A Travellerspoint blog

Day 2

Today Laura and I woke up super early. We took a shower and made some breakfast! We hung out watched some tv and have some bananas that's the airbnb people left for us and also English muffins which had no nooks and crannies and also I had tea with milk in it, this is probably the second time I ever had tea with milk in it! So after a bit we got dressed and laid out our plan on how to get to the bus stop. I left my jacket back at the room when we went down to the lobby and ran back up to grab it really quick. Since the room was so hot since we don't have a/c I didn't realize how cold it was outside! 50ish degrees F. So I locked up and ran back down and let Laura. We ran across the street which btw they have these cross walks that say LOOK RIGHT or LOOK LEFT and little WAIT buttons as well when you are trying to cross. Also side note their traffic lights go GREEN YELLOW RED THEN RED YELLOW GREEN. Hah weird. Then we realized we were at the wrong bus stop and needed to run back across the road and then down the road. Only had to wait just a moment for our bus the 171. Walked in on the bus and me and Laura didn't know what to show the guy to let him know we can travel for free. (Since we have the London pass with travel) so we just saved our pass then went upstairs on the double decker red bus. Up there we were with a bunch of inner city people but honestly their most bad person is still courteous sounding! Definitely not a threat. We pushed the stop button and went down and got off at our drop off point and still needed to walk a bit to the bicycle location. We ran across the road and started walking up this long road but then I thought to check my gps and it said to go the reverse way. Laura was not happy definitely didn't know where we were going but had a rough idea. Walked for a bit and talked and right as we were going to look where to go next we found the place. The place was a small opening with a few shops on either side and a ton of bicycles and also lite restaurants. We walked into the bike shop. The guy there asked us if we were ready for the London bike tour cause it was three hours long. I made a joke well as long as we are not lost at sea! The guy definitely did not get the Gillian island reference :-/. We got purple bracelets and were told to meet back in 30 minutes. We walked along the water and found a nice little beach with a beach bum that charged a £ to take a picture and also had games where you can throw a coin down and win prizes. We walked for a bit and saw these stainless steel plaques that showed your view and told you what all buildings you were looking at which was pretty neat! After a few we headed back to the bicycle clearing and sat down on some hand carved wooden furniture that was outside.
After a bit we saw other tour guides come out and then leave. Finally our tour guide came out and said hello. His name was Daniel. He was a funny man and he knew a ton about Britain and even agreed that some of their old rules and traditions were crazy but fun and why not. We got all together and started our bike tour. They asked if we wanted helmets but me and laura said no. Right away one of the other guys in the tour group popped a wheelie which was definitely impressive. We stayed together and the guide said he would have to tell us to stay on the left a bunch and to keep together. Also if you got lost to stop there, someone will remember you are gone, and he will go back and find you. Anyway we bike right by the London eye and realize currently it is the 4th tallest Ferris wheel, that actually USA in Vegas has the tallest. It is however he tallest single spoke Ferris wheel. Also when it opened in 2000 apparently it worked for 45 minutes and then broke down.
We also looked at some of the local buildings near by like the 'cheese grater' and the 'walkie talkie' building. We also saw a bridge built in World War Two mainly by women. We saw the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons you can be elected into. The House of Lords is old rich men who inherited their job. The queen is not allowed in the House of Commons. Also they have crazy rules where a man goes to the House of Commons and they lock him out then he has to knock and hey invite him in. Also so each house has its own bridge as well. House of Commons is yellow and House of Lords is red. We then went to the changing of the guard. Laura asked that I take a photo of this princess Diana emblem on the ground so I did. Next we stopped off and waited for a bit. We saw two guards slat a gate off to the side. The guards it turns out are real military men, they usually do guard duty for a year. Hey had real guns with real knives on the end. We saw a police car with a dog inside. Everyone same up and took photos with the dog. Definitely more of a tourist attraction than anything else. Finally we hear all these instruments down the road start coming our way. The guide reminded us that if you wanted to be told off by a policeman then you should stand in the road because the guards were coming. Also mind you the road is red because they queen comes home on this road and needed it to be her red carpet. Also we learned that when the Union Jack is flying over these palaces that means they are not there and usually tours are done. If the royal flag is flying then that means that the royal family is there currently. The police came down the road on horseback and asked everyone to move back. Then came the guards marching followed by guards playing the flute and drums.
