Thursday, July 10th, 2014
04.07.2014 - 13.07.2014
In order to rest a bit from yesterday, I treated myself with some extra hours of sleep. At around 10 AM, I left the apartment and headed to the Jubilee Gardens by the London Eye.
I went to the tickets office to buy the four-attraction pack (London Eye, Madame Tussaud, London Dungeons and Sea Life Aquarium), which is much cheaper than buying them individually. I then headed to Waterloo Station. I took the Waterloo & City Line to Bank station, then switched to the Central Line towards Liverpool Street station. It was the first time that I go to this area and found it quite pretty. The train station is big and has many shops. As it was raining, I struggled looking for Old Broad Street where I had to meet a friend and had to ask a couple of passerby. We went to eat Sushi at Wasabi, which is a renowned sushi chain in England. The food tasted good and the place was clean. After lunch, my friend showed my the area, which, he said, is mostly a financial district. The buildings were beautiful and everyone in the street was dressed formally.
After my friend went back to his office, I took the underground from Liverpool Street to Baker Street. On my way to Madame Tussaud, I saw a statue of the infamous Sherlock Holmes.
I walked up Marylebone street to reach Madame Tussaud. The queue for entry was not very long, but once inside, the whole space was overcrowded. It was hard to see the wax statues, and even more challenging to take pictures. I expected the museum to only have the wax exhibit, similar to the one I once visited when I was in Los Angeles. However, the museum offered more attractions, such as a "taxi" ride similar to Disney World's "It's a small world," as well as a short Marvel Imax show, which was memorable.
After leaving, I decided to go see the Sherlock Holmes Museum by Baker Street, but the line was long and time was short. I ended up going to Regent's Park and Queen Mary's gardens. I found this park to be particularly beautiful because it was full of flowers of all colors and sculptures.
At around 6 PM, I went back to Baker Street station and took the Circle Line to Tower Hill station. I started to get hungry and to look for a place to eat. There were many restaurants around this area, but I could not figure out which one was good. So, I asked for help from my friend "Yelp" and found a few good restaurants close-by. This is what is great about London, there is Wi-Fi everywhere! As the restaurant I intended to go to turned out to be further than I anticipated, I went to a small restaurant, unknown of "Yelp," called Royal Kitchen on Aldgate High Street. I ordered a Chicken Tikka Wrap and french fries with Cherry Coke. I am not sure if it was the hunger, but the food surely tasted delicious.
When I was done, I headed back to Tower Hill station, where I waited for the 7:30 PM Jack the Ripper tour, which is part of the London Walks. I absolutely loved the tour and the guide was funny and knowledgeable. Yes, I do enjoy some gruesome stories. The tour lasted about an hour and a half. Then, I headed back to the Liverpool Street area and walked around. On Old Broad Street, I found the strangest sculpture of a goat on a pile of boxes.
As I was walking up Bishopsgate, I found a cute alley taking to Bishopsgate Courtyard. The alley was mostly empty. The light on the street gave it a certain calm beauty which was amazing to look at.
As I was walking back on Bishopsgate, I found a pub called "Dirty Dicks." With all my maturity aside, I giggled and took a picture. I first did not notice the group of guys (and a woman) by the door who looked at me cheering as I was taking the picture.
I went to them and they introduced themselves. If I remember correctly, the guys' names were Stewart, Phil and Jack (I am not sure of this last one as I may be confusing it with the Jack the Ripper Tours). I did not get the woman's name over the loud music, but we stayed together for a while and talked. They were quite drunk so I had a hard time understanding what they were trying to say, but I had fun. British people are really kind and funny.
At around 10:30 PM, I called it a night and took the bus 26 to Waterloo station. I quickly realized that taking any bus was the cheapest way to have a tour of the city as all the buses are two-levels. With a London guide and an Oyster card, anyone can choose the right bus route and spend a while visiting the city. London by night is simply mesmerizing!