Wednesday, March 18, 2009

London, Part 2

So my CERES sister, Jen and I agreed to meet at her hostel around noon on Saturday. So I had the morning to myself, and decided to go to Greenwich to see the Royal Observatory. I had to switch trains and undergrounds a million times to get there, but I eventually got there. We went through Canary Wharf (lots of big, tall buildings) to get there.

This was on the train to get there. Future Olympic stadium!

I had to walk through the University of Greenwich to get the Observatory. Beautiful campus!
Royal Naval Museum.

Whoa. Cool picture.
The Observatory itself. Looooooong, steep walk to get up there.

But I crossed the Prime Meridian for the second time! The first was in Spain.
So I went back into London proper towards Jen's hostel which was right by Kensington Gardens. It was in a nice, residential area, but the hostel was TINY, so I liked mine better. When I got there, they hadn't shown up yet, so I told the guy at reception that I'd be back around 2:30. So I went into Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace. London is chock full of gardens of all shapes and sizes, it appears. Beautiful!
Italian Gardens near the Pumphouse in Kensington Gardens.
Statues by the lake they call "The Serpentine."
Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.
Perfect day for flying kites!
Rather imposing walkway leading up to the Orangery.
Kensington Palace and the raised garden. Queen Victoria (before she was queen) and Princess Diana lived here. Dunno who lives here now.

At that point, I went back to Jen's hostel and thankfully, they had arrived. I met Jen's sister Audrey, who is studying English in Swansea, Wales and Jen's friend Tessa, who lives in Maryland. They wanted to go to the British Museum again, which I had no problem with because there was a lot I hadn't seen yet.

I had only one request (okay, demand) of them while they were with me. They had to take my picture at King's Cross Station. We took the tube there, and my life is now almost complete as a result.
King's Cross Station.
There it is.
We headed in the direction of my hostel and found a little cafe nearby. We parted ways, and once again, I crashed in my hostel, though I wasn't as tired as the night before.
My coach left at 1:30PM the next day (Sunday), but they told me to get there an hour early, so I basically had the morning to finish up sightseeing. I wanted to get to Abbey Road, and it actually was only one tube stop away from my hostel. Cue the Beatles' music.

Abbey Road.
For real!
The Abbey Road Studios.
Next stop: Notting Hill and Portobello Road. (Cue "Bedknobs and Broomsticks.")

Final stop: Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park.
The Royal Albert Exhibition Hall.
Kind of a hideous memorial to Prince Albert.
That building there? That's where I'm going to live, overlooking Hyde Park.
So I got back to the coach station, got on the bus and got back to Preston. There is still a lot of stuff I didn't get to see. I really want to go back sometime. London is a fantastic city.

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