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Caitie's Travels

Embracing all that London has to offer: Wax Sculptures, Art, Food, History & A Giant Ferris Wheel!

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 29 March 2011 | Views [777]

I spent a weekend soaking up the tourist attractions of London with Amber and Steve, who are on a holiday in England and Europe from Australia. We kicked off the weekend with a trip to Madame Tussauds, where we were amazed at how real all the wax sculptures seem! It was very busy but not too hard to get a paparazzi snap with our favourite celebs. I chilled with Will Smith, shook hands with Robin Williams, texted Shane Warne on my phone and ordered Barrack Obama about from his White House desk. I may have propositioned Prince William and posed some intelligent questions to Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton as well! I had words with Pope John Paul, Mahatma Ghandi and the Dalai Llama about the state of the world. We nervously made our way through the scream room, which sent us on a walk through the dungeons, with live actors playing the part of crazed inmates! After that we relaxed by taking a tour through London’s history in a traditional black cab, like an indoor amusement ride really! The experience ended with a 4D short film, where Spiderman, Ironman, the Hulk and other superheroes banded together to save London. It truly was a four dimensional experience, as we were sprayed with mists of water, had pressurized air shoot past our heads and where prodded from all sides by the seats! It was quite an amusing experience really, and resulted in a lot of squealing and giggling…

 

After enjoying some lunch we headed over to the Tate Modern for to get in touch with our artistic side. It was not a very attractive building; it looked more like an old industrial factory made from brick! Inside we viewed art from modern times, and eventually ended up at the bar on the top floor. We savoured some organic beer and cider before heading back home for a short while before dinner. Dinner was wood fired pizza at my favourite local pizzeria, and then we caught the train into Covent Garden for drinks with my London buddies. It was nice to be able to introduce two groups of friends to each other; it felt like having home come to me! After a couple of drinks we headed back home for some well deserved rest… Sunday was another big day!

 

Sunday was another busy day; we started by going to the Tower of London. We heard the tales through history from a Yeomen Warder, as he guided us through the grounds and pointed out some grisly facts. We saw the ravens guarding the tower, perused the Crown Jewels and learnt about medieval torture methods. We climbed up the ‘trip stairs’ of the Bloody Tower, where every fifth stair is a slightly different height to trip up any soldiers trying to invade the tower. We learnt about armor from each generation of royals, including Henry the Eighth, whose armor tends to make most men feel a touch inadequate (purely psychological warfare apparently!). After the Tower we headed over to Westminster Abbey, where we attended Evensong. It was very soothing to hear the angelic voices of the boys’ choir fill the expanse of the abbey, and quite a nice break from traipsing around the city. It became a bit of a game to ‘spot the priest’, every time there was a spoken part of the service, a different priest would come out to read, and each time they stood at a different alter! It kept us on our toes for sure.

 

Following Evensong we walked over the River Thames to the London Eye. It takes around 20minutes for the Eye to make a complete revolution, and we enjoyed the 360 degree vista as we slowly made our way to the top and then back down again. It was late afternoon so the sun was on its way down and casted a shadowy haze across the city to the north. The southern view was a stark contrast with clear blue skies! It was an amazing experience though, and one I would love to go on again, maybe at night or sunset. By the time we had finished our ride on the Eye it was just about time for dinner, so we caught the train out to Brick Lane, the Indian Food capital of London, and bartered our way along the Lane in the search for the best deal. We eventually found a place that gave us a four course meal and a couple of rounds of drinks for 10 pounds, which we were rather happy with! The meal was pretty good and we rolled back home and into bed, exhausted from embracing the tourist opportunities that London has to offer.

 

Tags: brick lane, london eye, madame tussauds, tower of london, westminster abbey

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