Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Europe Trip Journal Part 1

Hi there! I'm back. I kept a journal during our two-week Europe trip over the holidays. Here it is, piecemeal, with photos.

12/23, 12/24

Minneapolis flight to Toronto delayed 2 hrs, then Toronto to London delayed overnight, due to weather. Slept in airport - tried to sleep beginning @ 2:30 a.m. Stanley didn't sleep but I slept on and off for 2.5 hrs. Woke up to noise of people arriving for early flights. After waiting for our 10:30 a.m. flight, we were able to get on the 9:00 because we hadn't checked any bags. First class!!!

(I highly recommend first class. Eight hours of pure bliss. Completely made up for spending the previous night in the airport.)


Walked from hotel to Hyde Park, Green Park, Buckingham Palace,

Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Whitehall, Big Ben,

Parliament, and attended Christmas service at Westminster Abbey, which was interesting in that the ushers were extremely strict and zealous about crowd control, to the point that they kind of ruined it for us. Also, very few people could actually see the choir or speakers, so it was more of a listening exercise. The choir was awesome.


Boxing Day! Which means a lot of things are closed, we found, such as coffee shops early in the a.m. Met Shoaib (our friend who lives in England that we met a couple months ago when he came to visit our friend Geoff) and his brother and friends on Oxford St. for post-Christmas shopping "Bedlam". Stores and sidewalks were incredibly crowded with shoppers, mostly wearing black. (I didn't take a photo but here's an image I found on the web showing Oxford St and Boxing Day crowds.)

It was interesting trying to buy anything at all. But I bought 2 cheap t-shirts and 2 long chunky necklaces which I love. (Too lazy to post a photo.) Had some drinks in a pub, then took the tube to the South Bank after dark and saw London Eye all lit up.

Walked along South Bank as far as Tate Museum of Modern Art, which turned out to be closed due to Boxing Day. :( Had dinner at a pub and dessert at another pub with a nice view of the Thames River and London skyline.

Shoaib gave us two cell phones to use during our entire trip, which is fabulous - it's good to have communication so we can separate now and then without having to make all sorts of meet-up plans.

More to come soon.

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