Monday, October 31, 2016

London: Part Four

We left the hostel at about 8am and headed to the tube. 

We arrived at King's Cross Station to find that there was still a line at Platform 9 3/4, but decided to wait in it anyway. I don't really like taking pictures with characters at Disney World and things like that, so this felt a little silly, but it was a funny touristy thing I'm glad I did.

They have scarves in all the Hogwarts house colors, wands, someone to hold the scarf and drop it quickly so it looks like you're disappearing through the wall, and a photographer. While their photographer DID take pictures, Carson took these and so this was free.

  I also jumped, but that turned out blurry.

We'd heard that meat pastys (pasties?) are a thing, so Carson had to have one. He loved it, but it was the sort of food that I enjoy the least.

I went three for three at Pret a Manger and had a chicken and avocado sandwich. It quenched my avocado craving.

We barely made it to the airport shuttle bus. We had to run the last few yards because we saw them shutting luggage in the bottom, but we made it, huffing and puffing.

The bus was nearly empty, most people probably making a smarter decision to spend their day in London and fly home at night (we wish we had!), so we each took a side in the back.

Does it look weird to you too that the cars are on the opposite side of the road??

We made it to the airport!
And okay, we had thoughts about this airport and they were all good.

We thought this was the most efficient airport we'd ever been to. Everything was streamlined. There were people telling you where to go through security, plenty of lanes open, people in the right spots, people with little bags for liquids if you forgot to put your liquids in a bag (guilty). Everyone was very friendly yet got things done. All other airports need to take note.

I thought it was interesting how the gates worked there. Instead of assigning gates right away and having passengers wait there for their flights, there was a big waiting area for all flights with big screens that would display the correct gate 45 minutes before the flight was to leave. Surrounding this waiting area were tons of duty free stores, restaurants, bars, shops... I liked it this way! There was enough time to walk to the flight, but instead of getting to your gate and then realizing all the good places to eat are way back behind you, you could just shop or eat and then when your flight gate came on, you'd be ready to walk over. Smart!

I thought this was a rather interesting advertisement in the Dortmund airport.

Carson made a friend on the plane and they spoke in slow German and a little bit of English and the guy was also going to Munster and had a car so he offered for us to ride with him (which yes, initially sounded creepy but I don't think he was). We planned to do just that, but he'd valeted his car and it was going to take awhile for it to get to the airport, so we just decided to return to Munster by train, since we had the ticket anyway.
The train took awhile to get there too, so Carson ran over to the grocery store and bought us snacks. Our new friend said he hated travel by train, and I guess I can see where he's coming from, but I love that you can get on, have your luggage with you, and spread out way more than you could on a plane or something. For a super long trip, car or plane please, but it was nice to do our own thing anonymously on a train. I napped.

And then we took the tunnel at the train station and were once again in Munster. It felt sort of like home, but a home where we still don't understand much of what people are saying!

London: Part Three

So many pictures, but maybe too much for one post? So I've broken Tuesday into two. 

From Liberty of London, we wandered down some pretty streets before ending up at Piccadilly Circus. 

We walked from there to Westminster Abbey.

Through Trafalgar Square in the daytime.

There were several big groups gathered to watch the horses do something here (I was too short to see, but Carson got it on video)

A large group was gathered by the police station as well, but I'm not sure why. Nothing appeared to be happening.

Westminster Abbey!

It's always nice when someone asks you to take their picture so you have an excuse to get yours taken as well!

We attended the Evensong service, held at 5pm every day at the Abbey. The service is free, so you save yourself an $18 admission they charge during tourist hours, plus the bonus of being a part of a beautiful service in an amazing place. We arrived early and lined up and if you were to do this too, get there as early as you can - those seats really fill up!

 Carson bought me a macaron at this fancy place.

We decided to have dinner in a pub, because that felt very English to us. Carson had a steak and ale pie, and I had... macaroni and cheese, because I've missed macaroni and cheese!

We went back to Piccadilly Circus just to see it at night! It's like a prettier, smaller Times Square!

National Gallery at night

We'd wanted to have afternoon tea in London, but that time was well passed, so we decided that we'll do that next time, and instead we bought a box.

We'd been out for over 12 hours when we finally made it back on the tube headed toward the hostel. We tossed around the idea of freshening up and heading out to see more, but we'd walked just under 13 miles that day, so rest and sleep won in the end.

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