Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Oh, the Places You'll Go: London

Seriously, London rocks. I think it was partly because after weeks of travelling in non-English speaking countries, we could go up to someone and hug them yelling "DUDE YOU SPEAK ENGLISH YOU ARE MY NEW BEST FRIEND!" (For some reason, we didn't make many friends in London...)


One of the first things we did was go to Kings Cross Station (which was right across from the train station). (Also, there were pianos in the station and there was an older guy who was playing and he was just the loveliest piano player. Dude, wherever you are, whoever you are, thank you.) Anyways, Platform 9 3/4 was a store full of Harry Potter merchandise and they had a trolley halfway into the wall and you could pretend to run into it then buy the picture for 3000% its cost. 


We spent about fifteen million years running around Baker Street, searching for 221B. We went up alleyways, took wrong streets, doubled back and FINALLY found it. (We were even using the GPS on the phone, too. Which is just sad.) There was the museum through the doorway, but it was ten euros each ($11.50 US or $14.50 AU) which was a bit much for a two minute museum. The store beside the museum was really cool, though, even though it was a bit expensive. (That's where I got my bookmark from The Bookshelf Tag.)



One of my favourite parts of going to London was visiting the British Museum. (I know, nerdy, right?) It was huge and beautiful and there was so much history and knowledge seeped into every particle of that gorgeous building. Jabberwockies, I could have spent days lost in that place. (And it had the most beautiful room in the entire world, which is a story for another day...)


They had a whole room just for Japanese stuff.
THERE WAS A SAMURAI SUIT. 

One of my favourites parts was the African exhibit. First of all, the traditional weapons and clothing were so beautiful. My favourite part was the art. There was a civil war (1977-1992) in Mozambique, and after the war there were so many weapons lying around. The Christian Council of Mozambique started a program, "Transforming Guns into Hoes," where they collected weapons and gave people tools instead. Some artists take these weapons and make them into sculptures, like the tree below. 

It's one of the most beautiful stories I've ever heard. 


Then, of course, there were the landmarks, which were cool and generally awesome. 



Taken from the top of the Shard, the tallest building in London. 

We spent a morning enjoying Stonehenge, and if you ever get the chance I highly recommend going. It's so interesting because they don't actually know what Stonehenge is for, but they sure do have a lot of theories. I was impressed because people who are smarter than I am think the stones are from Wales. Wales is a long way from Londonish area, especially when you're dragging heavy stones five times your size. 


Unfortunately, we couldn't go into Stonehenge and it was all roped off. (Something about protecting a national landmark or something.) BUT it was the reason why there were no tourists in my shots, so you win some, you lose some, I suppose. 

Also, it was freezing (about 6 degrees C or 40ish degrees F) and raining and I couldn't stop shivering the entire time. We did meet a nice retired couple from Nova Scotia, though, so Dad had a good chat with them about this year's hockey. I tuned out pretty quickly, but it was nice to hear a familiar accent. 


We went to Harrod's, which was a mistake. We're always short on space (that's what happens when you travel with five people) and buying books is never really a good idea when you're travelling. I swore to myself that I wouldn't burden us with books, but I just couldn't help it. I ended up buying Patrick Ness' More than This and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. The whole trilogy of the last one. *facepalm* 



The floor of the British Museum. 

Have you ever travelled in a country where you didn't speak the language? Do you head to museums whenever you can? Any theories on why Stonehenge was built? 

14 comments:

  1. Ahhhhh London. [insert heart-eyed emoji] I've never been there, but it is my ultimate dream to do so. Despite my family constantly telling me how expensive it is and blah blah. LONDON IS AWESOMENESS AND MAGIC AND HISTORY ALL ROLLED INTO ONE, OKAY?
    I really enjoyed your photos! =)

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    1. *sighs and sinks into fabulous memories* JUST GO. FORGET REALITY AND EXPENSES AND EXPENSIVE PLANE TICKETS AND JUST GO. I have given you permission. Victoria Jackson has spoken. And thank you! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I have to admit, I'm more than a little jealous that you got to visit Stonehenge! I've always sort of been of the opinion that I should see more of my own country prior to travelling abroad, but I would quite happily make an exception for London. Thanks for the great pictures!

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    1. Yeah, Stonehenge was pretty spectacular. Yeah, I would actually highly recommend that you spend some time seeing your own country, because I know we've always regretted not seeing more of Canada before we moved. Thanks for commenting, RM!

