Before I start this entry into our Europe Chronicles, I just want to make you aware I’m doing this mainly from memory. These events may or may not have happened and if they did could be completely out of order. Cristina took lengthy detailed notes everyday in her journal. She does plan on writing for this website, but right now she is putting more emphasis on our wedding website.
As two former geography teachers, we knew the concept. However, it wasn’t until we were in London we completely understood it. In fact, it wasn’t until I went to the bathroom at around 4:30 in the morning that I fully understood the earth’s tilt. The sun, about to rise, was giving off enough light for the day to start. Also, it was well after 9:30 that it was completely dark at night. Having not traveled much, it was a hard concept to get my head around. The sun set mostly after nine pm for most of the trip, which means we didn’t really see much of Europe at night. We were just too tired.
Whilst on the subject of being tired, we decided to postpone what time we were going to wake up. We had seen a lot and needed the rest. After all, adventures waited in the British Museum, the British Library, and Harrods. First up was the British Museum, and it didn’t disappoint. Basically, this place was built for people who love history hence it being a history museum and all. It’s easily the kind of place the future wife and I could spend a couple of days just roaming and learning especially since the price of admission is however much you would like to donate. The hard part of touring a Museum like that is limiting yourself to just the highlights. We realized in the first two days that it was imperative that we travel as if this is the first of many trips. If you don’t plan on coming back, you won’t be willing to comprise and you will end up just having too many arguments. As you might imagine, a month long trip to Europe cost quite a bit of money (but maybe less than you think) and you don’t want to waste money by arguing over what to see instead of actually seeing something. We decided to focus on classic antiquity while at the museum which is fantastic because this is what makes the bulk of the museum’s “acquisitions”. Seeing the Rosetta stone in person, I felt as if a lesson in the sixth grade was finally finished. After viewing the antiquity collection, Cristina spent quite a bit of time perusing the exhibits highlighting the Orient. I, on the other hand, was confronting the fact that I am an overweight middle-aged American. My body was screaming in pain with every step we took. Excedrin, I now realized, might have been the smartest thing we packed.
Next, we traveled by foot to the British Library. The permanent collections here are again amazing (and were actually three blocks from our hotel). Some of the items displayed in the Library: one of the original copies of the Magna Carta, the handwritten notes of Lewis Carroll about a girl named Alice, lyric sheets by Lennon and McCartney, medieval illuminated manuscripts, and Shakespeare’s folio. Now, I did minor in English in college mainly because I thought it would be a great way to meet girls, but I did learn a thing or two and this collection was breathtaking. And life isn’t measur…..sorry inside joke.
At this point, we decided not to go to Harrods. I’m not sure why. We did go to King’s Cross to take the picture, but couldn’t get to the platform due to the heightened security since the terrorist attacks there in . Now to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming: Of course, we did think about terrorist attacks while planning our trip. But we didn’t think about it once we were in Europe. The cliché is true: if you live your life in fear, then the terrorists win. Now back to our normally scheduled programming.
We decided to go back to Tower. We took some pictures in front of the Tower Bridge and in front of the tower. We saw a yeoman’s son walking with a girl on the grounds with a dog. I kept thinking to myself how cool that had to be for a teenager to live there. I mean it’s a castle for god’s sake. And on a date, using a line about her being a princess would actually work. Lucky bloke. We then went back to Westminster. Here, I took a page right out of Rick Steves. It was nearing seven in the evening which meant back in Lockport, LA it was nearing one. Big Ben was about to strike. I switched my phone off of airplane mode and called my mom. I told her where I was lying down in the grass in the shadow of Westminster Cathedral and told her to listen. Audio postcards are highly recommended when traveling when you can afford it.
We ended our stay in London with a trip to see where Sherlock Homes “lived”. We then went for a stroll through Regent’s Park. Parks are a must when traveling. Don’t just make it point to see places and things while in Europe; make it a point to see the people.
We had supper at the hotel and went to bed early. Our train for Paris was leaving at 6:30 the next morning and you need to treat the Eurostar as you would treat a plane trip. Luckily, it was safe to walk that early due to plenty of sunlight.