I was so excited that some friends of mine who were travelling around the world would be in England a few weeks after I moved here. By the time we got around to finalising a time to catch up that worked for them and their holidaying and me and my new job, it turned out to be the weekend of the royal wedding of Will and Kate. Madness! So my day started off with work. My bosses were hosting a royal wedding party for a few friends. So I helped out with the twins and watched the ceremony and listened to the banter of those who have lived here much longer than I and enjoyed some typical British food. I finished at 1pm, grabbed my things and headed for the train station. I arrived at 3pm, managed to eventually find my friends in the still fairly crowded streets and then we walked over to Buckingham Palace to take a look...from a distance. Still lots of people about and roads still blocked off. That night we met some friends of my friends and went out for dinner and chatted late.
I stayed the night where my friends were crashing and then on Saturday we went to town! He he. We went on the Hop-on, Hop-off Big Bus Tour. Yes, a double decker red bus with no top. Fun. We rode for almost the whole tour (about 2hrs) and then basically went back to the things we wanted to see up close.
Our first stop was Westminster Abbey and I had to get a photo at the exit the newly weds came out of. Then we walked past Big Ben and the Parliment House. I think they look really interesting. Highly detailed gothic style architecture. We squished through a Tesco Express to get some lunch and sat by the Thames to eat it. Then we took a free cruise down the river to Tower Bridge.
After a wonder around the bridge while eating icecream and seeing The Tower of London from the outside, we caught the Big Bus around to St Paul's Cathedral. It's monsterous. It's quite phenomenal that it survived the world wars too with just some scars. Inside the detail is amazing. I wish I could have had a better look at the ceilings and decorated walls up the front but there happened to be a service on when we got there. That was wierd. I can't imagine being a part of a congregation that at services you have tourists wandering around the building. Unfortunately the tour times were past but we could see the whispering circle Simone told me about when we looked way up into the dome. At this point I think we decided to head to the end of the tour. We passed lots of Monopoly places which gave me a buzz. Including Trafalgar Square and Oxford St and more.
I also recognised the bridge that snaps in one of the Harry Potter movies. At the end of the tour we were at Victoria Station where we farewelled each other and they set off to prepare for the next country they were visiting and I trained home again. It was great to see London and some of its iconic places. Even better with friends I love already. I had a fabulous weekend. My favourite icons were Big Ben and Tower Bridge. I hope to return in the summer when they do tours in Buckingham Palace and also go do a tour at the Tower of London. It's amazing to think how old these places are. So much history. Makes me realise that Australia, as a civilization, really is quite young.
If anyone else wants to meet in London, I'm willing to make the train trip. ;)