Walking Along the Thames in London
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Our next destination was the British Museum. It was one of the few attractions in London that did not charge admission. We made a small donation upon their request, and paid a small fee to check our backpacks and coats. The museum structure was massive. You could easily spend at least a day in the museum. The museum's displays and exhibits showed the mighty reach of the former British Empire. Many of the displays and exhibits were taken from the former colonies. I can see why some of their former colonies may now be upset that the British took so much away from their civilization's past. Some examples include massive Assyrian statues, rooms full of Egyptian mummies, and even an entire building, shipped to London piece by piece. Also, there’s a very ornate door taken from a temple in Asia. This made us wonder what the temple did without a front door. Aside from the ethical issues surrounding the museum's collections, a lot of the exhibits inside was amazing. Seeing the actual Rosetta stone was very cool. The two rooms full of mummies were very impressive, especially Cleopatra's mummy. Some of the other amazing exhibits included an Easter Island Moi and a full set of Samurai Armor . By the end we were fairly worn out, so we stopped for dinner on the way home. The place we ate was fairly inexpensive and I finally decided to have some fish and chips. While fish is not one of my favorite foods, this fish was very good. It was boneless and didn't have a strong and fishy taste. Once again, the unlimited condiments were also a nice touch.
After dinner we went back to the Tower of London to try and catch the ghosts and crime tour from the day before
Near the train station was a restaurant called Nandos that is apparently really big in British Columbia. Being that Deb is from British Columbia and had been talking about Nandos all trip, we decided to stop there. While the excitement of seeing the restaurant was enough for her, Marc and I were extremely happy when we saw that they offered unlimited refills. This was the first and only time I ever saw a place that offered unlimited refills while in Europe. I ended up having at least 6 glasses of soda. While I certainly didn’t need so many glasses, the novelty of it was just so exciting. The chicken wings we had were pretty good but not nearly as tasty Quaker Steak or Buffalo Wild Wings. The fries were even better than the wings. After our snack we went back to the hostel.
My last night in London was definitely the worst night for sleep. There were a few loud people late at night and early in the morning, a guy turned the overhead lights on and walked out of the room for 20 minutes without turning them back off. Aside from that, the morning was routine. We checked out, stored our luggage and had breakfast at the hostel. Our group was down to two again since Deb had to leave earlier in the morning . Though we did not know this at the time, she ended up spending an extra night in London
After leaving the hostel, we decided to check out Trafalgar Square. I thought it was really fascinating, though the collection of statues they have there is a bit random. I thought it was funny how there was a statue of George Washington in Trafalgar Square next to all of the British generals. I wonder how they felt about adding a statue of one of their most famous rebel leaders when the State of Virginia donated it after World War I. In addition to the generals, there is also a giant ship in a bottle, a countdown clock to the Olympics and Nelson's Column flanked by two large fountains. Behind Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery, though we did not have time for it. We walked around the surrounding area for about a half hour and then moved on to our final destination, the Globe Theater. We spent ten minutes taking pictures and then headed back to our hostel to get our things for the train.
The train ride home was uneventful. I had reserved a seat for the entire trip, so I didn't have to scurry around searching for open seats like the train ride to London. Marc and I were on the same train for the entire trip, though we were 14 wagons apart, so we never saw each other until we arrived in Marburg.
Overall, I would have to say I really enjoyed London, though not nearly to the level that I enjoyed Berlin. The sites, architecture and history of the city is absolutely amazing. I would absolutely love to return to London for at least a week and take advantage of some of the day trip opportunities offered, as well as spend a whole day in the London Museum. The one major issue I had with the city was simply how expensive it was to do anything famous in the city. When I do come back, it will definitely be once I have a stable income, as London is easily three or four times more expensive than any other city I've been to, including Munich and Berlin.