My second day in London began bright, but not too early. We headed out the door around 11 am and took the Tube to Leicester Square to pick up our London Passes, which get us into lots of amazing London attractions. Then, we headed for the London Eye, which isn’t one of those attractions, but Fast Pass tickets purchased in advance ensured that we wouldn’t have to wait in line for very long at all. We tried our hand at changing trains on our way with great success, ending up at Westminster station in no time. The Thames greeted us as we emerged from the Underground, the London Eye staring at us (see what I did there?) from across the water, and there above us rose the Houses of Parliament and the iconic clock tower. We made our way across Westminster Bridge, just two more sheep in the herds of tourists on a sunny – and very warm – day, and boarded the Eye, taking in breathtaking and far-reaching views of London as our capsule slowly made its way around. I know it’s a very touristy thing to do, but the views make it worth navigating the crowds.
Once our capsule returned us to land, we made our way back across Westminster Bridge and had lunch at a pub across from Parliament. We even had lunchtime entertainment, courtesy of the woman at the bar who was already pissed…and it was only very early afternoon. After lunch, we ventured across Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey (covered by our London Pass). After a quick wander inside St. Margaret’s Church, we entered the Abbey and received our little audio-tour thingies. Numbers on our map indicated specific points of interest and when the matching numbers are pressed, Jeremy Irons’ amazing voice fills you in with more info. So many people are commemorated there, it’s really quite amazing. Most of the inscriptions are in Latin…which, unfortunately for me, I dropped after three weeks back at university. The entire Abbey was absolutely breathtaking, completely awe-inspiring, and Henry VII’s Lady Chapel was particularly stunning. Poet’s Corner was very interesting to wander through, especially as a literature major, and the Abbey shop had lots of interesting and fun souvenirs.
After the Abbey, we met up with a friend of C’s who also happens to be in London as part of an extended stop in the UK…and her custom’s official was just as unfriendly – if not more so – than mine. She and C set off to wander and explore while I headed back to the flat to rest my already aching feet, the price for tons of walking in relatively new shoes (I knew better, but…), and stayed in for the rest of the night. Although it seemed that we almost instantly adjusted to the eight hour time difference – thanks to the advice to hit the ground running – I was still feeling the effects of the 32 hours I was awake the day before.