Wednesday, May 19:  Au Revoir France, Hello UK!

I woke up, remembering that we were going to leave again today (boo hoo). I started packing, and then went into the kitchen for breakfast. I ate my usual, and then finished my packing. Today we were going to London! Since we didn’t have a car, we are going to take the train, which passes underwater through the chunnel. When everybody was packed and ready to go, we said goodbye to Blandine, and then left with our bags to walk to the metro. We took a different stop, so it would be direct to our stop, and we walked down and onto the train. When we got out we came right into the station, so we went up a flight and to the area with our train. But we had an hour wait, so we stopped at a little cafe’ to get a drink. I just got a Fanta, but my parents got their coffee. After we finished we went through the metal detectors and into the waiting room. We just sat there, until after a while a fake woman’s voice said to board. We entered into the train track area, walked to our part and got on. It was a nicer train, because it was a long ride (2 and 1/2 hours), and was a lot like an airplane. We found our seats and looked out. We weren’t moving yet, but when we are going the fastest we will be going 180 miles an hour! Then the train started moving, and after five minutes we could see the countryside passing by, and fast! I played cards and stuff, but near the end the driver announced that we were going into the chunnel, and will be there for about 20 minutes. Then it was all dark, and it stayed that way until we popped out. 15 minutes later, we could see London! It was very industrial from this point of view, and soon we stopped and got off. It was a very cool train station here, with lots of lights and junk. Before we got to leave the building, we had to show the people our passports, and sign papers.

What was very neat was that everybody spoke English! Finally! All of the signs were in English too, so it was weird after 2 months of Italian and French. Then we were free to go, so we got in line for some taxis. The taxis were very cool, and were made to look old fashioned. When it was our turn, we hopped in and gave the man our bags and sat down. Dad and I were facing backwards. We talked to the driver, as we drove through to our hotel. He stopped at a long white street in the center of town, and told us to get out. We thanked him, and then went inside the hotel. It had a great lobby, and a huge desk. The woman gave us our key, 49, and then we went up some stairs and into our room. It was pretty cramped, with three beds lined up and a cot. There was a nice bathroom, though. We quickly unpacked and looked around some more, and then decided to go out. The room was near Victoria Station, so we decided to go there to buy books. This one was big and spread out, not like the station in Paris, and soon we found the shop and looked around. Only my mom grabbed a book, so we left and went outside. Right now everyone decided to go on the double-decker tour buses, so we did so. The meeting place was right nearby, so we bought tickets, and waited at the stop. Then a huge bus pulled up and let us on, to the open top floor. The tour guide was very nice as we passed through the Marble Arch area, but then he said that we should get off and hop on to the next one, because this was this bus was finished. We hopped on another one, with an older man giving the tour. We were with him for a longer time, about 2 hours. We first passed by a lot of things like pigeon-less Trafalgar square, Big Ben (YES), and Tower Bridge. The bus moved fast, so we didn’t get THAT much time, but got a great view of the river, too.

When the tour was over, we got off at the stop we got on, thanked the driver, and walked home. We had passed into another time zone, so we set our clocks back 1 hour, so it was earlier than we expected. At home we had a little time, until everyone was ready to find dinner. Everyone left the hotel, and we walked along the streets, looking at all of the neat buildings. After many tries, we finally found a nice, inexpensive place. My dad had to stop at a cash machine, because now we had to deal with pounds. The place we found was Italian food, which was different, so we were convinced. I looked at the menu and ordered a lasagna. Our waiter was very nice and friendly, and quickly our meal came. My food was very delicious, with great noodles. It was big, so it took a while. Then the woman came back and offered us desert. I got some strawberry and vanilla gelato, so she came back with some. It was amazing too, and very creamy and milky. When we knew we couldn’t eat another bite, we left and went home, to bed. Tomorrow we’re going to see more sights.