6/28/10: London, England
This morning started off with a leisurely walk along the Thames River. As Kevin so aptly put it, “If the Thames River didn’t run through London, it wouldn’t be special.” But even if the dirty Thames isn’t anything special to look at, there are lots of things on it that are worth seeing.
Sarah told us about some of the weirder English government traditions. Apparently Black Rod is some person whose job is, once a year, to knock on the door of the House of Lords, announce the Queen and ask if she can come in. The person who answers the door then says NO to the Queen and slams the door in Black Rod’s face. I asked Sarah why it is that they keep doing this every year and she just shrugged and said, “It’s a tradition.” And people think American politics is crazy!
After our walk along the river, we went to visit the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. The only problem was that the Natural History Museum was so awesome that we spent all afternoon there and didn’t make it anywhere else. The place was crowded with tons of groups of schoolkids, but don’t worry, we pushed them out of the way to make sure we could see all the exhibits.
The Natural History Museum in London also has a humongous collection of pickled animals. It was simultaneously disgusting and extremely fascinating.
When we finally tore ourselves away from the games and displays, it was time to meet a couple of friends. You might remember Chris and Marija from Nepal (where we hiked together for a few days) and from Vietnam (where we stalked them – successfully!). This was our first time seeing them on their own turf, after they finished their own around-the-world trip. We (coincidentally) were staying at a place only a mile from their apartment, and it turns out that they didn’t mind us stalking them (in Vietnam OR in London) so we went over to their place and had dinner together.
Before we left on this trip, Kevin said to me that one of his goals was to meet a lot of new people and make some new friends. Whenever he said that I remembered thinking that I had a lot of goals for the trip, but making new friends was definitely towards the bottom. But now that we’re nearing the end of this trip and I look back on everything we’ve done, I’m realizing that it wouldn’t have been the same without the people we’ve met along the way. It’s helped me take home yet another life lesson. If I can keep in touch with all of the friends that I already have and just add on more along the way, I think my life will be fantastic.
Picture of the Day: Gemstones from the Natural History Museum.