Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day 2: London Sites

     Phew, lawzy! After only a few catnaps on the plane, we were worn out. Our group was meeting up with another tour group in the airport before heading to the hotel. Their flight was delayed...2 hours or so! A few of us tried to catch a few Zzzz's in the airport while we waited. When the other crew from Tennessee arrived, we had enough time for a bus ride (after cramming all of our luggage in a tiny bus) to our hotel (Comfort Inn Hayes & Harlington), find our rooms and get the tour started. We were met at the hotel by our tour guide, Anja Henckel. (Don't forget we are on a tour sponsored by EF Tours). 
    We were to head to town and meet with the other 3 groups that would join us for the duration of the tour. There would be a total of 50 students and adults touring together, from Tennessee, Illinois, Oklahoma and California.
    Oh the walk! Not sure how many miles we had to walk to the train station from our hotel but it felt like 50 after going with no sleep this long.  We boarded a train that would take us to the London Underground. We had to learn the rules of the Underground when traveling as a group. Remember where you are supposed to get off, get on/off quickly because it doesn't wait for you, if you miss your stop- get off at the next stop and someone (knowledgable of the Underground) from the group will come get you, if you miss getting on with everyone else- just grab the next one and get off at your stop. Kind of nerve racking at first but we finally got the hang of it.
    Off of the Underground and up the stairs.... OOOOOO, AAAHHHH- Tafalgar Square!

  We were given time to go find lunch, exchange money and roam around before I meeting up with the other groups for a small walking tour and supper. Clay and I ventured out on our own. We exchanged a little money, roamed the streets of London and stopped at a few iconic spots for photos. We visited the Museum of Art and the Museum of Photography and picked up a couple of souvenirs, as well. We didn't eat lunch but grabbed a Mars bar ice cream and some free wi-fi at a McDonalds.

       Anja filled us in on the history of Trafalgar Square before we started the walk. We strolled through the famous Covent Garden, past Rules, London's oldest restaurant and through London's Chinatown. We got to our restaurant, Bistro 1 and were treated to pan fried chicken with gravy and potatoes. 


   One more stop . Can you name it? 

Remember that walk we had from our hotel to the train to the Underground this morning? Yeah, now we have to reverse it! At least we could walk off the banoffee pie. Finally, we made it back to our hotel. After 44 hours of no sleep, I was ready to hit the bed. I think we all were. Next, more London! Do we get to see the Queen? 

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