Journeying through Bank (where all the banks are), we arrived St. Paul's Cathdral, which is pretty spectacular! We walked past the Australian House, which we think was meant to be the Australian embassy, but the cool part is that it was the inspiration for Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter. And this is right around the corner from the Royal Courts of Justice, our equivalent of the Supreme Court. Let's just say it made me feel pretty small. This path led up to the original Twinings Tea Co. store, which I will be going back to because there are so many different brews! After a quick sit for coffee at Grind, we popped into the British Museum. I literally mean we popped in, saw the Rosetta Stone and the Enlightenment Room, and popped back out because SO MANY PEOPLE.
Travel across the Holburn Viaduct with me,the first bridge built in London, to Christ Church Greyfriar's Garden, which is a cute little hidden gem with the garden organized as the pews were. Next on the list is the the Towers of London, which houses the Crown Jewels and the Queen's guard (they live inside with their families).
For dinner, we went to Brick Lane-just a strip of middle eastern food with men standing outside trying to beckon you into their restaurant with deals. But the food was amazing! Fun fact, chicken tikka Marsala (not an actual Indian dish) is the national dish. We walked through Shoreditch, the super hipster-gentrified-graffitied-funky funk area to Brewdog, which was some really yummy craft beers.
Yesterday...I may have originally taken the wrong tube line to Westminster, but it's fine. I self corrected and got there to take in the magnificence of Westminster Abbey, the only attraction that I paid for yesterday. Totally worth the 20 pounds. The best way to tritely describe it--they're collecting famous dead people-Kings, queens, soldiers, poets, authors, scientists. It was breathtaking. But again...so many people. Then I admired Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, walked through Whitehall garden, across the Jubilee bridges into Southbank, which is where the London Eye is. I looked at it, looked at the line, took a picture and kept walking. Going back across Westminster Bridge, I crossed through Horse Guard Rd. and past the Churchhill War Rooms, through St. James Park (a beautiful little reprieve from the city), and right to the gates of Buckingham Palace! I was slightly disappointed that the bobbies don't stand outside the gates anymore and that there weren't any corgis running around on the lawn. But I'm still in awe of how amazing it was...from the outside... Then I snuck into the gift shop (go up along the left side of the palace gates and you'll see it), and it's basically a shrine to corgis and it's wonderful. But seriously, if you don't want to pay to go into the castle, just go to the gift shop because they have stuff that no one else has.
For dinner, we went to Poppie's Fish and chips which was YUM! It's a cute little diner style restaurant. Then we went on an awesome Jack the Ripper tour. Turns out Gracie lives across the street from where Jack the Ripper killed his last victim (also the worst mutilation). So yeah...no ch ace this street is haunted at all...
We kept up with the Ripper theme by going for a nightcap at Ten Bells Pub, where a couple of his victims used to partake. It actually used to be named Jack the Ripper until some reasonable soul pointed out that we should not be glorifying a serial killer.
So in two days, I've walked a total of 50,000 steps. I don't feel bad about my fish and chips at all.
Time to go explore,