I feel at home in London. This weekend, my high school friend Meggan visited me from Barcelona where she's currently studying abroad. I was determined to be a good host and to show her the sites... even though I hadn't really seen any of them myself. Apparently the motivation to be a good host is all that I needed to get acquainted with the city. In basically one day, I feel like I became a Londoner. And all I needed to do was walk over 10 miles. Ten miles. Yes, I am bolding all the sites to drive the point home that I saw all of London in a day, basically. Call me obnoxious, but I'm going to boast.
I will briefly, to the best of my ability, retrace our steps from Saturday. We walked from my dorm up to Borough Market, saw Southwark Cathedral, walked past Sir Francis Drake's ship (a replica) The Golden Hinde, stopped by Shakespeare's The Globe Theater, passed the Tate Modern, crossed the Millenium Bridge, went to St. Paul's Cathedral, walked past another Christopher Wren-designed church called St Bride's, walked down Fleet Street to The Royal Courts of Justice and LSE, went to Trafalgar Square and saw Nelson's Column, headed South and ran into a march for Burmese monks, took pictures of Big Ben and The London Eye, and then headed to Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Woo. Then we headed even further West towards Buckingham Palace. We stopped and got fish and chips and hard cider at a pub a ways away from the touristy area and caught a little bit of the Australia vs. England rugby game. Then we continued on after Buckingham Palace to Picadilly to check out where we'd be eating later with my Aunt, Uncles, Mom, and cousins. After finding our restaurant, we headed North to shopping between the and Bond Street and Oxford Street underground stations. Who knew you could have so many Burberry stores in such close proximity? Finally, we went a little bit East for a slight taste of Soho and Chinatown. We walked back and killed some time at Grosvenor Square where the American Embassy is located before returning to Picadilly for dinner, where we had a good meal with good family. Lastly, we walked back to my dorm near Borough. I think that might've been the most walking I've ever done in one day, considering we didn't take the tube at all.
Today, we took it a little easier. We walked to Borough Market again, ate omelets in the shadow of Southwark Cathedral, and went to The Tower of London. We actually paid entry fee and got to see the crown jewels. The view of the Tower Bridge was also great. We were less ambitious today since yesterday was so tiring, so our only other goal was Notting Hill (see photo of me in front of the Travel Book shop from the movie Notting Hill), which I had explored on Friday with my mom. This time we took the tube and made it there in good time to look around and get Meggan back to the Picadilly Line, where I could send her off to Heathrow.
After the whirlwind of a weekend, I managed to buy cleaning supplies and school supplies before coming home and staying there. At first, I regretted buying cleaning stuff (toilet cleaner and spray cleaner) plus laundry stuff for 15 pounds, because I read that my bathroom is cleaned for me fortnightly (every 14 days). But damn. After I took a good look at it and my level of disgust rose to peak levels, I brought out my guns and disinfected like there was no tomorrow. I sprayed, I mopped, I brushed. The most disgusting thing was taking the toilet brush out of its container and realizing that shower water had been collecting in it. DISGUSTING. But I am now satisfied with the level of clean and don't regret buying the supplies.
Now, I feel a little sick. I haven't really felt 100% since getting here, since I was pseudo-sick before traveling and now I just need to take it easy and relax. No more 10+mile walks. Alright. Big recap. I hope to skype with more people soon.