I am finally in London, the end of my trip. Walking from the train station to my hostel, I walked by great London landmarks like Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, Trafalgar square (where and awesome Sublime cover band was playing), saw where the Prime Minister lives etc... all things that I have seen in movies or only ever heard of.
I met up with Devin, Bryce and Cam who are friends from high school who are starting a Euro backpacking trip. We went out for some drinks and checked out the Soho district. It was so nice to be with people from back home and speak normal English the whole night.
Today I spent the day with a friend from elementary school, Allison; she is studying in London to become a ballet teacher. I hadn’t really spent time with her since we were in grade 4 so it was nice to catch up. She was such a great tour guide and host. I stored my stuff at her place and then we walked around. She lives right in central London so everything worth seeing was really close. We walked through Hyde park, saw a really impressive looking statue of Prince Albert, natural history museum, Victoria and Albert art gallery, checked out this crazy chique department store (I forget the name) and ate some yummy Japanese food. She was such a help figuring out the train systems (which I think I have finally mastered), I’m so glad we could get together.
The transportation system here is so amazing! It is quick and easy to get anywhere around London and even in the entirety of England. All you need is a day pass and you are good to go on the “Tube” (underground trains), busses (yep, those red double decker busses), trams and some regular rail. I’ve seen a similar system in Montreal with their metro system and Toronto (and I can imagine Vancouver as well with their skytrain), but many other cities in Canada are severely lacking in accessible and efficient public transportation.
Tonight I am staying at my friend Hakan’s place just outside of London. He is a friend I met when I was travelling in New Zealand in 2010. He is currently in Spain but gets back in the morning but still offered to let me stay here with his parents. They are wonderful; they are Turkish and the mom is currently cooking up a Turkish dinner for me : )
I have two full days left then I head back to Norway early Wednesday. Before I go back Ill check out Buckingham palace, Big Ben etc… and I have to start taking pictures because I have none in London so far!