After meeting at The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, we boarded the bus and headed to London. About twenty minutes into the journey, we heard a loud noise and someone on the right-hand side of the bus saw a hubcap go rolling away! Apparently we blew a tire and we had to wait for a second bus to come pick us up on the side of the motorway.
As we entered London, we took a quick tour of Westminster on the bus. Notable landmarks included (but were not limited to):
- Baker Street (Sherlock Holmes' street)
- The American Embassy (with plenty of armed guards)
- The wall to the Queen's gardens (barbed wire and spikes)
- A pointy, triangularly shaped glass building
We then proceeded to go on a walking tour, which was quite chilly as it was ridiculously windy! Here we got to see Westminster Abbey, the Westminster Abbey Choir School, the Changing of the Horse Guards, the Admiralty building, an old building called the "Admiralty Citadel", 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column and The National Gallery, which had a giant blue rooster out front...
I had lunch in the square and then went to the Churchill War Rooms (run by the Imperial War Museum). On the way there I stopped to mess around with my camera settings and took some cool pictures.
A fascinating piece of British and in fact world history, the bunkers from which Churchill conducted the allied war effort are restored and open to the public, and I highly recommend anyone who visits London go see them. I hope when I am a teacher they will have some sort of virtual tour on which I can take my students! Much of the complex was untouched after workers vacated the bunkers (which were not even fully bombproof) and it is a fascinating artifact of WWII history.
After the tour, we visited Buckingham Palace via the Mall, then headed to Piccadilly Circus. I separated from the group and went to Charing Cross station, to take a train to Steve's house. Since I had some time to kill, I decided to walk from the Hungerford Bridge to Big Ben, across that bridge to the London Eye, and back across the Hungerford.
I had a great time with his kids especially as the youngest had a birthday sleepover at their house and I got to babysit! I got to help with homework and look after the kids which was a blast! I cannot thank them enough for letting me stay over, I needed the break from tutorial papers and 8-10 hour stints in the library! On Sunday, we went to the mall (yes, they have those here in the UK!) which was built in an old chalk quarry (good use for a large area of fallow land), then I headed off back to Oxford. Albeit a very round-about way...
Into London, through the underground (part of which was closed for engineering), into Paddington Station, onto a train with barely any standing room to Didcot Parkway (stopped four times due to signal problems), then a bus to Oxford to complete the three hour ordeal. Overall a great weekend!!!