Just touched down in London town.

Trip Start Apr 10, 2010
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Trip End Apr 10, 2011


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Where I stayed

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, April 11, 2010

DAY 1:
 Well, we landed in London safe and sound, made our way to the hotel and crashed.
Jena was underwhelmed by the crampedness of the hotel room after staying in the Swissotel in Sydney. But learned to love the authenticity of it (really small).

DAY 2:
Pressure was on us to find our perfect campervan while we still had accomodation, so the dread of being homeless after our 9 day stay hung over us. The first couple of days were combined site seeing and van scouting.
Today we went for a walk through Hyde Park (stunning) and down to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards, the throngs of tourists surrounding the palace was somewhat reminiscent of 28 days later.. Then back to the room for the hunt, until the fire alarm sounded. Evacuated from our room we watched 3 fire engines pull up in front of the hotel, the room above ours was burning down! We shrugged and went to find food. 

DAY 3:
Found a great place that sold a heap of vans that were exactly what we wanted (or so we thought). Jumped on the tube and 30 minutes later we were in 'Crouch End'. Now if London had an anus, this would be it. We got the the joint, closed. We have no phones to call anyone! So, walked next door, some tradies let us use their phones... apparently the guys out for the day. Yayyy.
So, back through rape alley we jump on the tube for a half day of sites. We saw Tower Bridge, realised we couldn't afford any foods so just kept walking.
Back in the room we found another van to go see.. so back on the tube we go to Victoria Park. Get picked up by the local Lepricorn and taken about 3 km from the train station to his house to see the van. If you like mould, it's for you!
He walked into his house and left us on the street saying "you can find your own way back". Wishing we had paid attention on the ride over, we sighed and just started to walk.

DAY 4:
After such a crappy day before, we weren't in the best of spirits. But we still hunted.
Finding a brand new upload on Gumtree, we called Darren. Arranged a time to go see his 'Scooby' in Barnes.
 So, with the appointment lined up for 6:30 pm. We were in better spirits and we headed to the Natural History Museum for the day. There was a mega wait to see the rubber dinosaurs (something like half an hour..) But the animal displays were amazing. The inside of that building was breathtaking. Good on you Darwin!
On to Barnes! We met Darren and his wife Kim (awesome novocastrians! like us). As soon as we saw the camper we were in love. This is it! A real tidy van with everything we needed. Joel wanted to have a smaller vehicle for the city and Jena wanted a shower and toilet. So we put the deposit down.

DAY 5:
We were so happy today! Our lives felt complete and all sorted. Now we can actually enjoy being tourists!
With all intentions of seeing the British Museum today, we didn't. Totally distracted by the wonders of SoHo!
Beer and boutiques, pretty sweet! (JOEL: Can I just mention; coffee is frightfully average in London, I am gobb-smacked!)

DAY 7:
Off to the British Museum for us!
So much history that we're blown away by. 6000BC--jeepers!
Joel's favourite thing was the Greek sculptures.
Jena's favourite thing was the Egyptian exhibit.
The day was so gorgeous that we grabbed some sushi on the way home and sat in Hyde Park. It's so stunning with all the tulips and daffodils out. Spring time in England is breathtaking. 

DAY 8:
More walking to see Big Ben, Parliament and WestMinster Abbey. Being a Sunday, we attended the Mass and had the Eucharist in the Abbey. They use REAL wine.
Jena didn't read the procedure for accepting the bread and wine and she bowed and said thank you each time she received. (JENA: Apparently I should have said Amen and not grab the cup, I'll know next time!).
Then we went to London's oldest Brewery (across the road from the Abbey?!). Mushy peas and fish and chips for lunch!
Off to the National Gallery next. Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, Raphael, Picasso, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Turner, Michelangelo... to name a few. Way too much to absorb in just one afternoon! An outstanding place to see meaningful culture and history. We were both very moved.

DAY 9:
Last day in our hotel! And last day to really sight see; so we headed for St. Paul's Cathedral and The Tower of London.
St. Paul's was phenomenal (2nd biggest Cathedral in Europe). With tears welling at the beauty, we awed at the stunning mosaic roof and amazing art. There was an option to climb to the top of the dome (as if we wouldn't!). 520 steps vertical later (365ft) we were there; boy was it worth it. A view down into the Cathedral as well as a 360 view of the city London. 
Climbing back down we headed to the Tower of London. Here was where the crown jewels were kept, which was pretty nice (we had to stand on a travellator so we wouldn't linger too long around the jewels). But the coolest part was seeing the armoury display and getting in and amongst the battlements and medieval rooms.
Now we have to pack for an early start tomorrow.

DAY 10:
We get to pick up our new home! We are still debating an appropriate name (Joel thinks it's a mother and imagines himself suckling the teet).
We go to Argos (a store with nothing on the shelves, you browse a catalogue, go to the front counter and ask for your items; then it comes out on a conveyor belt). Now we have bedding!
After a great night out with Darren and Kim (previous owners) we crash in our home for the first nights sleep. It was sweet!
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