Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm going to London -- To see the Queen...


  No weekend game means a weekend off! It's the first time since I've been in Dunkerque that we've had a free weekend (with the exception of our break over Christmas -- when I went home). Many of my teammates are hopping on a train, and headed home. I, obviously, am unable to do that. So instead, I'm hopping on a train, headed to London!

  Of all the 'big' cities in Europe, London is one of the few that I haven't managed to visit just yet. But I'll be able to check Big Ben and the Tower Bridge off the 'European Bucket List' soon!

  Two days isn't nearly enough time to see all the sights in a city like London, but I'm hoping to at least get to the major attractions. I've done my research, and have asked anyone who is willing to listen, 'what do I NEED to see?'. So I have a pretty good idea of where I'll be going, and what I'll be seeing. Now it's just a matter of getting out there, and seeing it all!

  I know my travel buddy, V, has her mind set on finding a Starbucks, so I'll be happy to help her find an infamous green and white awning. And I certainly won't be mad if we stumble upon Niketown London either. Outside of those two things, I'm hoping our trip to London will be strictly British. (I DID just find out there's a Whole Foods in Kensington, so I might need to make time to buy a few groceries too!)

  Here's a not-so-short list of sights that need to be seen (and I'm sure there's even more that haven't made the list yet):
Oxford Street -- Europe's busiest shopping street, with roughly 300 shops
Tower Bridge -- The original crossing over the Thames. One of the most-recognizable London sights.
Tower of London -- also known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress. A historic castle on the River Thames.
Trafalgar Square -- public space in Central London. Location of numerous community gatherings and demonstrations.
Big Ben -- the famous clock tower at Westminster Palace.
Buckingham Palace -- the official residence of the British Monarch. Located in Westminster.
London Eye -- the giant Ferris Wheel (standing 394 ft/135 m tall) is the highest in Europe. On the River Thames, provides incredible panorama of London.
Piccadilly Circus -- another public space, in London's West End. A mini-Times Square??
Notting Hill -- made famous because of the Julia Roberts movie. An upscale, affluent neighborhood.
Hyde Park -- one of the largest parks in Central London. Contiguous with Kensington Gardens -- where I've been told to find the Peter Pan statue. :)
Borough Market -- read about it in a travel blog. Apparently you need to visit early, bring cash, and go hungry. Sounds like a good place to find a snack!
Westminster Abbey -- built in the 1066. A mainly Gothic church, and site of traditional coronations and burials for the British.
'Jack the Ripper' Walking Tour -- no further explanation necessary!
London Underground -- will be our primary means of transportation (other than our feet!)                                                                                                                                  And of course, The Queen -- Can't go to London, and NOT see the Queen, right?!? ;) I'll make sure to wave if I bump into her this weekend :)
  That said, I'm looking forward to putting my tourist hat on (so to speak), snapping a ton of pictures, and seeing as much as London as I possibly can! You can be sure, that I'll have a blog about our trip ready to read next week!


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