|We flew directly to London from Bilbao, ending the first half of our adventure, and leaving Spain (only for a little while). I was super excited, because, well, I love that accent, plus, it's London, and how could you not want to check that out. Especially because we didn't even originally plan to go, but Paige's wonderful sister and partner John were going to be there, and since they live halfway around the world, we couldn't pass up the chance to catch up with them for an evening, with the added bonus of checking out a cool city.
London is huge. Giant. It especially felt so after the small Spanish towns we had been staying in. Plus, there are a lot of fricken people in London. We arrived at our hotel in Gatwick and quickly took the fast train to Victoria station. We had time reserved for the London Eye, and there was no time to waste. Needless to say, London's public transportation is a bit trickier to navigate than we anticipated, I actually think we thought we would just be able to walk everywhere like we always do. About 5 minutes in London and we realized we were sadly mistaken. But we made the two underground (i think they call it the tube?) trains we needed and made it. We were really late, but when we got there, they said our ticket was good til nine, so we decided to explore a bit before going up. So we walked, and walked, and tubed, and walked some more. We fit in most of the important stuff, although our visits were far too brief and we will have to go back to explore some more, like we didn't actually get to go in the Tate Modern Museum, just had enough time to locate it, look at it, and move on, which is a shame. And it was like that with most things, so when we do our England/Ireland/Scotland trip, we will spend at least a week in London. Finally after hours of rainy sightseeing, we went up in the eye, and saw it all from above. Very nice.
We were super tired and excited to see Tennyson and John, so we headed back on the train in the early evening. They were waiting for us at the hotel, and it was such a treat to see them. Tennyson looked beautiful, and made Paige and I feel like shabby backpackers (laundry just does not get done enough) and John was as handsome as ever. We went to this wonderful pub, supposedly the second oldest pub in England, which is pretty cool. It is right next to a church, and even has a secret tunnel between. The food was amazing. After all those small plates, a big plate of meat pie and a beer hit the spot. We talked for hours, until they kicked us out, and even stayed up for a little while at the hotel, despite T&J's 5am flight. We just don't get to see them enough!!