. (It’s great what people will do for you when they find out you’re pregnant.) The bathroom was weird. I’m annoyed we didn’t think to take a picture, but I just googled one and I’ll attach it. Once you go in, it was rather wet. There was no flush, and best I can tell the entire toilet bowl tips back into the back section and gets rinsed. Weird. But, it was a toilet so I wasn’t complaining!

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After that the walk was uneventful, but by the time we got to Westminster I was *hungry*. So before we went in, we walked down to a little pub and got some lunch. I had more fish and chips! Om nom nom. It was one of the best meals we had, though we had a lot of good meals in London so it’s hard to pick.

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Then we walked back up the street and headed into Westminster Abbey. It was pretty awesome, but I think I liked Notre Dame better in terms of how pretty it was. But Notre Dame didn’t have Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens and Robert Burns and stuff, so I think Westminster still wins. It was frustrating though, that (like all churches but one on our trip) you couldn’t take pictures inside. But cool nonetheless.

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After that we decided to walk down to Buckingham Palace. Let’s be honest here, not that interesting. The architecture was unimpressive compared to the cathedrals, and you can’t go in or anything except a couple months in the summer. Still, worth seeing. Plus there was a fountain and it had ducks and I fed them cheddar bunnies. That part was interesting anyway!

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At that point Christopher took pity on me and we caught a cab to head back west to St. Paul’s Cathedral. There were more cabs than I’ve even seen in one place at Buckingham Palace, so it was nice and easy. Not too long of a ride too, so Christopher didn’t get fussy about the money. ^_^ I might have fallen asleep for a minute on that very short drive.

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So then we were at St. Paul’s Cathedral (obviously?). Again, very pretty, very cool, no pictures. It had crypts too, but crypts turn out to be pretty boring now that we have electricity and it’s not like there are any bones lying around. Also, St. Paul’s burned in the fire that burned all of London in 1666 (on my birthday, no less!), and the old one was prettier from the pictures/models they had. The old one had a spire and the new one has a dome. Not as impressive. Though according to our tour guide the next day, the architect (Christopher Wren, if I recall correctly) was obsessed with pineapples (which were a major delicacy and cost about the equivalent of 10,000 pounds) and wanted to put a giant pineapple on top instead of a dome. Which would have been kind of awesome. He also said that there were two smaller pineapples on there, but since we didn’t know that when we were there, we have no pictures of them close enough to see well. They’re there though!

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St. Paul’s was pretty close-ish to our hotel (well, mile and a half-ish), but we got super disoriented. I went the wrong way, and then when a lady gave us directions (just to the Thames, which was RIGHT THERE), she sent us sort of the wrong way. We could have literally walked down the front steps to the Thames, not more than a block or two. Whoops. London was the hardest place to get around because it was too flat and had too many tall buildings. You couldn’t see landmarks from a distance like in Paris or Edinburgh. But it kind of worked out because on the way there I had seen a sweet shop that I wanted to check out and our incorrect route took us past it. (That’s where I took the pictures of marshmallow fluff for you, btw.) Christopher asked the lady what her most popular candy was, and she let us try it. It was a hard candy that was, no joke, rhubarb and custard flavored. Which tastes about as good as it sounds. British people are WEIRD.

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We continued on, stopping for some milk (for me) and dr. pepper (for Christopher). Christopher said I looked like “an alcoholic baby” with my milk at one point, hence the picture of me and my milk. Note the picture after that which shows the view of St. Paul’s from the bridge, proving just how close we were when we managed to go several blocks out of our way. Fun times.

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Once we crossed the Thames we were back in the area we’d been walking a lot, so we got some pictures of some of the things we’d been seeing but hadn’t bothered to take pictures of, like the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship (first one around the world). If you look at the pictures, you can also see a one-footed pigeon. He stood like a flamingo most of the time, and hopped on the stump to walk. It was really weird, but we didn’t see one healthy-footed pigeon in London. The no foot was the worst, but all of them were missing toes or had a club foot or something. Google suggests it’s from infections from standing in their own poop. That’s… gross. And sad.

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By this time, big surprise, I was hungry. (It was actually dinner time, so I wasn’t being totally crazy. Walking around cathedrals takes a LOT longer to do than to write about.) We had planned to stop at this little pub that looked nice, but that was before I had fish and chips for lunch. That was the only thing on their menu that sounded good to me (or was reasonably priced), and I knew I was having it for lunch the next day, so we passed on that. Instead we found a little Asian restaurant, continuing our habit of eating “foreign” food wherever we went. It was quite tasty. Edamame for both, teriyaki pasta for me, pad thai for Christopher. Their fortune cookies look weird! At that point the dizziness was getting bad again, so I was relieved to finish and head back to the hotel.

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On the way back we saw some sort of (free) event where there was a guy teaching people how to dance. It looked kind of fun, and Christopher wanted to try it out, but I was so not up for it. Especially since it involved spinning the woman, and I can’t handle ANY spinning these days without falling over. So we continued on, stopped for some milk, and rested at the hotel. I had milk and frosted flakes (I ate that entire box over the course of 4 days), and then a bath to give my feet a nice soak. Tubs there were a bit different (at least based on my experiences in Paris and London). Narrower, but long enough that you have to pretty much completely lie down with just your head out of the water. I expect it’s nice for taller people, but I could have used about 6 inches less. Still, it was nice and relaxing. Then bed, cause I was TIRED!

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Side note, somewhere in there we bought a Christmas ornament. We’d been looking for a good one and finally found one that had little pictures of all the places we’d been like Westminster Abbey and Tower Bridge and all. I don’t recall where exactly we bought it, but it was a gift shop.

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