T-18 Days

So today was a busy day!  I spent the day exploring what I could of London in the time I had.  I woke up at around 0900 and then got out and about starting at about 1000.  I took the 55 bus line from Hackney to Oxford Circus, and it was my first real ride on a double-decker bus.  (I may have been on one the last time I was here in England, but as that was when I was three, I certainly don’t remember!)  I walked down Oxford Street, and stopped in at the O2 store to get a new UK mobile.  After exploring my options, I’ll need a bank account here in the UK before I can realistically get a mobile, so I’ve got to sign up for one of those.  Of course that requires an address, and while I have one of those (in Canary Wharf), it’s not quite ready yet.  It should be by Monday, which of course will be too late for this trip.  So on my return trip in eighteen days I’ve got my work cut out for me: get into my flat, line up a bank account, get a new mobile, and get broadband for my flat as well.  That’s not necessarily the order; I imagine much of that will happen at once.

I stopped into Marks & Spencer on the walk, and saw that they have some very nice clothes, including a nice cashmere blazer for £300.  I think that’ll be one of my first purchases in two weeks.

From there I walked down through Hyde Park and to Buckingham Palace.  Of course I then became a photo-snapping tourist! 

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From Buckingham, I walked down towards Westminster, to get my obligatory shots of myself near Big Ben as well as get pics of The Eye.  In order to get there, one takes Bird Cage Walk, and it’s aptly named:

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I thought those swans might be baby ostriches they were so large!  Come to think of it though, this is really the first time I’ve seen swans that close.

I did finally get to see a Union Jack up close (which they don’t seem to fly much around here):

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and then straight after that Big Ben:

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and The Eye:

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From there I took the tube to Tower Hill, and saw the Tower of London and The Shard.  (I wasn’t really planning on that, but I was there, so I of course took more photos.)

First The Shard:

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and then the Tower of London:

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I also saw Trinity Square and Trinity House:

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as well as The Gherkin (also called The Egg):

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From there I went to Canary Wharf to see my new flat.  Unfortunately my phone’s battery was dead so I don’t have any pictures!  It’s right on the water, though, and you can see pictures at the foxtons.co.uk site here:

http://www.foxtons.co.uk/search?submit_type=search&property_id=824115&amp…

It’s a tad smaller than I was expecting, but still very nice, and has a balcony on both the reception area as well as the master bedroom.  Canary Wharf is very similar to downtown Manhattan, so it feels somewhat like “home” as well!

I’m off to Paris tomorrow and Monday, and back Monday evening!

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