Sunday, May 23:  The London Eye

I woke up, and got dressed. I looked around, and there was a towel on the floor. My mom said that the ceiling was leaking, and to leave it alone. Shortly after we walked down to breakfast, and I had the usual. Then everybody went upstairs, grabbed our packs, and walked outside. The first thing we had planned for today was to see a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, called Changing the Guard. It was right outside of the palace, where the guards in red with the funny hats change shifts. The people come to see it for the music and marching, though. We walked there, and soon emerged at a brown square, packed with people. We made our way to the center of it, where there was a huge monument, and watched it from there. At first the only thing to watch was the police men and woman on horses, and then the marching band slowly made their way up to the doors, and it took an hour while they marched around, doing something. This ceremony takes place every other day, and every time they play loudly as they march back down the street, where we could see them clearly. It was very cool how stern they were, but a little creepy. Then it was all over, so we left, walking through a park. It was a nice sunny day, and it was a beautiful park, and we were trying to get to Hyde Park. We got out and into the street, crossed it, and entered into it.

This one wasn’t as pretty, more for sports. At the end of the street, we came to a corner of the park where people could stand and say whatever they wanted on a podium, but only on Sunday, and that was today. Most of it was religious, and it wasn’t very interesting, so we decided to look for lunch. Dad and Mom ate at a little hut called the “Honest Sausage”, which didn’t exactly have a kid-friendly meal, so Robert and I ate at another booth. There I got a tuna sandwich and a Fanta, and all four of us split a bag of chips. My tuna was good, and the Fanta was great, and the chips had a great taste. After we all finished, we decided what to do next, and it was riding the London Eye. The huge ferris wheel was not nearby, so we took the metro there, and then got out. It was the wheel that I talked about on the day to Greenwich, so we crossed the bridge to get to it. The ferris wheel took a half an hour to go around, and was for the view, not the fun. It also never stopped, so you hopped in a booth as it moved slowly. Mom and I waited while Robert and Dad got tickets, and it took about 15 minutes to come back. We went through the fast line, and quickly hopped in a glass capsule with about 20 people. We went up and up, and then eventually we were at the top, where the view was best. I could see all around, the river Thames, Big Ben, the House of Commons, the Marble Arch, and everything else. I noticed that London didn’t look as pretty from above than when you were inside it. Then it went down for another 5 minutes, and we got off. It was a GREAT ride!

Then it was time for a church service, called Evensong. My dad didn’t want to, so he went home to work, but we all went. It is at the Westminster Abbey, and is mostly singing, and it happened in 10 minutes, so we quickly power-walked to it. There, we hurried in and grabbed a seat, just as it began to start. It turned out to be like a mass, with a lot of singing but no Eucharist. It was a beautiful choir, and very loud, so it echoed through the whole church. When it was over, the organist played a little tune as we left. It was about 4:30 then, so we decided to find coffee and ice cream. We knew we would find it in Victoria, so we took the metro there, and walked outside. Robert and I got an ice cream bar from a Newsweek stand, and my mom got a coffee from Starbucks. We thanked her, and then walked home. After a bit it was time for dinner, so we went out. But before that we wanted to go to King’s Cross Station, to find platform 9 3/4! It was an easy tube ride, and it took us right there. We were in a huge, beautiful station, and it was clean. To find 9-12 we went into a smaller area, where we saw a little arch with bricks in it, with a sign that said it! It was the same one in the movie, which was very, very, cool. We looked around it for a while, then looked for dinner. We decided to go to the SoHo area, by taking the metro. We got out again, and started looking around. After a few minutes we came to a place we liked, called Porter’s Bar. It wasn’t all a bar, but more a retro look. We sat at a table, where a nice woman took our orders. I got some tomato pasta, and some mango fruit juice. It was a little slow, but then our orders arrived. My noodles were great, and the mango was better, because I REALLY like mango. After we ate we thanked our waiter, and then went home. Tomorrow we’re leaving London.