I said my early morning goodbyes to Vojta and headed to the subway and then the airport. My 2 hour Ryan Air flight was delayed by about 30 minutes, but not a big deal.
I arrived in Stansted, a Ryan Air London hub, hopped on the train to Liverpool station, and then walked a few blocks and transferred to a train to South Clapham where I’d be staying. After getting situated, I immediately wanted to do some sightseeing. Back to the subway and London Bridge Station!
Now London Bridge itself is very unimpressive, and known primarily for the nursery rhyme rather than any majesty. In fact, the old “London Bridge” was sold to a guy who moved it to Lake Havasu, Arizona. Regardless, NEAR the London Bridge is the beautiful and iconic Tower Bridge – often mistaken for the London Bridge. I walked around the Tower Bridge, but had to wait for it to open and close before crossing. Apparently this is a fairly rare occurrence and drew a big camera wielding crowd.
Next stop was London Tower which was just closing, and then a dash to the Monument to the Fire so I could climb the 300 steps to the top to enjoy the view. Sadly it was closed for renovations for the next 6 days, so no dice!
Walking back past the London Bridge I made my way to St. Paul’s cathedral, a MASSIVE structure that seems to have been the inspiration for the US Capitol Building in DC (pure speculation but they look similar!)
I had planned on meeting my friend Laura around 8:00 near Paddington station so I headed that direction. Laura is from Switzerland, and I was able to play tour guide when she was in Seattle last year. She was happy to return the favor with me in town visiting London for a few days. Great girl!
We met up and she first showed me around Hyde Park – hear the hostel where she works, following by Buckingham Palace, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Westminster Abby, including Big Ben as the bell struck midnight! After walking by the London Eye (the huge Ferris wheel). It was late and time to get back to place and off to bed. Very exciting day planned for tomorrow!