Trip Start Apr 01, 2009
70Trip End Jul 13, 2009
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Where I stayed
After I landed, I made a quick 45 minute hop from Heathrow International Airport to my hostel, Palmers Lodge (http://www.palmerslodge.co.uk). The hostel is very nice and is located in great residential section of London called Swiss Cottage. One of my bunk mates turned out to be an ex-Portuguese Marine who trained with the US Marines in Jacksonville, NC. How random! After settling into my new home for the next three days, I struck off at around 3 PM to get more oriented with London.
I started off with a 10 minute tube jump to Piccadilly Circus, which was slammed packed with tourist snapping photos and Londoners just hanging out. I then strolled through China Town and SOHO, which were both very cool. The SOHO in London is a lot like the SOHO of NYC. After exploring the back neighborhoods for a while I cruised down to Trafalgar Square where hundreds, if not thousands of people where lounging in the grass and on the steps of the National Gallery, soaking in the beautiful spring sun. I took a seat on the steps of St. Martins church and people watched for about 30 minutes. I then continued my walk by strolling down The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace, where police officers swarmed to block traffic to let the G-20 dignitaries through. I then walked through the beautiful St. James's Park until I came up to Buckingham Palace. After admiring the massive Palace and watching the Palace Guards do their thing, I made my way toward the Thames River. The sun was starting to set, so I decided to take all of London in at sunset from heights of the London Eye. The only word to describe the experience is amazing. It was getting late and my jet lag was beginning to set in, so I jumped on the tube back to my hostel.
When I got back to the "Lodge" I took a quick shower and grabbed a quick bite to eat at an Indian restaurant down the road. I then poked my head into my first English pub where the bar Hungarian bartender attempted to explain the game of Cricket to me while I sampled the "Hobgoblin" brews. He told me he had heard of Charlotte, NC and knew of the Charlotte Bobcats. Really random! So after the nightcaps, I went back to the hostel, snuggled into bed and immediately fell asleep! My first day in London was absolutely fantastic and I look forward to 2 more, before I'm off to Paris!