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Goodnight, London

by Avery

Goodnight, London

The hotel got worse. I know, you’re shaking your head right now in disbelief. ‘How could it get worse?’ you’re asking. Their continental breakfast was very poor. We descended the mountain and entered the cave at the bottom to be greeted with some rancid orange juice that must have been made with oranges 4 months past ripe. It was awful. But whatevs. We left and headed to the British Museum to start the day.

The British Museum was pretty meh. A lot of artifacts the British have allegedly stolen from about the world, a lot of it from Greece and Egypt. The Egypt stuff is like, basically all the same statues and sarcophagi. Once you’ve seen them, it’s kind of like how many more can they take and stuff into glass displays? I was disappointed because there was hardly anything with Anubis, ya know, that one god on my arm that I’ve been thinking about how to get rid of for a year or so.  They do have the Rosetta Stone and that was kind of cool to see. People were so crowded around it that you could hardly enjoy it though.

The Greek stuff was pretty similar to the Egyptian in terms of the whole do they really have this much of the same? feeling. Only difference is their stuff was like, all pots and vases. All of them. They had some pretty big partial rebuilds of Greek structures and I liked those, but they reminded me that I would much rather go see this stuff where it actually belongs.

 

After the British Museum we stopped at a pizza place. We just ordered the margarita pizza, but they had this spicy chili olive oil that you could put on it that was both really good and totally set your mouth aflame. I liked it a lot. They also had garlic bread that we ordered and it was different than any I’ve had before. It was that traditional flatbread, but they had it topped with a light tomato sauce and a bunch of oregano and something else. Not sure what the other spice was. But this was pretty good too.

Next on the docket was the British Library. We only checked out the Treasures Room, and I enjoyed seeing all the original manuscripts for a lot of British writers (except Jane Austen, that was definitely not a fun thing to see *puke*). I was upset though, because their little interactive computer showed the first copy of Carroll’s Alice stories but I didn’t see this anywhere in the collections. The Magna Carta was pretty underwhelming. The library itself isn’t the best looking I’ve ever seen. There are some pretty frickin cool libraries in the world (just search “coolest libraries” you’ll thank me).

Finally, we headed to Trafalgar Square where I saw another street musician who was interesting; he played the guitar in a real funky way and I thought it was fun to see. We were stopped for an impromptu trip to King’s Cross Station, where we saw the fake Platform 9 ¾ (from that one book by JK Rowling). The queue to take a picture with the silly little cart in the wall was ridiculously long. I could not bring myself to stand in that. The National Gallery was our primary destination in Trafalgar and I thought it was fascinating. The art is incredible. It doesn’t contain a lot of art that I like, which is more of the impressionists and surrealists, particularly those more in the abstract line. Picasso is always interesting, with his cubism though, and I was still able to appreciate how truly great the Rembrandts, Michaelangelos, Raphaels, etc. were. They had a Degas exhibit that I really enjoyed. Aside from him I really enjoyed the Monets again, van Gogh, and Seurat.

After the National Gallery I had my first English Breakfast and yes, I did have it for dinner. But it was real good. It was from a place called Garfunkels which is basically right at Trafalgar. If that’s what they eat for breakfast every morning (I know, they don’t, stop telling me about how being a tourist is different than living here) I could definitely do it. Now I’ve moved the bed stain to Daniel’s side, climbed the mountain without the burden of a rock on my shoulders, and am preparing to say goodbye to London tomorrow.

I have truly loved this city and I know I’ll be back many times. From the architecture to the transit, the people with their accent, the food, the culture and history, and yes, the monarchy, I just love everything about England. I know it’s not all perfect, they have a number of political issues at the moment as well, but there’s so much to love and I so do admire it. I hop on a coach tomorrow to head down to Brighton until Friday. They’ve been battered by Storm Brian the last few days, so hopefully that’s all calmed down by tomorrow. As much as I love London, I’m excited to get to a less touristy place of the country and try to really live as an English gal. The Twin Cities are sure to be beautiful and I’ll likely have a bunch of photos of the beach to share, but I don’t have any plans for Brighton. I’m planning to just wing it. Again, to live as the English would. So, for now, with a heart full of love, I prepare for goodbye. Goodnight, London.

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