Thursday, September 9, 2010

London back Home

Adventures seem to fly by in the same way that they sneak up on you. One day you realize that your bags are packed and you're on an express train to the airport thinking "You know, we were in Wales just two weeks ago." Or "Dude, was it three days ago we were in York?"

Our hotel in London sat right on the Thames and next to the London Eye. At first my mom was positive that she would drag me on the Ferris wheel because we had been on the world's largest one in Singapore last year and it just seemed fitting. But we never got the full motivation to do it.

So instead, we spent our first day taking a long walk along the river up to the Tower Bridge. We made a brief stop at (literally popped in and out of) Shakespeare's Globe theater and then it was on to the Tower of London.

Later in the day we visited the British Museum which was completely rich with room after room after room of historical artifacts. From Egypt, to Greece to South America - it was insane and totally amazing. It was humanly impossible to see everything there.

We had only one more full day in London before it was time to pack it in and head home and we spent a good amount of time walking around. We went over to the National Portrait Gallery which was, also, pretty incredible.

Since there were so many paintings to see, our guidebook mapped out a shortcut to the top 30 to check out before our eyes glazed over. I wont list all 30 here, but here are the paintings that stood out to me:

1. The Ambassadors (Holbein)
2. The Execution of Lady Jane Grey (Delaroche)
3. The Arnolfini Portrait (Giovanni Arnolfini?)
4. Miss La La at the Cirque Fernando (Degas)

Then we walked over to Buckingham Palace and hung out under the Victoria Memorial for a few minutes.

We spent our last night drinking wine and eating deep-fried tapas at a place called The Slug and Lettuce. We talked about highlights - The countryside, Wales, Oban. And the challenges - Detouring through Glasgow, Hobbit Holes, and the rain.

It was an awesome and full vacation, completely enhanced by the use of a car and definitely an experience of a lifetime.

And the souvenirs. Oh! The souvenirs. Lets just say I may have gone overboard and decided to start about ten different "collections" whilst vacationing. Plates, pewter soldiers/figurines (they are cute actually, don't judge), and Christmas ornaments GALORE. Dude, I've got to be honest, moderate case of buyers remorse in just viewing the sheer magnitude of damage I did souvenir shopping, but my life is so very enriched because of it.