Big Sights of London

On Saturday I embarked on an adventure into London!  From the rail station in my town to London Paddington takes around forty minutes - basically nothing for someone who is use to making a two hour trip every other week.  I decided since I have only been to London one other time that I should go ahead and see 'the big sites' again.  Thus with my Insight Guides Explore London book and my City Maps 2Go app loaded to London on my tablet I set off!

I started by taking the Underground to the south bank and headed for Tower Bridge.  I then started walking east and by London Bridge to Borough Market.  This Market is the most renowned market in London and is celebrating 1000 years of being on Southwark.  Inside is booths full of amazing food - you could get just about everything here.  After putzing around, I ended up getting a sandwich from Gastronomica - and it was positively delicious.

From here I continued walking the path beside the Thames and ended up by Tate Modern.  I was looking around and saw that the admission was free and decided to go in.  Tate Modern in London's modern museum and holds artwork from artists such as Picasso.  From the terrace I caught a great view of the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Continuing toward the London Eye I found myself perusing through a sidewalk book sale, watching fake statues, watching some sort of a Jamaican music dance video being filmed, and watching a man make incredibly large bubbles while tiny children popped them with joy.

Approaching the London Eye there started being larger and larger amounts of tourists.  I think that if you actually live in London you would almost never go down to Southbank because of all the tourists.  I walked across the bridge towards the House of Parliament and Big Ben - as always the buildings are remarkable.  I then passed by Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's and onto St. James Park.  This park was originally a swamp.  Henry VIII had it drained, Charles II had it changed to a straight canal, and George IV changed it again by adding a bend, island and bridge.  This park is a very nice place to sit down and enjoy yourself - as long as you aren't afraid of birds.  It seemed that the ducks had the right away in this park and you were not to get in their way - I know, I almost got hit in the head by one.

From here I walked to the Mall and up to Buckingham Palace to say hello to the Queen.  I then took a turn into Green Park and saw the Canadian memorial.  I then sat down on the lawn for a 'what do I do next?' break.  It was lovely park but the grass could have been a little bit shorter (yes, I am still loving the grass here).

I decided to get onto the Underground and head to Oxford Circus since it was fairly close.  Oxford Circus is located on Oxford Street and is a popular shopping destination.  Needless to say, I was very overwhelmed by the amount of stories each shop had and the amount of clothing in them; not to mention the crows, protests and something dealing with the NFL along the streets.  The H&M for example has five floors - only one of which is for men's clothing - CRAZY!!

After being overwhelmed for about an hour I decided to fulfill one of my dreams of going to IKEA!  I ended up going to the Wembley IKEA because I knew that the Tottenham vs. Arsenal game was going on near the Tottenham IKEA and it might be a pain to get in and out of.  Words can not explain how excited I was to go and I found some things I still needed for my room while I was there!

After two plus hours in IKEA... I took the Jubilee line to Baker Street to head onto the Bakerloo line back to Paddington.  Before I changed lines I got out of the station to have a look at the Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes, who is a little way outside the station.  Needless to say, the Sherlock statue is sadly not based off of Benedict Cumberbatch's interpretation.

All in all it was about a twelve hour trip and I certainly tuckered myself out.  But now I'm off to plan my trip for next weekend!

P.S. My camera was not liking the overcast weather of England so hopefully I can play with it this week to get better images for next time.

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