Tuesday, June 4, 2013

London: Day 3

Day 3 (Sunday) of our trip in London was probably the most fun! It was very spontaneous and we did a lot of little things, but that's what made it so special. :)

We started off the morning by heading to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. I have heard that there are tons of people there, but I had no idea it was going to be that crazy! There were people EVERYWHERE and in every place in the plaza of the palace. We were able to get up by the gate though and see what was going on. It was really cool to see. I wish we could have gone in there and gotten pictures with them! Haha.

After that we went on our river boat cruise! It took us from the area by Big Ben down to the area by the Tower Bridge. Most of the buildings we had already seen on our bus tour, but we saw a few different things, like Shakespeare's Globe Theater and were able to get pictures with the Tower Bridge. We hopped back on the boat afterwards so it would take us back by Big Ben and the center of town. We grabbed a bite to eat and then wanted to hit up the Camden Market. It is in the way northern part of London, so we decided to utilize our double decker bus ticket. However, we got on a blue bus in the beginning of its route instead of its end, so we ended up adding on about an hour to our bus ride and went all around the south end of town. It was kind of irritating, but we got to see a lot of other things we otherwise would not have, and mostly just talked and enjoyed the sunshine on the bus. 

When we got up closer to Camden and got off the bus, we decided to rent bikes for the evening! The remaining things we wanted to see were pretty far apart and we didn't have a lot of time. So with the assistance of a kind citizen, we figured out the bike system! It's pretty cool. You just pay 2 pounds to check out a bike, and then you can use it and drop it at any other station. If you use it for less than 30 mins, you pay nothing else. 30 mins-1 hour, you pay an additional pound, etc. So if you're smart about it and drop it off every 30 mins, you only have to pay 2 pounds for the 24 hours. I was really nervous at first because I've only ridden bike in the country, plus traffic goes the opposite direction here. We were in a bike lane right next to the bus lane and there was lots of traffic so it was really scary in the beginning. But once we got out of that busy part of town we stuck to the side roads and it worked a lot better and were able to ride on the sidewalks too. Biking was WAY better than walking and so much faster. Our legs would get so tired walking, but the bikes not so much. Except they're not really meant for short people, so I had the seat as low as it could go and was just able to fit. My butt hurt super bad afterwards though because of all the up/downs on the sidewalks and such. The Camden Market was super cute! It's similar to the setup of a Chinatown with lots of different vendors with a lot of vintage and neat things, and then you can barter to try to get a better deal. We stayed there for a while and then got our bikes back and went to King's Cross Station. King's Cross is the station Harry Potter uses to fly to Hogwart's. So we went to Platform 9 3/4 and took pictures! Emily and Abbey are WAY into Harry Potter and they were so freaking excited. It was funny and cute :) But I got my Hogwart's picture too! YAY :)

Then we grabbed our bikes and headed to the famous Abbey Road! It was a LONG ride from King's Cross, but we cut through Regent's Park. It was so beautiful and peaceful and there was a cute little stream flowing through with ducks and geese and other birds. It was amazing to find a place like that in a huge city like London. I think we all loved that part. We made it to Abbey Road and took a zillion pictures. Since Abbey's name is Abbey, it was extra fun. Haha. We took some individuals, and also had someone take a few group shots of the four of us! It was so fun trying to get good shots. It was very difficult though because that intersection is a very busy one and so it's hard to dash out there in between cars/buses to safely get a picture. We took the tube back from Abbey Road and it was a long ride, but we eventually made it closer to our hostel. Then we walked back to our Hostel and grabbed some Domino's Pizza along the way and ate it when we got back. It was so nummy.

I think that sums up most of our adventures on Day 3! It was an awesome, spontaneous, fun-filled day :) And if you ever go to London, definitely check out the bike rentals! So fun and so cheap :)

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