Monday, August 07, 2006

 

London (31 July – 3 August)

Hi again,

What a flight. After being delayed on the tarmac at Gatwick, it took them ages to take us to the terminal in buses. We were quickly through customs, but then it took a long time for our bags to come out. Rather annoying. As a result, I arrived at Victoria Station after midnight, which meant the tube was closed, just the thing in needed at midnight. After catching 3 buses I finally made it back to Jenny’s at around 1.45 am. Once arriving everyone in the house was asleep, leaving me to spend the next half hour standing outside trying to ineffectively wake them up. Just as I was preparing to sleep on the porch, Jenny came down to open the door. The end to what was a very interesting evening of travelling.

Monday it was to Madame Tussauds with Mary, one of Jenny’s housemates. It was great fun. We got a fair few photo’s. I didn’t see any wax one of me though. Could it be because I’m not famous?? Hmm, I’ll ponder that one. Some of the exhibits looked nothing like who they were meant to be, however the one of Aunt Liz was very accurate, quite impressive actually. On the opposite end of the spectrum was the one of Jerry Springer. If he wasn’t holding a microphone I would never have known who it was. The dungeon exhibit downstairs was great. It was a combination of live actors and wax exhibits. Even I jumped (don’t tell anyone). It was then off to dinner with Jon, Jo and Amanda, Jenny’s other housemate. The fajita’s were actually really nice.

Tuesday was time for a bit of shopping, before giving some of my family in London a call. It was great to catch up with Anne, my Pop’s cousin. We had a great chat. It was then off to the Tower of London. The castle is amazing. The armoury is fantastic, the weaponry on display was amazing. The castle also provided a great view of Tower Bridge. Until I arrived in London, I was under the impression that Tower Bridge was actually London Bridge. Turns out I was wrong. London Bridge is the next bridge along, and it’s a tad boring and bland.

That evening I caught up for a few beers with Troy (Aitkin) and a friend of Sarah Wood’s to talk all things Doha and life in the UK. It was a great chance to talk all things sports and transport, share stories and enjoy a few beers. We went to a great Vietnamese restaurant near Victoria Station.

My last day was very busy. I went to the Imperial War Museum in the morning. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay long enough as I had other things I wanted to see. I will definitely be going back though, obviously not anytime soon, but I will go back. It was off to do some more shopping and seeing the city. I went to Harrods for a bit of a peruse. Then went and did some shopping on Oxford Street before heading to Trafalgar Square. They were setting up for the Trafalgar Square Festival which was starting the next day. It would have been good to go to.

That evening I went to visit my cousin, who I didn’t really know existed, Ross. I had heard of him, but didn’t know where he was in England. He owns a wine bar in Islington called Colebrookes, it’s on Colebrookes Row. If you are in London it is worth visiting, it’s a nice bar. It was great to meet him. Unfortunately he will be following England during the Ashes series, to bad he will feel the horrible feeling of defeat. I then headed out for dinner with Jon, Jo, Jenny and Amanda. It was a really good end to a fantastic holiday in the UK and Europe.

The next day it was off to Dubai. The original plan was to fly out at 10 am, getting me there at 8 pm, 5 minutes before the others arrived. Unfortunately the flight was delayed at Gatwick, getting me there around 11ish. Thanks to massive lines in customs and a long wait for my bag, it made it to the hotel around 1am. Oh well these things happen. On a positive note I did get to watch the end of Ice Age 2. It turns out that the two mammoths did get together and it was a happy ending. Yay for them.

My trip through the UK and Europe was absolutely fantastic. I had the greatest time, added 5 more country stamps in my passport, and got a fair bit of relaxation. Every country had some many highlights, as you can probably tell. I didn’t have any complaints, I got to see some amazing sights, and catch up with people I haven’t seen in months, and years for that matter. If you asked me to pinpoint one good thing, I don’t think I could. So many exciting things happened. Seeing Tracy and travelling across Ireland, seeing the fantastic sights of Amsterdam and Oslo, catching up with Amber and Zoe in Edinburgh, seeing the wonderful landscape and sights of Scotland, seeing so many great things in London, and catching up with Jo, Jenny, Amanda and Mary. It was truly fantastic being able to catch up with one of my best mates Jonno, have a number of beers and travel to so many countries with him. I had a fantastic time.
Although this chapter of my trip has ended, the holiday is not over. Next it’s off to Dubai to meet up with Disco, Lewi, Nath, Mary, Jess and Muzza.

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