Sorry it’s been a while since my last post about London. I got caught up with Barcelona, getting back to Sevilla, and then moving into my new apartment and starting up classes again. Oh well, now it’s back to routine or close enough anyway. So London was a blast; we did all the touristy things that you should do the first time you go.
To start our adventure, we got into the London Stansted airport ridiculously late or early depending on your view and then we had to bus into town and try to find our hotel. Now I was under the impression that doing all this in a country that speaks my native language (more or less – I still find British English difficult to recognize as my language’s predecessor) would be a great easier than in Spain. Of course, I was completely mistaken. Not helped by the fact that we had no map and were completely clueless as to where we were or where we were going, we ended up walking down a random street and waiting around for a taxi for 10 minutes or so. Eventually one happened by us and we thankfully managed to notice that it was a taxi. Unlike Spain’s heavenly green lights to lead the way, these British taxis had a tiny yellow light that said TAXI. Well, obviously once you know it’s there it’s crazy to miss it. But if you have no clue it’s rather hard to notice. AND we were ridiculously tired, so that’s how I’m going to justify that 10 minutes of waiting as numerous taxis most likely passed us by. We got to our hotel some 10 pounds later (that’s $20 for all my American readers – you will notice the reoccurring theme/terror of everything costing twice what it should in London). Our bedroom was pretty sweet: a huge bed (small for three people though), a wide-screen television (all the better to watch really bizarre late-night British shows), and a shower that unlike my old one in my home-stay actually managed to maintain its temperature.
The next day was New Year’s Eve so we had plans to spend the night doing whatever British people do on New Year’s Eve. I think we imagined something to do with Big Ben which ended up being at least partly right. They do go to that area, or Trafalgar Square, and watch a very nice fireworks display. Our New Year’s Eve was spent in something of a crowd frenzy drifting from place to place trying to figure out what the heck was going on. At this point, we had no idea where we were or where we wanted to be so we pretty much just followed the crowd back and forth along all the barricaded streets. My two companions complain that it wasn’t much fun, but I remember being ridiculously drunk and enjoying it quite a lot, so who knows?
After that, the rest of the days were spent in a blur of motion trying to figure out what we should do. We walked all about Hyde Park and checked out the New Year’s Day Parade. We saw Big Ben and Westminster Abbey and then tried to go to the London Eye, but the lines were ridiculously long so we later bought tickets online for the next day (which I highly recommend) although I’m not sure it was worth the price. Then we explored along that side of the river, getting lunch and then attempting to visit the Globe and the museum. It was at this point that we realized something important about London. Everything closes so much earlier than in Spain! Now I realize that this makes sense what with them being so much further north and the whole shorter daylight time, but still it was a little crazy to be expecting to eat dinner at 10 pm and having all the restaurants be closed by 7 pm. Even the pubs closed as early as 11 or 12. On the other hand, Sevilla does not have as much international cuisine readily available as London did, something I miss terribly.
Well, I’d love to write more but I’m back in Sevilla and it’s time for my traditional siesta, especially since I was out ridiculously late last night and am in desperate need of a nap. Hasta luego!