• Joelle Otterstedt

Walking 35 Miles In London

Yesterday was our second day in London. We started the day with a quick breakfast in our room. We then started the walk to St Paul’s Cathedral. I thought nothing could be more spectacular than the Westminster Abbey, but this cathedral was definitely close. Westminster Abbey has more history in it, but I don’t think anywhere can compete with the art of St Paul’s Cathedral. We walked around the whole thing, sat down for a few minutes to try to take it all in, then walked another lap around. Braden was talking about how much he wished we could go to the top of the dome, and a couple minutes later I saw a sign saying that we could. We were so excited we ran up the first bit, but slowed down before too long when we realized how much we had left. We climbed almost 600 stairs to the top of the dome, and had the best view of the city. You could see everything. We made the trek back down to ground level and headed out to get some lunch before our next stop.

We continued our walk to the Tower of London. This was a spot we talked about going to, because my dad had brought it up. It turns out we both thought the other one had looked into it, and neither one of us had. We had no idea what to expect. All we really knew was it had something to do with the crown jewels. We figured it would just be a normal museum in a building. Nope. It was a bunch of different exhibits throughout an old castle. Definitely not what I was expecting, but it was really fun to walk through it all.

Next we walked just a bit farther to the Tower Bridge. We walked over it and back again on the other side to get to where the exhibit started. We waited in a short line, then climbed more stairs to the top of the tower. We walked back and forth a couple times between the tops of the towers. There were displays of how the bridge was built, and glass floors to look at the cars and water beneath you. We headed back down and walked to the other end of the bridge to look at the old engine rooms.

By this point it was pretty late in the afternoon, so we started the long walk home. It turned out to be over an hour, and we didn’t realize just how exhausted we were until it was too late to take the tube home. We got home, ate some sandwiches, and relaxed for a bit. We headed back out to buy a few touristy souvenirs.

Right before we were going to go to sleep, Braden checked our train information, and saw it had been canceled. Not only was ours canceled, but almost all of the other ones to York were canceled too. There was supposed to be a storm with really strong winds which would make it unsafe to go on the trains. We looked at all of our options and ended up having to find a new place to stay for Sunday night, and a new train for Monday. We get a refund for our canceled ticket, and the Monday ticket was really cheap, so we should save some money with that.

Today we had a bit of a later start, since we had stayed up late trying to figure out our new plan. We got up, had breakfast, and packed our bags. We walked through the wind-storm to the Marble Arch and Hyde Park, only to realize the park was closed for an event. It was still fun to see a different part of the city though. We looked through a few shops on the way back to get breaks from the wind. The wind was so strong that we saw it blow two big trash cans over into the road. One hit a big bus and scraped it up a bit. The other went into the middle of traffic, and a driver had to get out and move it. We got to our Airbnb and checked out. Then we headed to a restaurant to have lunch and stall for a bit before we could check into our new place to stay.

We were staying right by Kings Cross Station, so we explored that area of the city a bit today. We went to Kings Cross Station to see Platform 9 ¾, and the Harry Potter Shop. There was an insanely long line to get your picture taken at the platform, so we decided not to do that. The last touristy thing we did was head to the British Museum. This was the busiest tourist attraction I’ve seen all weekend. It was packed. We looked at it for a bit, but were starting to get pretty tired, so we started our walk back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the night relaxing and working on our homework. We head back tomorrow morning and get back just in time for classes.

Overall this weekend I walked 35.3 miles (according to my fitbit).

Friday: 11.02 miles

Saturday: 12.51 miles

Sunday: 11.77 miles

It was an exhausting weekend, but so much fun!

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