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  3. YOU FOUND 221B BAKER STREET!? That is the coolest thing ever! That's definitely on my list of things to do. :) It sounds like you all had a lot of fun. London sounds good.

    I know what you mean about museums. They are the best! I could spend two days in a museum. And bookstores!

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    1. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! London was awesome. England was awesome. Europe was awesome. Travelling is awesome. Life in general is just awesome, ya know?

      *drools at the thought of bookstores and museums*

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  4. I took that same picture of the quote on the floor of the British Museum when I went. XD Unfortunately, I didn't have as much fun when I went to London—I thought that all of the tourist landmarks were so commercial and painful to be around... Still, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit! (And yeah, it is nice that they speak your language and stuff, huh? XD)

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    1. Hahaha, it's a great quote, isn't it? I had to spend forever waiting for people to get out of my way and have about five pictures of people covering a word or two :)

      I didn't mind the tourist landmarks, I thought they were really beautiful. We spent a lot of time just wandering the city and we didn't do any tours (minus Stonehenge) so I had a great time. It was just so cool to walk by and stare up at Big Ben! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it as much :/

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  5. Oh, you've been to London! If there's one city I'd like to go to, that's it. And, you saw the Stonehenge, and a telephone box! (I have a slight obsession with telephone boxes. :D) So what's your theory on the Stonehenge after having seen it?

    Also, your photos are really good! What type of camera do you have?

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    1. London was just amazing :) The telephone boxes were amazing. And Stonehenge was amazing. Everything was just amazing in general. Ha, I actually don't have a theory, but it would have had to be a pretty good reason to drag those stones all the way from Wales.

      Thank you! I have a Canon EOS 600D :)

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  6. LONDOOOON! I'm such a tourist when it comes to London. Brits have a bit of an aversion to being touristy (walking rounds in shorts and socks with a camera is very American), especially *in Britain*, so when I'm in London I have to pretend like I'm there all the time ... but inside ... !!!

    I've actually not done any of the things you did, I've not been to the British Museum (but I have been to the V&A and the National Gallery aka my two fave places ever, art is more my scene than museum-museums, I could spend weeks in the Nat Gallery, did you visit either of them, this sentence is disgustingly long and full of comma splices so why stop here, I could just go for a while) nor any of the other places! Never 221B (though I'd love to!) or Kings Cross or Stonehenge, I don't know that I've even seen Big Ben? Oops. I'd love to live in London for a bit, I really would, its energy is just amazing.

    It is so nice to hear a familiar accent when you're halfway around the world. I love in the airport when you get to your flight and it's like you're all going home together. Like, if I've been in Asia and not seen many British people and the only Brits I have seen have been English, it's so lovely to get to Dubai airport and the Glasgow gate and hear the Glaswegian accent ... I don't know, I do find it bizarrely comforting!

    This comment is really long and I'm not sure how much sense it makes? In my defence I just finished novel third draft!!! So I don't know, I'm a bit excited. You're welcome. ;)

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    1. Hahaha, indeed, that is a very American thing to do :)

      What?!?!?! You need to go to the British Museum. It was free and everything, and utterly amazing. I've never even heard of those places :/ Sorry, uneducated Canadian here. I'll have to check them out if I'm ever in London again (who am I kidding? If? When, more like.) 221B was great, but I'm a huge Sherlock fan and if you're not then it's really just a door. But it was still pretty cool. HOW CAN YOU BE IN LONDON AND NOT SEE BIG BEN. IT'S HUGE. *breathes* I'd love to live in London as well, it was a lot more relaxed than I thought it'd be. Everyone was so nice and I didn't feel like the streets were super busy like L.A. or something. Don't go to L.A. Just saying.

      Oh my goodness, yes, it's one of my favourite feelings in the whole world. And you all share the same background and relatively the same values and stuff, and you all speak the same language with the same accent and it's just so wonderful.

      THAT IS SO AMAZING!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

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    2. You're such an uneducated Canadian! ;) The Nat Gallery is probs the best art gallery in Britain, IT'S AMAZING, and the V&A is another really cool art/fashion/history/culture museum/gallery. It stands for Victoria and Albert, as in the one-time Queen and her hubbie.

      Oddly, I've never wanted to go to LA ...

      It is, isn't it? And thank you! I'm a bit rudderless without it though!

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    3. I'd love to go the the V&A, that sounds so cool. (And I actually know who Victoria and Albert are, despite not being taught in school because Horrible Histories is awesome.)

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