This weekend, I had a lot of fun on a school trip to London. London was really great but I can't believe how expensive it was. Just to get into the London Tower or St. Pauls cathedral was 15 and 9 Pounds, respectively (that is 26 and 15.50 american dollars!). Everything was like that. So therefore, we walked around a lot and saw the sights, but didn't go inside and see much.
On Friday we rode the bus (14 hours total) from the school, through the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, over the English Channel on a ferry boat, and then 2 hours from Dover to London. We saw the famous White Cliffs of Dover when we landed. Although it was night time, they still seemed to glow because they were so white.
Once in London, I was in a group with a a couple of guys, one from my theater group (Jonas) , one that I don't know (but I've seen him around the school), and another that I sat next to on the bus (Björn... not exactly sure on the spelling). We walked up the Thames River from Cleopatra's Needle (a gift from the Egyptian Cleopatra herself) to Big Ben and the Parliment buildings and then to Westminister Abbey. Since the Abbey didn't open for another hour and a half (we thought at first only a half an hour...but there is an hour time change) we walked to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. In Trafalgar Square is the National Gallary of Art and a really controversial statue that I read about last year in the newspaper. At Piccadilly Circus we went to Starbucks and to Virgin Records where I found a whole music section for Country and Scottish Celtic!!! Then we walked back to the Abbey and split up. Björn and I went to Tate Britian, a large art gallary, and saw an exhibit on Gothic Horror art that I saw a review about in Newsweek 2 weeks ago. It was a little disturbing and hard to understand, especially since we didn't have much time to see it because we had to meet Jonas at Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Gaurds. We ended up missing most of the ceramony because the London underground is so confusing. I like the subway systems in Paris and Berlin much better.
After the Changing of the Gaurds, we split up again and had lunch and Björn and I headed towards St. Pauls Cathedral. We ended up not seeing anything inside becasue we didn't want to pay 9 Pounds to see a church, no matter how wonderful it may be. AND, there was a wedding starting as we arrived and half of it was blocked off anyway. So, we took the underground to the London Tower Bridge (not the London Bridge... that was bought by some american and actually transported to the US and stands somewhere out west), walked across, and walked around the Tower of London (a small castle that is famous for it's history as a prison and execution yard), although we didn't go in. After wandering around the gift shop a little, we headed towards the London Dungon, a ''Enter at your own Peril'' interactive horror show/museum explaining about the Black Plauge, the Siege of London, Jack the Ripper, and the British court/torture system (if you understand the horrors of this... you'll understand why the American constitution protects us from ''cruel and unusual punisments''). I even got sentenced to death just because I'm an American!
So, after that little adventure, we intended to meet up with Jonas again at the main entrance of Harrods. No one believed me that there is more than one (11 to be exact...) and we never found them. But Björn and I had a great time wandering around the furniture department before we headed to Oxford Street for a quick look around shopping district and then catching the bus home.
It was really a great adventure for a weekend and I am exhausted. I'm starting to feel like a world traveler now or something. And, I've even made some new friends!