Thursday, May 20:  Sights Overload!

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Photo 283  Big Ben!
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Photo 284  The London Eye

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Photo 285  Trafalgar Square
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Photo 286  Platform 9 3/4!
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Photo 287  A Real London Telephone
I woke up in the room, and slowly got out of bed, and so did everybody else. The second my mom got out and dressed, she wanted to go down to breakfast, so we got up right behind her. It was hard to find the room, down, right, through the lobby, left, down, and finally in. This breakfast was set up differently, where you could order your food, which was great! I got the English Breakfast, and then waited and looked around. The room was very big, with a big kitchen and lots of windows. Then the food came, and I started it. It included a little bit of everything, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, and bacon. For a drink I had hot chocolate. All of the food was delicious, especially the sausage, and I liked it a lot. After everyone engulfed there meal, we walked back upstairs. After a short problem of getting my bottle cap stuck down the drain, we left and walked outside. The first stop today is going to be the House of Commons! It is the big building with Big Ben, and we were pretty lucky to get in. We took a long walk to the area, and got in line. It was very neat that it was free, but we had to wait in a major line. During the time we could look at the awesome building, with the reddish tint. I noticed a lot of animals on the facade. While we waited my parents talked to some nice people from San Francisco. They chatted for a half an hour, and then the line started to move. The first group was let in, so we waited for the next group to go in; us. We were shown inside the big room by a cop and we sat down, to wait for our turn to go see everything. This house had an area that let people come in and see two groups debating. Then it was our turn to move on, but we had to go through some metal detectors, and they kept our bags. They showed us the stairs, and we walked up, looking at all of the quick paintings. We finally stopped, and went through a door marked “strangers”, and came out into some seats, overlooking all of the people debating!

They were far below us, but we could see and here them perfectly. It was actually kind of interesting, because they didn’t JUST talk, and when they did they did it in a lively sense. When we had seen enough, we decided to see some more people, only they would be lords, and would inherit the position, unlike the others. More walking and waiting, and we came out into a room just like it, only with more red and looked fancier. And there was the Queen’s throne! It was huge and golden, and really stood out. Then I listened to what they were saying. They were pretty boring, and talked slowly with no point. When we got too bored, we went back downstairs, and out through the exit. The passage out was a huge hall made of timber on the roof, and was very old. It was saved from the great fire! Right now it was about lunchtime, so we saw a sign in the room that said there was a cafe’ inside, so we turned left and followed the signs. It was a cafeteria, with great prices for London, and we decided to eat here. I got a tuna sandwich, cheese chips, orange juice, and a Bounty bar. We payed the people, and sat down to eat it. Everything was delicious, and my parents were happy about the price. After everyone was finished, we walked out the exit to pop out, back in the streets. Then we decided what to do next, and that turned out to be seeing Westminster Abbey.

It was right across the street, so we walked there and into the lawn to look around. It was just a simple church on the outside, but we knew it would be much cooler on the inside, so we bought tickets and strolled in. WOW. There were so many people buried here! I saw about 10 plaques where I was standing, and my parents led me into a room with more graves, only some with a big marble statue and stuff. We turned the wrong way, so we went back and into a big loop of burial markers. One had a queen, some had knights, and so on. We came out to a room with a bunch of suits of armor, but each was different. A long time ago knights came here once a year, and I don’t know why. My dad was happy to find the area with all of the poets, who were actually buried here. One was the man who wrote “Alice in Wonderland!” After that we exited and went out into the cloisters, that weren’t in good shape. But one door led into a neat museum, so we went there. The real crown jewels were too expensive, and would take a long time to see them, so we decided to see the replicas here. They didn’t look like it much, but was neat to see and read about each one. Some other things were the clothes that kings and queens wore when they were crowned. The crowning ceremony has taken place in this church since 1000! We will visit the part of the church that did it, next. We had seen everything in the museum, so we decided to go back in. The hall was ceremony area was very huge, because it had to fit 8,000 people! I could see the high altar, where the king or queen would be. We looked at the area for a long time, and then went out the main entrance, that we weren’t allowed to use to get in. The facade was an all white color, with many nice people, like Martin Luther King Jr. and others. I sat on the railing to rest, and then we started walking again, in the direction of Trafalgar square.

We soon came to our destination, and looked at it closely. There was a huge marble pillar, with some army guy named Nelson who got seasick on a boat, many fountains, and 4 huge lions at the base. We were allowed to climb on them, so we did so, and it was neat. Then we hopped down, because our parents beckoned us to come and get moving. We were walking in the same direction, only past the square and up. We were looking for a spot where we could get tickets for a live show, for half price. It was a big booth marked “TKTS”, and that was it. When we got up to the man in the booth, the man said that the only children’s one out was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Oh, well. We thanked the man for the tickets, and then walked back. But it was no ordinary street, this was where Diagon Alley from Harry Potter was filmed! The only thing we spotted was a place called “Shipley Books”, and was obviously where he got his wand. It was green and old, and had lots of shelves, only with books. We then got off the street, and decided to take the metro (now called tube) home. The London Underground was much more complicated, but we walked down the stairs and into ticket room, bought tickets, and went down the escalator to the tracks. Quickly a train came rolling up on the one line, and we quickly hopped on. The interior was much nicer than in Paris, with more seats and room. After a few stops we hopped off, and walked up again, and out in Victoria station. Everybody was tired from today, so we just got a pizza and soda and brought it to the hotel very quickly. It was tempting not to eat it as we walked back home and in our room. Then I pigged out on a very good cheese pizza and a Fanta. I was quickly finished, so I did some homework.

But at 7:30 we were going to the play, so at 6:30 we decided to leave. Taking the metro again, we popped out, a little away from the theatre that was doing it. We walked there, and looked at it. It had huge signs advertising it, so we went inside. We emerged in the lobby with all of the kids and parents were waiting to go in. Then they started to let you in, so we walked down to our seats. This was an old theatre, with lots of wood. I liked the fact that there was a live orchestra playing for the music. We waited for a half an hour, and then the show started. I thought it would be pretty corny, but it turned out to be great. It followed the movie perfectly, with lots of special effects. For instance, they made people fly with strings a lot, and made the whole car (Chitty chittty bang bang) could move by a huge robotic arm holding it up. Then it was intermission, so my mom suckered into the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. We split two, and ate them, but then it started to go again. Some parts were funny, with lots of amazing props, and at the end they lifted a guy on a string up off the stage and over everyone’s head and up into the ceiling. That was the end, so they all bowed, and everybody clapped. Then we left the theatre, and took the metro home, exhausted and ready for bed. What an amazing play!!!