Monday, July 7th, 2014
04.07.2014 - 13.07.2014
I started this beautiful day in the Jubilee gardens where I saw the London Eye, as well as the Houses of Parliament and the hidden Big Ben.
I took a walk on the Queen's walk, which is perhaps one of the most "touristy" place in London. I crossed Westminster Bridge to take a closer look at the Big Ben (which I really never saw, but only heard), took pictures and came back to the Walk. I ate some Japanese Chicken Noodles at Aji Street Canteen, which was not bad for fast food. I then headed back to Waterloo station to take the Northern line to Tottenham Court Road. I topped up the Oyster Card for the week as I calculated that it would cost me less money that buying underground tickets every time I needed them. I am grateful that my hostess provided me not only with an Oyster Card, but also with a London guide book, which told me everything worthy of being seen in London as well as how to get there. I must have read this book about 100 times in one week. It also told me which museums are free (hint: most of them), and thus helped me to maximize the experiences while minimizing the expenses.
I went to the British museum where I saw various objects and art from other times and places. What stroke me the most was the display of a skeleton go a young man who died about 4,000 years ago. As I was looking at him, I thought that this person once lived and had thoughts, just like me. This person laughed, this person cried, this person was hopeful and had dreams, and may also have felt despair at time. However, now, all that remained was his skeleton and nobody knows who he was exactly. I will also become a skeleton one day. My brain will disappear from my skull, and what will remain? Will any of my work, dreams, tears, love and hopes be remembered? Or will they all be forever buried in the graveyard of humanity, and will just become a pile of bones and ashes? I felt sad thinking like this, but also humbled realizing that I was not as big and as strong as I thought I was. And today is all I had to live for. Carpe diem, right?
When I finished visiting the museum, I took the central line from Holborn to St Paul's station. I went to visit the St. Paul's cathedral, both inside the cathedral and its gardens. I personally preferred the gardens, especially the sculptures.
Going back to St Paul's station, I took the Central Line to Tottenham Court Road, then to Northern Line to Charing Cross station. I ended up in a beautiful place known as Trafalgar square. Due to the Tour de France event, the square was crowded and I could not see much. However, I did go back in the next days and got a better view of it. I walked in the many streets around the square and on Strand Road, I found a restaurant called "Tortilla." As I was craving for some mexican food, I gave it a go, and I have no regrets. I had a naked chicken burrito, which was tasty. If I had to compare it to the US Chipotle, which I love, I would say Chipotle tastes better. However, Tortilla's burrito had a fresher and healthier taste to it. It was clearly all organic food.
At 9 PM, and after many struggles finding Northumberland avenue and the exact pick up location, I decided to go on a Ghost Bus Tour (£15 for students), which was one of the most memorable moments of my stay in London. Through a theatrical comedy/horror show, I have discovered the most gruesome and hunted places in London. It was hilarious and I had so much fun. The actors were talented and entertained us very well. I did not feel the time passing by.
When the tour finished, I walked back to the Queen's Walk where I saw the Houses of Parliament by night. As I was passing by the Hungerford bridge and had a great view on the Houses and the London Eye, pictures were mandatory (but unfortunately not very clear). The sight, however, was clear and mesmerizing.