We met a girl from Brazil who turned out had the exact same camera as Laura's so she took our photo a bunch which was super nice. We then biked off and went by a school that cost 30,000£ a year which is like 60,000$ and this is for high school. Also girls can't go to this school till they are 16 which is kinda crazy. We saw where William Wallace was hung drawn and quartered. Also I didn't realize what all that meant until now. Hung is where they hang you enough to make you pass out. They then wake you up, drawn a line on your stomach and cut you open. When they do it doesn't hit any major organs so you don't die. They then pull out all your intestines which you can live without for 10hours. Then they strap your arms and legs to horses and scare the horses to pull you apart. They take your parts and send them to the four corners of London. They then behead you, stick you on a spike and put your head by the London bridge for all to see. They did this to all traitors of the crown. After this we went to trafallgar square. Here they have the four lions and also they have a giant blue rooster. There are these four pedistals. One one is a giant blue rooster because every 18 months they change out some art. This last piece was by a feminist from Germany who won to put her art there. She did a giant blue rooster because blue is male, roosters are male, also the British people call it a cock. Anyway the headlines all read they erected a giant blue cock in the courtyard. Hilarious. After this we went to a few other spots and came back to the original meeting point. We even got beeped at by a car in a round about. We went to smithfields meat market where on certain days companies come there to sell their meats. I talked to some of the other people and one family was from New York. They had gone to Sweden and said the people there were very calculating, serious, and exact. After we got back we were hungry so went to this little multi story pub by the water. On our walk there we saw a ton of people starting to crowd around this vending cart that was giving away free beer. We had some it was fosters with clouded lemon. It tasted really good it tasted like orgina drink. We got to this restaurant and we got seated and got some waters and also some brie and toast, also we split a plate of roast leg of lamb and potatoes and bread and carrots. It was really good though service was a little slow. We left and decided we wanted to see the royal mews and the best way to do that was the underground. We walked across a bridge took some photos and then went into the underground. This got us really close to the news but we noticed on the way out that Laura's travel pass no longer was working?? We weren't sure what happened but shrugged it off.
Also wanted to note we went on the bike tour also to Westminster Abby. Which that was really neat you couldn't take photos inside but I took a few ;D. Also huge front door. Apparently in world war 2 the Germans dropped a bomb that fell right into the Abby but didn't explode! Then some people had to take it out of the abbey to a field and explode it which made a thirty meter wide crater!
Anyway we made it to the royal mews which turns out is all the royal stage coaches. We go inside and they hand you a tour guide device and headphones. We see the glass coach which is not all glass at all. We saw the Scottish coach and many others. Apparently they had a few cars there as well which queen Victoria was not a fan of. The final coach was made of gold and wood. It was huge and cost 7000£ back a hundred years ago which was a ton of money! Also they said it weighed many tons and couldn't support its own weight. It needed 8 horses to pull it at a walking pace. After we left there we decided we should go see a building named after price Albert which turns out we were too late for. So we took a leisurely stroll through a park where the Peter Pan statue is and walked along the water. We took a photo by the Prince Albert building and it was really impressive! We also walked to harrods where while we were trying to cross the street we saw a ton of young boys ranging from 10-5 years old running a muck through the streets. No parents they were definitely street kids, but they were dressed nice and had proper haircuts but it was funny to see these kids running about. We the. Wanted to go to another royal building to see all of this old queen Victoria stuff and her wardrobe etc. these kids followed us onto the underground by jumping the entrance and exit gates. I kept a eye on them to make sure they didn't pick pocket us!! We made it to this royal house where many of the royals from a long time ago grew up. We were almost too late! Walked around and visited the Kings chambers which were extravagant, the queens chambers which were less extravagant. We saw neat optical illusions where a image was cut to certain levels and the way you looked made a three d image. It's funny to see these old paintings of royalty only to realize you have friends that look like them. We saw old queen Victoria as a child drawings and dolls that she had made by hand. Finally worn out we left and walked through a garden where I found a £ on the ground!! :-) then we hopped on the underground and went to liecaster square to get some food. There is a ton of places to eat but we didn't want to spend a ton so we went to a less expensive bar and restaurant. Wierd part was when you wanted to order you had to go up to the bar, say your table number and then your order. We ran outta £s so we had to use credit card. We got a bacon cheese burger and also fries and garlic cheese bread! It was really filling, they also had some crazy bottle called HB Sauce. On the back it said 'brown sauce'?! We gave it a try, turns out it tastes like if you mixed ketchup and vinegar together which is not bad with fries! After eating there we decided to take the underground back to our apartment. Laura said her lips hurt so we stopped off at a tourist shop. They didn't have any lip balm, but they did have the boxers Laura had bought of the underground many years ago. We walked down some stairs to the underground and found a little shop where we bought some generic Chapstick. We rode many trains back and made it back to the room. Our feet exhausted, our faces a little red from sunburn. We decided to take a bath. I drew the bath and put all of the soothing things we had into the water. The bath it was well deserved. After the bath we watched the movie neighbors with Seth rogan! It was very funny! I used my battery backup and my flash drive to watch it. After the movie we decided to write up a blog and Laura plan tomorrow! Now that it is 12:47am I must run! Goodnight all!
From London with love!
-Josh and Laura

Posted by travelspark 16:50

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