Hard to believe this is my seventh day here already. Working on Monday seems to be bittersweet since I am excited to work at Taylor-Rafferty but I am loving all the free time in London.
Today we had a Blue Badge walking tour starting at 10 a.m. This is just simply a guided tour. The funny thing about this is that about 3/4 of where he took us is where I went and explored last Sunday. We took almost the exact same roads and saw all the same things. We took the tube down to Covent Garden, then walked to Trafalgar Square, and then down to Big Ben. But after Big Ben, he took us over past St. James Park to the road that leads to Buckingham Palace. He explained to us that a rehearsal was taking place here for the parade scheduled for next Saturday. This is an annual parade honoring the Queen’s birthday. They had everything in the parade except for the Queen. It was very interesting to see all the traditions and all the guards standing guard while others came through on horses. Of course all the guards had huge guns and fully uniformed. One of the cooler things was to see the band come through on horses. Amazing that these are all traditions that have been going on for how many years. I will post pictures sometime soon since I didn’t get them on my camera. I plan on going back next Saturday to try to get some pictures of the Queen.
After this, 6 of us walked up to Covent Garden and found a restaurant. I wanted to try something new, and I definitely did. I ordered the chicken livers. I’ve never ordered anything like that before. It actually tasted very good, reminded me somewhat of beef. However, the texture after chewing was very different. Of course it was very mushy as you would think livers would be. But it was pretty good and I’m glad I ordered it.
We then walked back to the National Gallery right by Trafalgar Square to look around. All museums and art galleries are free here, so it’s a great way to spend a day. Some very old paintings here ranging from Van Gogh to Michaelangelo and of course a ton of other artists. They painted in so much detail even though it was from the 1600′s and 1700′s.
Our group said we would meet around 4, and I got very tired from all the walking around the gallery so I decided to go out to Trafalgar Square. I took a seat right by one of the fountains for about 45 minutes and never got bored. Hundreds of people came and went through this busy attraction. I can only imagine where everyone was from. I was probably in a hundred pictures since everyone has their cameras ready when they get here. My face will be all around the world now. Many people came around me and sat for a bit. Rarely did I hear anyone speak English. A few of them said hi to me, but it was impossible to talk any further because of the language barrier. Funny how kids in every culture act the same. Many kids came over and tried to jump up and touch the water and realized they couldn’t reach, so the parents always had to lift them up carefully. I decided this is one of my favorite tourist spots just to see all the different people. There must’ve been people there from a hundred different countries. The only thing that would’ve made it better would’ve been a cup of coffee, but my legs hurt too much to walk right over to the coffee shop nearby. Next time I will be sure to grab a cup.
Now I am just relaxing for an hour or so before heading to the Open Air Theater in Regent’s Park to see “Romeo and Juliet”. The Euro Cup just began, which is one of the best soccer tournaments in Europe. Only 16 teams get into it and games are played every night for the next couple weeks. Unfortunately, England didn’t get past the qualifying rounds, so they aren’t competing. But there is still a lot of excitement to watch everyone else. England has taken much ridicule in the newspapers the past couple days for not making it. Everyone considers England one of the top soccer countries in the world and it was a surprise they didn’t make it in.
I’ll post some pictures hopefully tonight or tomorrow.