Being a tourist is fun – especially when you can also call the city home! Today, we took the tube to Charing Cross, which lets you off right at Trafalgar Square. First thing I spotted? Four red telephone booths in a row. So obviously, I required a photo shoot – especially for those people who hadn’t taken a picture in one yet! Yes, it’s touristy, but it should be illegal to come to London without starring in your own phone booth picture!
Once we’d taken every photo combination possible, we meandered to Trafalgar Square to see the 169-ft Nelson Column, the Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle art, the National Gallery, and the Olympic countdown clock. I thoroughly enjoyed reading my London Guide Book, soaking up the history and symbolism of each building in the square. From this point on, I became the designated tour guide; as we walked through the city, I read aloud my book, giving fun facts and historical tidbits about we were seeing. Who knows if my friends enjoyed it – but I had a great time!
Continuing on to Buckingham Palace, we passed through St. James’ Park – so pretty! I wish I lived around the corner from it so that I could spend a ridiculous amount of time there. And the fact that it leads up to Buckingham Palace makes it even cooler! Unfortunately, the Queen wasn’t there at the time… but we happened to arrive just as the Changing of the Guards began!
From Buckingham Palace, we walked over to Parliament and Big Ben – a structure that blew me away. I’d never truly understood the excitement about them. Yeah, they’re cool looking buildings, but why all the hubbub? After seeing them in person, I completely understand. The amount of intricate detail, from the ridges to the gold plating, is beautiful. And Parliament seems to go on for days! I didn’t get a chance to go into Westminster Abbey, so that gives me an excuse to come back down and explore the area further!
We continued our day by walking through Leicester Square to Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Street, which is filled with tons and tons of shops. After our first Primark experience – a department store with tons of cheap items but that is so big and bustling that it overwhelmed me – we finally headed home. I love being part tourist, part resident in London!