Monday, May 2, 2011
This day was reserved for cliche tourist things and of course, the best area to go about doing exactly that is the South Bank. The night before, I was debating on my attire for the day (which was not decided until the morning itself) and I’m glad I went for the practical boots instead of the hot, but would-probably-kill-me high-heeled ones. There was a lot of walking involved, and I mean A LOT.
Our first stop was at a nearby Wetherspoon pub to experience a full English breakfast. A traditional English breakfast consists of bacon, eggs, sausage, beans, fried/grilled tomatoes, hash browns and black pudding/grilled mushroom. Of course, there are varieties on what’s in an English breakfast, but this is the menu for that particular pub.
Then it was off to Southbank to hobnob with all the other tourists. Except we didn’t do any hobnobbing and mostly stuck to ourselves except for the occasional “Excuse me.” Our group was composed of the four of us, plus Angel’s mom, two sisters and cousin. It must have been difficult to round us all up, what with our tendency to wander off, or be left behind so we can take pictures of everything, so Angel bought a Union Jack flag with the picture of the royal couple right smack in the middle. (We all took turns having our pic taken with it. LOL.)
Dale and I did get lost at some point, despite our host/travel guide’s best effort. It was alright, we managed to find our way to them under the London Eye after a few panicked phone calls that costed us a lot of pesos.
We walked along the South Bank Centre, passing by street performers, book and print sales, and small parks (where it became apparent that Jerome has a thing for chasing pigeons away) along the way. Tate Modern was also along the way, but none of us were really into modern art, so we just took pictures outside.
Then it was off to Covent Garden. There was a lot of construction going on for the Olympics 2012 so it wasn’t, well, optimal for pictorials. But we did manage to take pics with some English phone booths. Awesome.
After moooooore walking, we also visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, ostensibly as the end of our tour day. But we still had enough energy (we didn’t want to waste the day), so we went on towards West End & Soho to eat at this ice cream parlor that came highly recommended by Angel and Ajay. I met a nice shop owner that was also a Madridista (it was Clasico the day after) and we bonded over our mutual loathing of everything Barca. Star, Angel’s younger sister, also got hit on by a Danish waiter — she got free ice cream. Actually, I’m not sure if he’s Danish, but he looks an awful lot like Nicklas Bendtner, so…
So, a summary of where we went that day:
- Big Ben and the House of Parliament
- Westminster Abbey (well, outside of it anyway)
- London Eye
- South Bank Centre (River Thames)
- Millenium Bridge
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Convent Garden
- West End & Soho