I’ll let you in on a secret…
On my first day with Miho in London, we woke up bright and early and had breakfast in the dingy, smells-of-mold “dining room” of our “hotel.” I write that with quotes because the terms, “dining room,” and “hotel,” only sort of apply. That is, if you’re using the most basic definitions of “a place where you eat,” and ” a place where you pay money to sleep.”
I was afraid to walk on the floor of our hotel room barefoot because most of the floorboards had separated and there was a rather large amount of mildew, dust, and trashy bits collected in the grooves. It was better than the bathroom, I suppose, where the tub had actually ran away from the wall and there was a gaping black chasm that seemed like it would be the perfect hideout for a family of spiders, cockroaches, or something else just as scary. It was warm, though, I’ll give it that. Warm and moldy, yay. (^o^)
The dining room was actually an open area next to the reception desk with a few long cafeteria tables set up, and only half of the lights on at any time. It was a very dark and strange affair. I guess you can’t expect ￡60/night to get you very much in London? It was warm, at least. I know that I’m repeating myself, but it was very nice to be warm since it was very near freezing outside.
This is all from the perception of a girl who grew up in the desert, though. Anything lower than 16C or 60F makes me run for my down coat.
Oh, right.. I haven’t gotten to the secret yet! Sorry, I was rambling for a bit there..
It will be coming up! Just keep reading. Come on! (>___>)
Miho and I had decided on the spur of the moment to get something called the London Pass for our sightseeing needs. The night before, we were looking at guidebooks filled with interesting things to see, and an advertisement for the London Pass just sort of hopped up out of nowhere.
It seemed like a great deal, so we went online and made our reservations right away! You have to go to their office in the city to pick them up, and so we bundled up after breakfast and headed out!
It was nice to ride on a train with a friend, instead of just muddle around by my lonesome. 🙂
The area itself had a lot of really nice buildings in it. I am still in love with the architecture of London! Now if only it was a tropical country.. I would fly off and go live there. :3
We passed the National Portrait Gallery, and marked it on our list of things to see. We never did end up going to it, though. 🙁
So many pretties! Everywhere!!
I cannot even imagine living on a street this awesome.
Or having a corner this awesome nearby.
So, um, yes.. We decided that we would go see the Tower of London first! A short train ride later, and we arrived near the River Thames! A statue greeted us as we exited the subway, and then..
There was this.
This isn’t a tower! It turns out that the Tower of London is actually a castle! I should have done some more research, but I am the kind of person who buys a guidebook six months in advance and goes, “great! I’ll read it on the plane!”
I sort of just float through most vacations doing whatever anyone else wants to do. Tell me I don’t make the best travel partner ever!
I think that our vacation planning went mostly like this:
Miho: “How about going to see the Tower of London first?”
I happen to love European castles, so I managed to become quite excited quite quickly! There was a long line to get in, but London Pass holders get to jump ye olde line and proceed right to the rear entrance, where of course all of the best fun is had. Outside, along the front of the castle, there are cool things like this, and the statue above. So this is a postern!
It even had an impressive sign. Yay!
But, well…… this is where it gets embarrassing.
You see, after you enter the main gate and walk around towards the back entrance, you come upon this bit of awesome sticking out of the water:
I went, “Oh, WOW!! Look, Miho, it’s London Bridge!”
Miho: “When I think of London, this is the image that comes to mind!”
Me: “Do you know the nursery rhyme? It goes, London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down..”
That’s the horrible secret.
I didn’t realize until muuuuuuch later that this isn’t the London Bridge.
Well, that’s pretty embarrassing, mostly because I kept on singing London Bridge is Falling Down all day.
Unaware of my mistake, we proceeded down the path toward the special VIP Back Door.
We passed this, and I felt rather confused by the sign.
St Thomas’s Tower.
This doesn’t look like a tower to me. It looks more like a portcullis.
But, whatever. I don’t even know what the London Bridge is, so who am I to say?
Just past the portcullis-looking tower was the rear gate, and as we entered, wonder spread out in front of us..
..which I will talk about in my next post!
It all feels so very nostalgic. 6 months have already passed since I went to London. I can barely believe it, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!! (^o^)/