London, England (April 26th – 27th, 2018)

April 26th

I arrived at London Gatwick airport at approximately 12:30pm. I bought a train ticket to go to Kings Cross train station but then when I went down to the platform, I just caught the first train that came by that said “London” and ended up going to London Bridge station, approximately 2.4 miles from the station. Kings Cross station was so much closer to the hostel! So, I ended up walking that distance, using it as an opportunity to see a bit more of the city on foot. By the time I got to the hostel though, fully loaded and mobile, I was pretty exhausted and happy to take off my packs.

An art piece in the airport as you approach customs.  

Oh – before I went through security in Verona airport, I forgot to put my expensive lotion from Body Shop in Amsterdam in my bathroom bag before I checked my backpack… so I had to throw that away. 😦 Not happy. I really liked that lotion.

I got up to my room and my card didn’t work. There is not much equal to the level of frustration and disappointment as when you’ve been traveling all day, are tired of carrying your packs,and your key card to your room doesn’t work, you’re multiple floors up from reception, and you really don’t feel like going back down. 😦 Thankfully there was someone in my room to let me in. I walk into the room and I get figuratively smacked in the face with stinky-man smell. I’m like “oh COME ON!!!!!” The room (304) of Clink78 Hostel near Kings Cross, so small and cramped with 6 beds stuffed into one room. Thankfully, there were two decent windows in the room that I immediately opened as wide as possible. After a little while, the smell was replaced with fresh circulating city air. So much better. I made my bed and then grabbed my wallet and headed out for dinner. I was starving. British Airways doesn’t do complementary refreshments. Everything costs something on the airplane and so I didn’t eat or drink anything on the plane. It wasn’t that long of a flight, but I didn’t really eat breakfast since I left the B&B pretty early.

I went to a place called Mildred’s Kings Cross, a vegetarian restaurant. I started off with a glass of fresh squeezed apple, carrot, beetroot, and ginger juice which was followed by a delish vegetarian burger. So yummy. Back to the hostel after to dinner to work on finishing travel arrangements for getting around Scotland.

No food coloring in that… that’s natural fresh-squeezed juice.  

April 27th

I had one full day to wander around London and so I wanted to make the most of it. I had set up a meeting with a guy I worked with (he was one of our subconsultants that I worked with in NYC) who has since transferred back to London. It was really nice to see Kelvin again and chat about my travels, work opportunities, and general catchup.

After that meeting, I stopped at a cafe for breakfast and then walked towards the river. I will let the pictures tell you what I saw on my walk.

One of the sphinxes guarding Cleopatra’s Needle.  

Cleopatra’s Needle Obelisk

 

London Eye

Man that is a huge ferris wheel!!!  

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Big Ben in the background.  

Westminster Abbey

They have a bunch of statues of influential people in Parliament Square Garden.  Abraham Lincoln in one of them.  

This is the plaque below Abraham Lincoln’s statue. 

Pretty flowers blooming.  

First view of Buckingham Palace.

I managed to catch the tail end of the changing of the guard.

 

Wellington Arch

 

New Zealand War Memorial

Petals on the walkway. 

The Albert Memorial

I know pigeons have a bad rap but you gotta admit some of them are pretty. 

This couple was in love I’m pretty sure.  

Lovebirds.

Walked by Kensington Palace, “home to Britain’s young royals…”

Princess Diana Memorial Garden

Princess Diana Memorial Garden and Kensington Palace in the background. 

While walking throught the city back towards the hostel, I walked by this building that had a few interesting and thought-provoking displays. The picture below was one.

Got back to the hostel from walking all day. Felt really good to sit down. My feet were starting to hurt a bit and they had gotten pretty damp from the rain that had fallen during a small portion of the day. Later in the evening, I met up with one of my friends that I met on my 2016 two-week vacation with Contiki Tours in Australia. We met up at a pub in Covent Garden to have a drink and watch a live rugby game. It was a really nice evening catching up with Aaron. 🙂 Good to see you again and hope to see you again sometime. 🙂

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