May 2006 - Tokyo & Europe

I arrived in London on Tuesday afternoon and shortly after checking into the Hotel my feet were back in action. I walked to Buckingham Palace, up to Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall to the Big Ben and across to the London Eye. There is a Starbucks on almost every street corner so I embraced this in the only way I know how; a hot chocolate. Finished my evening with a great cheap eat on King’s Road and a DVD in my room.

The BNB I am staying at is nice, my room is bigger than Paris and I am once again on the top floor (with no lift this time). They serve a full breakfast every morning, so have been filling up on Bacon and Eggs for the last couple of days. I had a shower on the first morning with no hot water. I think it was because other people were probably having a shower at the same time, I am just about to try again in the hope that this time I get hot water. The other slightly annoying thing is all the doors have rather loud pop after you close them, it is like a spring mechanism or something so when the door is closed you can hear something similar to a spring expanding right before this loud pop. The bathroom door closes itself (with an after pop of course), so it grates a bit if you keep forgetting things outside. You can also hear your room neighbour or the ones downstairs for that matter coming in and out of their room. Thankfully not too many people here are earlier risers, or late night partiers.

So my first day in London revolved around Oxford St and Regent St. I did however manage to pull myself away from the shops to have a look at the British Museum which was brilliant with all the Egyptian artefacts. Lunch was at a nice little patisserie and was more expensive then the dinner the night before and all I had was a slice of cheesecake and a chocolate milkshake.

In the early evening I headed across to an area near the Charring Cross to meet up with one of my London friends, for those of you who know him, it was Andrew Arnott. We went to a really nice pub and chatted away over a drink and happened upon the Championship Game of Football with Arsenal and Barcelona. We left just after Arsenal scored their first goal, neither of us being too interested in the game. I wandered up into Soho and had dinner at a Pizza restaurant (Didn’t really feel like Asian when I got up there Arnott). The waiter sung when he bought the food out to me which made me laugh. In high heels it was a bit of a walk back to the BNB and my feet were happy to finally relax after a long and busy day.

Day 2 in London. Now I didn’t think I was going to walk this all, it kind of just happened that way. I started out by walking up to Harrods to have a quick look around, then walking back via the BNB I headed for the London Eye for real this time. I had booked my tickets after breakfast because out the window there seemed to be some blue sky. Booked for 1230, there at 1155, on the London Eye at 1205. Those silly people that don’t book ahead. The view was something, scattered clouds, clear day, another touristy thing off the list.

Walking along Southbank I stopped at the Globe Theatre for a tour, they were rehearsing for the next play that starts this Saturday, so we got to see a few actors in costume. I then went onwards along Southbank to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. I really enjoyed the Tower of London with the Crown Jewels and the history. I then walked to St Paul’s Cathedral only to find that it had closed for visitors about 5 minutes before I arrived (should not have stopped for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream on the way). The Temple Church was also closed for the day, so I walked back down to Trafalgar Square and along the Mall to Buckingham Palace and then back to the BNB. Oh and I have also passed by Somerset House and Piccadilly Circus amongst many other places that I won’t bore you with mentioning.

The trees are flowering at the moment and today the wind was well up so it was blowing all these tiny white things straight into your eyes, mouth, hair etc. That I know of, I swallowed three and had at least 10 hit my eyes as I struggled to keep my eyes opened, trying hard not to sneeze, whilst nursing a running nose. There are piles of them on the streets and if you haven’t moved your car in a couple of days, there are piles on them too. Wouldn’t want to have a soft top convertible, I passed a few of them and these things tended to stick to the roof of the car. I am still finding them in my hair.

Was going to go out tonight but plans were put off until tomorrow. I did have enough time to get ready and go and see a show, but in the end sanity prevailed. I needed to write my blog, check my mail, have a shower and pack. It’s looking hopeful for an early night, thankfully (my feet are celebrating).