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Don't mistake London Bridge for the Tower of London!

Written on: Saturday January 27th, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen

Hannah and I woke this morning to a sunny day in London. We got ready and dressed around 9am and got our free breakfast in the hostel. We then headed to the Tube station to buy a day pass which also worked on the trains. We then headed to monument station to meet up for a tour of the city. We got there an hour early so Hannah and I walked around and walked to The Tower Bridge and took some pictures. We then stopped into a Starbucks to get some coffee and kill some time before the tour. We then met with a group of around 25 people and started our four hour tour of London. It was a Free Walking tour that I heard of from another girl at ESC, and this tour group has tours in Berlin, Amsterdam, Munich and London and they are planning one in Paris. It is an awesome tour because it is free, but the tour guide works off of tips. Basically you tip the tour guide however much you believe the tour should cost. We started at the Monument which commemorates the rebuilding post the fires that devastated London in 1666, then after this we trecked London Bridge and saw the view of Tower Bridge. It was interesting to learn that what many people believe to be the London Bridge, is actually Tower Bridge, and that London Bridge is not the worldly wonder that everyone believes it to be, but is merely a basic bridge over the river thames while the Tower Bridge is the iconic image of two towers on each side of the Thames connected by a bridge. The rest of our tour included Bank of England, Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, the Globe theater, Covent Garden, St. Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Horse Gaurds, Churchills bunker, Big Ben, Parliament and much more. It was a long day! Having been to London before, I have seen all the tourist sights, but it was nice to see it again and walk all over the city. At the end of the tour Hannah and I went to the National Gallery. Walking in Trafalgar Square brought back memories from when I visited London when I was younger with my family. I remember eating lunch with my brother in the square and feeding the pigeons, which we learned on the tour are becoming a huge issue for the Brits and feeding the Pigeons and highly prohibited. We went into the Gallery which was free and I really wanted to see the Monet, Manet, Degas and Van Gogh Impressionist exhibition. It was really packed, but it was a good exhibition. The impressionists are some of my favorites and it was awesome to see all those painitngs in one short trip! There were Monet's paintings throughout france with his waterlily's and the bridge at Giverny (which I plan on visiting in May) and my favorite being The Poplars, which are trees that you see often scattered throughout the french country side. Then there was Manet and Renoir. Renoir also had several paintings of the French country landscape, but my favorite his The Umbrellas, which was interesting to learn that was painted on two separate points in Renoirs life, and over those two separate times, his art style changed over the years. Then there was some famous Van Gogh's; Van Gogh's Chair and Sunflowers. This was a great exhibition because the impressionist paintings are some of my favorite and I got to see some impressionist painters I never heard of such as Seurat. After visiting the museum we took the tube to Harrods to visit and experience the world famous department store. It was HUGE. We walked around and I couldnt believe how large and ornate it was. After walking around we headed out and walked around the Kensington area which was quiet and had several gorgeous brownstones. After walking around trying to find a Tube station, we learned that most of the tube stations were closed due to construction. This was very sad news because we were extremely tired and cold. Eventually we found a bus stop and rode a double decker back to our hostel where we rested for a bit then headed out for a late dinner. It was such a long day, but I was starving and the baked potato I bought at Covent Garden was not keeping me throughout the day. We got dinner at a Fish and Chips place in Camden, and since I do not like fish, I got Chicken and chips. after dinner we took a bus to Leichester square and walked around. We eventually ended up in Covent Garden where we were earlier in the day. Covent Garden is packed during the day, but is not too croweded at night except for the bar. It was nice to get away from all the crowds that are packed around leichester square. After walking aorund for some time we decided to head back to the hostel and get a good night of sleep after walking all over London. The next day we woke up early to check out of our hostel. Since our hostel was in the camden area and we were planning on meeting our bus back to the airport at gloucester street, we thought it would be nice to walk through regents park. It was a nice large park so it was a good end to our trip. After getting through the park we arrived at our bus stop early so we found a starbucks and relaxed there for some time. It was interesting to see how many starbucks were in London. Somebody told me that there were more starbucks in London than there are in New York city, this fact really surprised me. So I ordered a scone and latte while Hannah had a muffin and a Hazelnut hot chocolate while we people watched. We finally borded our bus and returned to Luton airport to go back to Rouen. London was a fun weekend. I wish it was longer because there was so much more that I wanted to see like Portobello market but I can always come back in the future. It was nice to return to London after not remembering too much of it since I last visited when I was in High School. London is a very busy city full of culture and history, but I think I much prefer the English countryside. Hopefully during my five months here I can try and visit family that I have in Chitchester, England, because the English countryside was fun when I visited last and is a nice rest from the hustle and bustle of London.

 

From Cathy on Dec 21st, 2015

I had car accident (it wasn't my fault, it was parekd when another car run into it). Few days after I've received a letter from my isurance company saying: Please contact us to confirm how the details of the other party were optained? . Also they are asking me if I was a witness of the accident or did a witness provide me with information. I don't know what exactly they are asking about? Dothey want to know how I get details of the other driver or are they asking about the company that have my car now to repair it?