Europe: Paris, Eurostar, London
Published 08-16-2009 on my old wordpress blog.

Seat 41, coach 1, Eurostar, Gare du Nord, Paris, France, 11:11

Holy crap, I almost missed my train! Somehow I forgot about check in and customs and all that nonsense. I got here just in time to hurriedly check in and go through a metal detector (for the first time in a month) and get on the train. Now I’m sitting next to some very quiet but loud eating noise French people? They just now started speaking after like ten minutes of sitting here. Man, I hate eating noises. The smacking of open-mouthed chewing is my worst enemy. Oh, wait, somebody brought a baby. Thanks for reminding me about that vasectomy I was considering. Headphones, it is!

Okay, two hours to London, but it will take only one hour to get there. Time zone!

Kebab place on the corner of Tavistock and Marchmont, London, UK, 13:36 London time

Checked into the biggest hostel in the city and found their luggage room to be ridiculously packed. I’m gonna hit up some touristy bits today, I think. I’m a bit scared to see my overpriced room. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying my falafel and Orangina.

Room 319, big hostel, Compton Place, London, UK, 18:44

Apparently the reason why my room was expensive was not because it was extra nice, but because it’s really a double room. I was hoping for a nice hotel atmosphere, but got a hostel that I paid too much for. Ah well, what can you do? Just sit on my lower bunk (first hostel I have had one of those, at least) and type out what I did for the last five hours.

I got back on the underground using my now charged up Oyster card (thanks BFF) and rode it to the London Bridge. I am pleased to report that it is not, in fact, falling down, falling down, my fair lady. It also isn’t the bridge you’re thinking of and it’s pretty boring. But it does lead to some fancy buildings called “More London” and then to the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. I walked across the Tower Bridge and noted that it was a fancy bridge and looked much more like the London Bridge I imagined, except painted in bright colors. It was £7 to go up to the top. No, I did not.

I walked over to the Tower of London. It was gettin to be about 15:30 by this point and the “tower” was only open another two hours. Tickets were something like £16. Enough for a “Daaaaaaaamn!” and for me to not purchase one. I hung out and watched some fake knights do battle and then I bought some ice cream and decided what to do next on a park bench by the Thames river.

What I decided to do was to find a pub to watch some football in. I used my Internet magic to look up the “best” pubs to watch football in. Then I checked the schedule to find that the last game of the weekend was on right NOW and I’d already missed 15 minutes of the first half. “Best” became “nearest” on the list. One of the pubs on the list, Aldgate Exchange, was within a mile, so I started walking. After a bit of a scenic detour, I reached my destination. It was a clean place and I got to sit down to eat my chips and lemonade. There were about 20 dudes there watching Tottenham v. Liverpool. The scene was subdued, nothing like the George and Dragon during a Sounders game, which is a little more what I was expecting. Ah well. I should have watched the Man. U. match somewhere instead. As soon as I showed up and got settled, the Spurs scored. Then I ate my chips through halftime and watched an enjoyable second half. I won’t spoil the game for you if you’re going to watch it. I’m a little excited to head back and watch my Seattle Sounders play on Wednesday. I think I’m taking BFF to that game, but the rest are open. Send me an email if you want to go.

So basically today has been train, falafel, sightseeing, watching football, finding out my hostel is really a hostel. I’m not sure what I’ll do next. I don’t want to ride the tube anymore today, so maybe I’ll walk around the neighborhood. Everybody is slamming doors around here, so that seems like the best choice.

Big hostel, room 319, London, England, 20:50

The thing about going and walking around the neighborhood is that it doesn’t get done if you lie down “just for a minute.” I guess I’ll go check out the bar/chill out room/nonsense. I hear there’s interweb down in them parts. Maybe get a coke and hang out for an hour before going to sleep. I should be trying to stay up as late as possible, but damn if I’m not tired. Also, I think I’ll go on the “free” walking tour tomorrow. Se some more London. Then maybe bum around a park or find a museum or something. Do they have modern art here? I don’t know. That’s what the Internet is for, I guess.

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Keywords: europe, london, paris, train, travel

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