"London" London by Peterodl
London Travel Guide: 23,063 reviews and 47,263 photos
I stayed in London from Feb. 14 to March 10th, 2005 with the UWRF ITC class. This marked my 3rd time visiting the city.
A lot of people in my group thought London was horrible. "It's smelly, crowded, noisy, the people are rude, the subway doesn't work, things are expensive...etc."
I don't know where they were coming from but London is one of my favorite cities to visit. I've never met a rude person in London, it's a crowded city yes but so are all large cities, the subway (underground/tube) is outstanding and I can get anywhere I want on it no problem and yes things are expensive but once again, it's a large city.
I stayed in the Generator Hostel near Russel Square station and Kings Cross station and near the British Library and British Museum. not my favourite place to stay I must admit. I had been spoiled by staying in USA Navy appointed flats in 2001 and 2003 on Marylebone Street near Baker Street and Marylebone stations that go for 2000 pounds a month (or so I heard).
Still, I was only a 10-15min. walk from Oxford Street and all the shops. I found a new pair of Clark shoes for 50 pounds to replace my broken Clarks. My new ones were so comfortable I didn't even have to break them in unlike the old ones which have me a right nice blister on my left heal when I broke them in while in London the previous time in 2003.
I went and saw the British Parliament in action this time as well. I waited in line outside the Parliament for almost 2 hours in the cold windy weather (prob. about 30 degrees Fahr.) and watched Greenpeace do a protest rally against GMO's (genetically modified organisms) outside with a few people in scarecrow outfits walking around.
After being frisked and signing some informational papers, I was allowed into the coatcheck room before the viewing gallery. I had to leave my camera behind and was going to the gallery when my spare camera battery dropped out of my pocket. The guard asked/told me I need to check that as well. (what I was going to be able to do with a spare camera battery confounds me). After checking my spare battery and being frisked for a 3rd time, I got into the viewing gallery and watched the Parliament in action.
I stayed for about 1 1/2 hours and listened to the debate on passing a law that would allow for police to arrest people on suspicion and without proof of being a terrorist (like what was done to the IRA in the 1970s).
It eventually was passed a week or two later.
It was fun to hear all the "Right honourable gentleman..." "Right honourable colegue..." and the "hear hear" and the "guffa" of approval.
I went to the National Gallery to look around at the collection to kill time (I'd already seen the collection in 2003) and after coming out into Trafalger Square, I passed a woman feeding pidgeons. This is bad mistake on her part. The pidgeons swarmed her after a short period and she tried to walk away but the pidgeons followed until she was out of the square, a couple on top of her head. I had a good laugh as did a few other people witnessing it.
In the square there was a big inflatable igloo promoting London's 2012 Olympic bid. Lots of fog, Queen music playing with a picture slideshow and there were animated city plans on the floor of what the Olympic park will look like. I was a bit more confused than impressed but it turns out London will host the 2012 Olympics after all.
I had another fun time in London and look forward to being able to return soon.
- Pros:historical, easy to get around, nice people, fun to see
- In a nutshell:One of the best cities in the world that deserves a visit.
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