Daniel Can’t Choose Hotels
Soooo, quick update for the day. I woke up early and headed to the train station with all my luggage, effectively leaving my AirBnB, a decision I would later regret. Daniel finally arrived and we went to Westminster Abbey. If you have limited time in London, do not go to Westminster Abbey. It’s really not that impressive, it’s expensive, and the queue to get in is pretty long. I mean, Poet’s Corner was interesting, I guess. It was cool to see some of the authors I’ve revered, but many of my favourites aren’t actually in the Abbey, they just have a tile commemorating them.
After Westminster Abbey we went to the Churchill War Rooms. Again, expensive and not altogether that interesting. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really enjoy it either. It was sort of just a time killer and the other time killers I took part in yesterday were free.
Next up was Parliament. Now this I would definitely recommend. The building is beautiful, there’s a ton of history going on in there, and if you don’t already know about English government, it’s interesting to learn a little about it all. I admire the traditions here and I appreciate how ceremonious everything is. If you can, get the guided tour, but make sure to avoid the sexist tour guide. He likes to crack jokes about how women are so beautiful, how men all want to be around women always, and he was just generally pretty misogynistic. Then there’s the fact that he tried to touch every woman in the group. I recoiled when his hand moved toward me. But the other guides looked good!
I Want to Go To Italy/Mexico Next
After Parliament we went to walk home and then took an unexpected detour to Buckingham Palace where Daniel took a picture and we walked away. We found an Italian restaurant on the street that we went into for dinner. It was super authentic and the people that run the place, we figured, must be from the same family; they all spoke Italian to each other and the food was really good. Finally some good dinner! I should say, it amazes me how big the portion sizes are in America. They are so much smaller here, but they’re also just about perfect most of the time, leaving you with a good, hearty, tasty meal that fills you up and keeps you fit.
A Modern Sisyphus
After the meal we hiked the tallest mountain in the Alps. We passed an ailing traveller on our journey upward, an old man doubled over in exhaustion, considering his will to carry on. From further up the man was beckoned forward by his wife of many years, a woman he could only assume, at this point, was an angel: a servant sent from god to bless his calves with the strength to carry onward. He was a modern Sisyphus. Daniel booked a room on the 4th floor of a lift-less building with cramped stairs and halls. But don’t worry, it gets worse. The bed has a gross brown stain on it, the shower has no water pressure nor temperature adjustment (it stays below room temp no matter what), Daniel booked a single bed, and the room is small enough we can barely fit our stuff in it. Did I mention that I can’t take a shower and have a rotten stain on my sheets? If I die in London, you know why.
Tomorrow: Another awful night in this hotel. Also, some museums. They’re free.