You Call This a Shower?: Part 13

The view from London Bridge.

So, I finally gave up on finding a memory card for my camera by the time we got to London. The first chance I got I went to a little convenience store and bought two disposable cameras because that was about all I felt I could spend of the euros I had left. By that time in the trip we had two days left and I figured I would just take as many pictures as the cameras would afford me and hope they came out alright. It’s funny to think back on it now, but those photos I took were probably the most authentic of the whole trip, which in some small way makes London the most authentic place we traveled to and through. Perhaps it was because I couldn’t see and analyze them, deleting the ones I didn’t like. Once I took them they were there to stay, for better or for worse, and I never saw them until I got back to the States and had them developed. It turned out to be a good choice.

Loved this statue.

We went on a bus tour of the city early that next morning and I took pictures through the bus windows, photos of Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. In fact, I recall us driving over London Bridge, and I was thinking, “This is London Bridge?” The bridge itself was pretty ordinary, and it made me question why anyone would write a children’s song about it. Then our tour guide explained to us why London Bridge was so ordinary, how it was a far iteration from the original bridge that was as wide as a city street, the one that did indeed burn down a long, long time ago. He told us that the bridge that’s there now is just functional because it costs too much to keep replacing the bridge, and the latest one was shipped to a town in Iowa, or some other midwestern place (I wasn’t really listening, so fascinated was I by Tower Bridge, that I could see on the left as we drove across).

Then we were dropped off the bus outside of Buckingham Palace right around the time for the changing of the guard, which is one of those things you can’t really describe unless you see it. Continue reading “You Call This a Shower?: Part 13”

You Call This a Shower?: Part 12

The Tower of London. Uh, not really a tower.

It dumped buckets the entire bus ride into the city of London early that next day, making me remember that we should have packed umbrellas. Oops. I joked that London was the Seattle of Europe, to which no one laughed, but my group had something else in store for me. They were finally talking to me again after the Oxford “incident,” and the type of talking they were doing was dreadful. You see, they all decided to affect a British accent just in time for London, and it was only the members of my group. Suddenly everyone was “bobbies,” “gits,” and “wankers,” and man, those accents made me cringe they were so horrible. But apparently they were planning to embarrass me to death in front of the other members of our party. It succeeded tremendously.

We pulled into the city in mid-afternoon with the rain still coming down in sheets, a perfect shower to clean us off after yet another filthy bus ride (I’m kidding. The buses we used were always immaculate). When we got to our hotel to drop off our bags, we were all exhausted. A trip like the one we were on takes a lot out of you, and we could all see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we were definitely going to have to crawl there in order to reach it. London was our final destination, though, and we were going to enjoy it if it killed us. The hotel was right across the street from the new Wembley Stadium, which was seriously cool, but I had no more memory in my camera card, and there were no more photos I wanted to delete, so my first priority was finding a shop and getting a card if I could.

Look at the little house!

Just like with London we had some free time that first day, but a lot of us ended up doing the Jack the Ripper tour, with the others staying at the hotel. We took the tube into the city, and I was finally treated to those lovely signs that said “Mind the Gap,” and yes, they were plastered everywhere at each tube stop. There were eight stops between Wembley, where we were, and the city center, where the tour was going to start. When we emerged from the underground station we were right across the street from the Tower of London, which was quite surreal. After hearing so much talk about the tower, it was just so odd to finally see it up close and personal right in front of us. Then the tour started. Continue reading “You Call This a Shower?: Part 12”


London, baby! I am standing on London Bridge and wondering if it is going to fall down again. And, yeah, I know all that stuff about it not being the original bridge, and how the real one burned to the ground (to the water?) and how this one is the seventh iteration of it, but … Continue reading Iconic