[the update] a tourist day out. finally!

13.7.14

People find it hard to comprehend how I've been in London near a year and yet, when asked if I've been to the Big Ben or other 'proper' tourist attractions, I just shrug and shake my head. I guess for me, at one point it just felt like this was 'my city', or so to speak, and it was weird gallivanting with tourists to visit the landmarks. However, all this changed when Anya came down and we dedicated the two days to being proper tourists. 

After seeing him as a representative landmark, a visit to Ben was definitely a must. Anya and I also did a google on why it was dubbed Big Ben and while not definitive on who it was named after, it was definitely a Benjamin that had something to do with the building. How informative, Daphne. I didn't expect to feel overwhelmed by the building, but the intricate designs left me in complete awe. We also did a near 8 mile walk to get to Tower Bridge. We didn't go to the tour on the skywalk as we were both a) exhausted and b) lacking in mental preparation for heights, so that and the trip into the actual London Tower is on the books for next time Anya comes down south. 

the world's most expensive house that's on the market...it's huge and it's 247 million pounds. POUNDS.
a terribly British photos with Union Jacks, the black cab and Buckingham Palace at the end of The Mall. 
After hanging out with The Queen at Ascot (read about it here), it was only logical to pay her palace a visit. We accidentally stumbled upon the end of the changing of guards. It was fun to see these guards in real life. I've heard that they're not supposed to move or laugh, and their job description is basically pretend to be a statue that will attack when warranted. But this guard kept glancing at the crowd and twitched a bit. It made them seem more human and less robotic, which was slightly disappointing(?). I do want to pet that helmet though and to also see if there's a hidden fan inside it. Otherwise how are these guards able to withstand the heat come around summer? 

I love the parks in London, especially when the weather is composed of bright blue and white. Anya and I made most of the rare weather and took a long walk in St. James Park. We even found this old cottage that used to be the house for the park's duck keeper. Yes, it's as the name suggests, it's a baby sitter for all the ducks in the park. I'm not sure if anyone still lives in it, but you can't deny that it doesn't look straight out of an English countryside portrait. 

hey look, it's Cleopatra! 
Despite going to school not 10 minutes away from the British Museum, I've never actually set foot in it. I've always wanted to as I'm borderline obsessed with historical museums, but I never felt like I had enough time to properly visit the massive collection. Granted, we didn't get to make it through even a quarter of the museum, but Anya and I spent hours in the Egyptian collection - which is the main attraction of the museum in my opinion. I've been obsessed with the mummification process and the Ancient Egyptian culture since a child, and actually able to see open mummies and even the mummy of Cleopatra was beyond astonishing! I never knew that they were so tiny though, it seemed like the average height of the women wasn't over 1.6 meters and the guys were not that much taller. 

That day was a very Doctor Who day - not only did I have a fangirl moment in the museum when I saw the prop bill they used to film the ATM going hysterical scene in the Runaway Bride, I'm 99.9% sure I saw Billie Piper right around where I live. Billie Piper. Rose Tyler. I still can't comprehend. What is she doing around where I live?????? 

Anywho, it was nice to be a tourist in the city I've lived in for the past 10 months. There are still places I'm needing to see, but I'll be back after a six-week leave. What are your favourite places in London or what would you like to see in the Big Smoke? 
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