Friday, August 8, 2008

Arrival in London (Part I)

First I must apologize for not getting these photos up sooner. Life gets busy in those changing times of life, which, for me, seem to come at least every three months. After my tour to London, I found myself in a shocking shortage of time. I needed to get packed up (which proved to be a lot more complicated than I thought), finish up project at work (which took more time than I usually spent at work), and say goodbye to many dear friends I had made in Brussels. Bright and early the next Saturday morning, only seven days after being in the same station on my way to London, I found myself leaving Brussels for France. Sadly, when I arrived in France I couldn’t get my wireless card to read the wifi signals in my hotel and other places. I felt like launching it out the window but resisted the urge. I am now writing this entry and saving it to my hard drive in hopes that someday soon I can post it on my blog. If you’re reading it, then I have probably done just that (or you’ve hacked into my computer to which I would have to say, “shame on you”). Anyway, the commencement of my exciting four days in London!

My train left Brussels at 6:50 in the morning on Saturday, July 19, 2008. I arrived in London at 7:53. Quick train, one might think, and it indeed was. But it wasn’t quite that fast. There is a one-hour time set back between Brussels and London that one has to remember, so really the train ride was two hours. Still pretty fast if you ask me.

I arrived just as the Old City was beginning to wake up. The perfect time, really. After a quick breakfast at the McDonald’s right across from the train station, I set off. It took me fully 2 hours to get my coordination, eat breakfast, purchase bus and metro passes, and arrive on Constitution Hill. Here she is:

Strange, I thought, since the United Kingdom doesn’t have a written constitution, to have, as the connection between Parliament and the Royal Palace, a monument called Constitution Hill. My apologies for the picture. My camera takes photos slightly angled (or I’m crooked myself, who knows?).

Next I walked up the path through the beautiful St. James Park toward Buckingham Palace. Below is my first glimpse of my first recognizable landmark in England!

Here are some “bobbies” guarding her Majesty’s palace from all manner of evil: terrorist, vandals, thieves, and, of course, the French:

And a Royal Guard.

As you can tell, it there weren’t any guards in the fuzzy hats doing the guarding. Not sure why not, but there you have it. I was back in front of the palace again at 11:30, but the Changing of the Guard was canceled because it rained a bit. I was disappointed, but there were so many people I don’t think I would have been able to see it anyway. And I’m not big on hanging around in large gatherings of people. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate people? I hate people. I love persons, but people are generally loud, rude, uncouth, and uncaring to an individual. Below is a picture facing the opposite direction of the palace, toward St. James Garden and a big monument that I should know the name of but don’t. As you can tell, there are still enough tourists.

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