London Special 01: It Begins

And we’re back! Last night at about 17:30 my plane landed at Sea-Tac here in dreary Seattle, marking the end of my holiday in London. It was fantastic, and I took 156 pictures, so for the next few weeks  Haecceity will be taking a break from Japan and doing the UK instead. These posts will be a bit photo heavy, so I hope you enjoy!

This is what we left behind.

Anyway, we flew out last Tuesday. The flight was at 19:15 and I met the two friends I was traveling with (Dana and Nicola) at about 16:00. And, as you can see from the photo to the left of your screen, it was snowing in South Seattle, so it was awesome to go somewhere else.

Because of the time difference, despite only being about a nine and a half hour flight, we got to London at 11:30 Wednesday morning and had to stay up for hours. I can’t sleep on planes, so by mid-evening I felt like I could have slept for a year. It all worked out and, despite waking up at 4:00 in the morning (we ate breakfast, then went back to bed till 8:00), we adjusted okay. No severe jet lag.

It was a gorgeous day.

Thursday was our first proper day and it was, for me, the worst of the trip. Like I said, we got up at 8:00, but had to hang around for longer than I liked because there was a problem with the shower in our room (they fixed it). But we finally got out and headed straight for Westminster Abbey. All three of us had been to London before, but Westminster Abbey is one of the most beautiful places in the whole world and worth repeat trips. Despite the price (£15 for adults) you should include it in your itinerary if you go to London. Totally worth it and very much recommended. And the audio guide is narrated by Jeremy Irons! All I can say about it really is that it’s breathtaking and amazing and so culturally important you can feel it in the air. No photos inside, so all I have for you is an exterior shot, but if you ever get the chance you need to go. One of my favorite places in London, no question.

Hazy day, but still wonderful.

After Westminster, we ate at a pub that was okay, but nothing amazing, and then crossed the bridge to go to the London Film Museum. It’s in the County Hall near the London Eye, which we skipped because it’s expensive, takes 30 minutes, and London is rarely clear enough for the view to be worth it, and the location alone is just fun. Right on the bank of the Thames. It was very warm, about 18C (65F), but I had a headache that was getting worse by the minute, so when my friends went into a zombie-themed horror house, I stayed outside and sat in the sun. It was definitely the right decision.

Exterminate!

When they were finished, we headed straight for the museum (£13.50), which I really enjoyed because I love cinema. But your mileage may vary – if you’re not really into it, don’t bother. They had rooms devoted to different studios and themes (props from Harry Potter, costumes from horror films, etc.) and when we were there they were doing a special thing for Charlie Chaplin, too. It even had a mini-theatre with clips of his films. We wandered through at a leisurely pace and it was delightfully quiet. And I had to get a picture with the Daleks in the Doctor Who room, of course. I can’t resist a Doctor Who exhibit.

And that was when it went a bit pear-shaped. The headache that I’d been hoping was just dehydration was actually a migraine and, after sitting on the Piccadilly Line feeling like I was either going to throw up or start crying, I went back to the hotel and collapsed in bed with the duvet over my head. My friends did continue on to Piccadilly Circus, but my first day ended at about 16:00. They kindly got me some pain killers and, fortunately, by Friday morning I was right as rain.

So that was day one! I’ll be back soon with our continued adventures and more photos.

London is amazing.

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