Last days in London!

Posted: 29/10/2008 in Europe

I can’t believe the trip is coming to an end, are 2 months really up? I have to say I am actually looking forward to getting home to my own house, bed, wardrobe etc… Unfortunately the friend I caught up with in London heard that a lot in the 3 days we spent together! I know him from way back in primary school which I like to think of as being only 9 years ago and that really I am on my gap year travelling the world rather than long service leave. It does make you feel old when you met gap year students in the hostels and they are all “…so like totally, I have a year before I go to uni. Solid!!!” What the hell does solid even mean (now I sound old)? Then they ask you, “so how did you manage to get time off work” and your mumbled reply is “long service leave”, yeh that separates the chickens from the hens! Anyway I digress, again.

Marcus and I did all the touristy things, tower of London, London museum, which is very interesting for the history of London. Did you know London was founded by the Romans, raided by Saxon pirates and then following the collapse of the roman empire and desertion of London, was settled by the Anglo-Saxons. During the 9th century London was persistently attacked by vikings and by the 10th century came under the rule of Kings. Then there’s medieval London, Tudor London, the black plague, the great fire etc… etc… etc… I could go on. No wonder the poms whinge, they haven’t had it easy! We also saw tower bridge, which I actually thought was London bridge – you know the one in the song that fell down and was built back up with all sorts of things. For example, pins and needles. Now why would you build a bridge out of pins and needles, for a start that’s really bad infection control not to mention bad for your tires and a tad painful to walk across.  Then there’s sticks and bones. That’s just gross, what is it with the Europeans and building things out of bones? Never mind the actual length of the song (do you really think you’ll get a 5 year old to pay attention long enough to learn the 20 verses). Well we got to London bridge and found it to be a boring, plain looking bridge. I have since learnt that the real London bridge was sold to Lake Havasu City, Arizona and is the largest antique ever sold (well Duh it’s a bridge!).

An interesting site was the old operating theatre and herb museum which contained treatments, old recipes for ailments and surgical instruments. Can I say how glad I am that I was not a patient in the 18th century. Some of the gynae (women’s bits for those who don’t know) instruments were like tools of torture! Apparently anesthetic was yet to be discovered so surgeries….hmmm, ouch doesn’t quite cut it does it? Of course I had to go to the Florence Nightingale museum to learn about the woman who ruined my life, sorry, I mean gave me an invaluable and rewarding career. She was actually quite an amazing person, highly skilled and intelligent and turned nursing around from having a reputation of drunken, promiscuous women to….hang on, whats changed?

We checked out some gardens, practised night photography and went to Harrods just so I could say I’d been. Picture a really dolled up Myer, even the loo’s are posh! Of course we had to do the English pub thing and it’s not like your short of choice when it comes to pubs but they all shut down early (about 11pm) what the??? Finding a restaurant is hard though, it seemed bookings were essential. On the Sunday we went to Hillsong London, a large church in Australia that has churches around the world, one being London. It was in the Dominion theatre seating 2000+ and was pretty full. The music was, as usual, brilliant.

The funniest thing about my time in London was actually doing the touristy thing with another person. I have been travelling on my own for 2 months, making my own decisions, deciding where to eat, reading the maps myself, deciding whether to walk or catch public transport and suddenly here I am with another person. It was indeed interesting and a challenge to my independence. Having said that I’m sure Marcus felt the same way too and he did let me drag him everywhere!

As much as I love the atmosphere I couldn’t live in London, it’s too cold and rains all the time. Those that know me know I’m a hibernator in winter coz it makes me miserable. Luckily I’m coming home to summer, whooo!

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