My crowd weaving skills (not rudeness, crowd weaving….) were put to the test upon our arrival at Buckingham palace on Saturday morning. Lot’s of people crowded around the fence to see, well, a lot of marching. The palace was amazing, however, the classic England overcast made standing outside in the cold quite unpleasant. We warmed up in an adorable tea house with some carrot cake and English breakfast. We made our way back to Parliament and had some classic fish and chips before taking our tour of British Parliament. Our guide Victoria was fabulous and had a walking stick that turned into a seat when she got tired. She was a magnificent storyteller. After learning about the House of Lords I was incredibly sad that I don’t know any Lords but have made it a personal goal to become one. Afterwards, Carely and I sprinted to the British Museum, determined to see the Rosetta Stone. We arrived 10 minutes before closing, found the stone, took a picture and then laughed at the determination we had to see this gigantic rock. We calmed down with a walk through Notting Hill and some delicious Indian Food.
For those of you who have not seen the film starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, I highly suggest you head to the nearest Blockbuster…oh wait…sorry, let me rephrase. I suggest you hack your friends Netflix account to rent it. It is the one in which Julia Roberts plays a movie star who says “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Also, there is an appearance of a Frutarian in the film, which is hysterical.
After a lovely run through Hyde park, we set off to the Tower of London. We forked over a ridiculous entrance fee in order to see the crown jewels. Worth it. Luckily, Carley the kleptomaniac didn’t take anything at this historical location. Afterwards, I had an amazing lunch at EAT. More about this fine establishment later. We then headed over to St. Paul’s cathedral, had some candied almonds on the street and saw millennium bridge, which allegedly some dementors had something to do with in Harry Potter.
What came next was perhaps my favorite part of London. The British Library.
It is home to some magnificent works. Namely, Jane Austen’s journal (she has fantastic penmanship, obviously), Jane Eyre in Charlotte Bronte’s handwriting, the lyrics written on napkins by the Beatles and drafts of music composed by Beethoven. There were also works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and a whole room dedicated to the Magna Carta. The bookstore within the library was incredibly dangerous. I resisted buying my fourth copy of Pride and Prejudice and instead walked out with a fabulous Jane Austen postcard and a bumper sticker that I’ve vowed to keep forever.
After my awe-inspiring nerd moment, we went back to the city center for a ride on the world’s largest ferris wheel: The London Eye. It just so happened that we arrived right around sunset….which was pretty much perfection.
We were able to have more of a relaxing day on Monday. We all slept in and then meandered through the parks until we found ourselves back at Harrods. I had a chocolate hazelnut scone (they are indeed, better in England) and many more Ben’s cookies. After strolling through the streets of England we arrived back home and I was able to go on another run. This one may have been my favorite run of all time. I wish I would’ve brought my camera because Hyde Park around sunset is filled with runners and strollers and dog’s and swans, tiny dirt paths as well as large concrete ones. The flowers were all in bloom and arches covered in ivy were abundant. As I attempted to keep up with the multitude of people training for the London Marathon (which is coming up!), I realized how much I miss athletics and athletes and stores that sell athletic apparel. Getting funny looks for running in shorts gets old very quickly. However, were I to run in the 7 layers all the Spanish men seem to wear, I will probably die of heat stroke seeing as the average temperature here runs at about 75 degrees.
During our stroll, we picked up some boutique chocolates and a pink bottle of champagne as a thank-you for Steph’s aunt. My mother has instilled in me a need to make all gifts aesthetically appealing – and I was pretty proud at how this one turned out!