So London was ACE. (english for: excellent, or the best.)
First off, our hosts were amazing. My good friend Molly hooked us up with a couple of her friends to stay with and we're very glad she did.
Katy made us fajitas.
Henric and I shared our love for Electro music.
They both are are just incredibly awesome people. The first night they showed us all around town. One of the first stops was the House of Parliament. Seeing something like that which you've grown up seeing on TV and in movies is something else. It felt unreal.
We saw the London eye, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and ended the night sharing a couple pints at a pub in Camden.
Its often better to just show pictures, so here is a few Marshall shot that day. (i'm shooting film the whole trip)
The second day we woke up, had a cup of coffee with Katy, and then headed out to explore the town some more. The first stop was the British Museum, which was really something else. Again, some pictures.
(Some statues from the Parthenon)
(Easter Island baby)
It was Buckingham Palace next. We took the Underground (which we were getting quite good at navigating through at this point) to Green Park, walked through and there it was: The magnificent home of the queen.
Hamilton was beside himself and insisted we take a picture.
It was time for the US game, so we headed back to Trafalgar Square to find a good pub to watch it at.
But it was too tempting to stop and climb on the big lions before settling down. So we did.
After the game (which we should of clearly won if it wasn't for a terrible call) we headed back home to the flat to relax for a while before the nights adventures. After a couple hours Henric, Marshall and I headed out to meet up with a couple of his mates for drinks at a nearby bar. After a little dancing and a drink or two we moved on to the next one, had another, and then headed to a club called Koko across the way.
AMAZING European club. The Japanese Pop Stars bumped the loud electro tunes and we danced till about 4 in the morning. Our train for Ireland was at 6:30 and after realizing we didn't have an alarm clock, I opted to just stay up for an hour and a half till it was time to leave.
So there is London in an ultra quick nutshell. We'll of course post later of our Irish adventures.
From the traveling I've done with my family in the past I haven't ever been able to see a city like London in such a truly personal way. Staying with two locals provided countless benefits, everything from knowing the hot spots for a quick drink, to short cuts through areas of the downtown. London blew my mind with all of its character and personality. I really thought it would be dirtier but I was pleasantly surprised to see how well kept the ares we were in were. Camden was like Portland, except for the hipsters walking around said things like "mate" and "cheers". Besides that though, I might as well have been walking down Burnside and MLK.
I am extremely interested in historical aspects of all these places we will go so it was great to see all the touristy sights in London like Big Ben and the Tower of London. I even got to walk across the Tower Bridge, which from a structural engineers point of view is absolutely breath taking. Finding bars and pubs has been fun as well, we could easily stop in at any of the cultural stops that can be found on every block in town, but we made a point to find the true English pubs. This backfired on us though as we listened to the locals cheer against the "bloody yanks" as we sat next to them.
The ride to Dublin was fairly uneventful, Andrew and I were as tired as we've been in a long time (thanks to the baptism of bass and strobe lights at Koko) so naps were a common thing as we transfered from train to train to ferry to bus.
Walking around Dublin has been confusing, no one ever got the idea of making right angled roads, or even roads that keep the same name for more than two blocks, so having the address to a location literally means nothing without directions. I guess we got here at a good time because there was some giant bike race that was really fun to watch, but quite the hassle to get around while exploring Temple Bar, the main bar street here. As the day went on though, we were able to find some great fish and chips and PLENTY of beer. One of my favorite parts of Dublin so far is the pub atmospheres, I could write a book about the crazy stuff I saw last night. At least three bachelorette parties were just at the first place we went, and some old man was getting his groove on with some of the ladies. There were also boobs being signed by some of the guys taking advantage of the opportunities presented when women and alcohol come together. As the night progressed we made it to the original Temple Bar (the bar not the street) and that's when I realized how seriously drinking is taken in Dublin...
(me as the racers went by)
(Andrew enjoying his fish and chips, we should have split one order because neither of us could finish)
Today we are headed out to the Guiness store house and then possibly on to the Jameson whisky distillery, with a stop by Trinity College and then tonight is the big pub crawl hosted by the hostel we're staying at. Dublin has been super friendly and I've enjoyed myself while here. We have done a great job at meeting people at the hostel and some of the girls who helped us hit the town last night are joining us for the Guiness tour. We have a lot to do today though so it's about time to get on today's adventure.