Some buildings showcase more architectural details than others. London boasts beautiful designs from most views from any street. From Gothic arches, domes, to the use of bricks, I love the contrasts of features in one each one of these historical constructs.
When visiting another country, there can be some dead give-a-ways that you are a tourist.
Step 1: Carry a big camera around your neck all day – if you want to distract people from the camera, wear a 20 lb backpack as well.
3: This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Take photos of everything you see, from random buildings to Tower Bridge. I’m sure the locals think you will be a bit on the crazy side for snapping shots of general transportation and the like (imagine someone taking a picture of a city bus in the U.S), but I’m a tourist and proud of it!
#4: Almost getting run over in the streets because you can’t figure out which way to look for cars. Then you realize the instructions are painted on the street, “Look Right.” Why thank you concrete floor!
Step 5: Snap a million pictures of Big Ben or be one of many in the crowds swarming the area. The citizens of the British Isle see the clock everyday on the news or some other outlet. Tourists love the detailed architecture, but locals maintain unfazed by the landmark.
Number 6: Ask at least 4 people which train to take to get somewhere that sits just a few miles away.
Step 7: You get lost, but since you traveled the area for a few days, you actually pretty much “know” where you are located. Also, giving directions to any poor soul that asks you – I gave opposite directions to Westminster Abbey while standing directly behind the building.
8: Order fish and chips. You just gotta do it! I consider eating this food a requirement when visiting London, you shall not pass unless you devour this well known meal.
Number 9: Being appalled by having to pay to use the bathroom.
10: Walking into a pub and saying out loud “this place is awesome!” Also, being the only person coughing from the smoke.
Not to mention, not knowing anything about World Cup.
Follow these steps, and you too can be an obvious tourist.
Day two in London only allowed me to be a tourist half the day because of my afternoon flight back to Seattle.
The morning starts off with a free breakfast in the mission hotel. The hotel was very quaint; every room had elegant detailed wall paper – reminiscent of patterns off old English teacups. I felt as if I were wandering through one of those houses from a Jane Eyre novel. Breakfast starts with a buffet style of what looked like waffles, but were actually hash browns shapes as waffles. By the way, syrup does not go well with hash browns. Welcome to another culture.
We took a path to the tube station through a park. All the trees in the park had turned amazing colors of orange and yellow, which fell to the ground to cover the sidewalks. I pranched threw the the crispy leaves acting more immature than the young school girls in their proper uniforms walking in front of us.
The choice of sightseeing for the morning would be Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. I looked around the Abbey for several hours – there’s just so much to see. I must say no one soaked up the atmosphere more than me – I loved examining every detail of architecture from the graves in the floor, to the stained glass windows, all the way up to the intricate almost Gothic ceilings.
Before I knew it, time sent us away with a few rings from Big Ben and we had to be back to the airport. We jumped on the Tube one last time and I tried to take as many pictures as I could of anything before we reached the airport. I became enamored by London; this place felt like a second home to me. I wished I could have stayed there longer, but I made a vow to myself that I would make a trip back someday as soon as I could.