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London (May 3, 2002)

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We have finally left France along with the rest of the mainland. Several things happened:

  1.  Joss and I had to get rid of all our sticks that we have collected throughout Europe. Joss cried in the car, but he got over it.
  2. We had to return the car that we traveled in over all of Europe: France, Italy, a bit of Spain, Germany, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
  3. We got on a plane for the first time in six months.

Getting on the plane was very strange (as in, we weren't used to it). The airport was shaped like a doughnut. We had to go around a little ways to get to our entrance (number 16). Something happened that I didn't quite understand, but the result was that we were on another airline with better seats. The problem was that we had to wait on a bus for half an hour for all the passengers to get on. The flight was fairly uneventful. Then we stepped into the land where everyone speaks English…

April 29th, 2002: the World Trippers set foot in Great Britain (the land of sausage and mash). The first city we were stopping at was London. We stayed at the new London County Hall Travel Inn, LCHTI, that (I learned later) is right next to another hotel that costs three times as much.

London is also the land where transports talk back at you. Example: You get into an elevator and push the "Floor 2" button. The elevator start to rise and you feel the familiar bounce. "FIRST FLOOR!" the elevator bellows as you pass the first floor. "SECOND FLOOR!" it hollers at you as the elevator stops. "DOORS OPENING!" it says, trying to deafen you when the doors start to open. As you leave the lift room, you hear (a bit softer now) "Doors closing!"

Anyway, our hotel is in a strategic place: we can get to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and some other places just by crossing Westminster bridge. We have the London Eye (a giant Ferris Wheel for viewing) and a small playground on our side of the Thames River.

The playground is very fun: it has a big spider net, rungs, a tightrope, a rolling log, a swing bridge, swings, and pigeons. (One good thing to note is that the playground is visible from our room, so The Parents can keep an eye on us).

We went to see The Lion King play (it is absolutely NOT like the movie (I only made it that big so that you notice it)) and it was very, well, amazing. The elephant costume was really neat, and Pumba's (or is it Poomba?) nose sniffing was funny.

London, like Paris, has a Metro system, but they call it the Underground. The way you find a station is by looking for a red circle with a blue line going through it. We used the Underground to get to the Tower of London, or the Real London. Mom said that the Underground is a lot cleaner than the Metro.

The Tower of London has a lot of history behind it, but it is very confusing and I can't repeat it all. When we entered, we (and a several other groups) got a tour with a Beefeater. A Beefeater was and is a guard for all the valuable things. They are named beefmabobers because they were paid with beef (back then, beef was only something that royal and rich people ate). The tower has a legend that "as long as the ravens guard the white tower, it will stand". In WWII (haven't we had enough of that stupid war?) only one raven was left. Eek.

We looked at the armory for the tower, and there were helmets, javelins, swords, armour for both beast and man and other things. Then we looked at the Crown Jewels and scepters. Dad asked: "Don't you think it's a bit ironic to have a game called 'Steal the Crown Jewels' right here?" because there was a game called "Steal the Crown Jewels" sitting in a glass case.

The last thing we did was visit the seven-story toy store near Piccadilly Square. Joss bought a stuffed seal and Mom got a stuffed cheetah, and that was all.

London has been very fun and interesting, especially the pigeons and The Lion King. We are back in the land of English!


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