Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 196 (7/29): European Vacation Day 1

This summer I had the opportunity to take a European Vacation.  I was so nervous about flying across the ocean but I told myself it would all be worth it when I was viewing all those incredible sites.  On Wednesday, June 15th, we boarded a flight in Kansas City.  Our first stop was Minneapolis to board a flight to London.  The plane from Minneapolis was huge and each seat had its own tv system where we could watch movies and see where we were at in our journey.  It was a night flight but everyone I spoke to said to stay awake as much as possible so you can sleep that next night in London.  Good thing Adrian and I ate in Minneapolis because airline food is disgusting.  I watched 3 movies and then finally fell asleep when we were somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.  I did not want to look at that gps thing so I wouldn't know we were over the ocean but everyone else around me had tuned into that channel so I knew. 

OK enough of that boring stuff...let's get to the pics. I took over 1500 pictures.  Lots of architecture and the buildings because it was so different than what we see here.  We arrived in London in the morning and went straight to the hotel to drop off our bags. The Premier Inn was one of the nicest hotel rooms we had on our stay.  There was a that I will remember because we won't see one for a while.  Check out the moderness of the toilet.  You press a button to flush it. The room was big and spacious and the internet actually worked!  The only bad thing was that it was on the outskirts of London so we had to take the "Tube" whenever we wanted to go some place.

The "Tube" is like a subway.  We got off and on at Hanger Lane.  You rode both underground and above ground.  The intercom always mentioned to "Mind the Gap" as you exited the traincar...essentially look down because there might be a gap that you have to cross over!
Check out how steep the escalaters were.  And thank goodness that 80% of the time these escalators were working because it was a thigh buster!

And of course on the walls were theatre placards.  Of course I had to take a picture when I saw the Wizard of Oz!

The buildings were incredible.  Just so well kept and brick. 
 We went to Picadilly Circus..which was not a circus.  I'm not sure what I exptected but what do you think when you hear the word circus?  Well back in the 17th century a frilly collar maker named Roger Baker lived in the area and those collars are called piccadils.  It gets the name circus because of the roundabout where 5 major streets come into the heart of London.

 Many in our group decided to stay here and shop.  Adrian and I chose to go to the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.  I could not wait to see some Rembrandts, Monet, VanGogh, Botticelli and many more!  Plus it was free - many of the museums in London are free.  I would go back to London and going to all the free museums will be on my to do list!

Even the outside of the museum was art.  They planted a landscape on one of the walls.  It was really cool and a replica of a VanGogh painting.  This living wall will also insulate the /*museum and lower the outside air temperature.  The masterpiece was grown elsewhere and then installed in a plant-by-numbers style.

There are tons of street entertainers around Trafalgar Square.  They are called Buskers.  This bloke was playing and fire was coming up out of his tuba.  Buskers were everywhere - in the "Tube", on the streets and were very talented!

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