The Bloke and I have very different opinions on what constitutes as ‘a holiday.’ Give me a beach, a pool, a bar and glorious sunshine and I’m happy. He needs things to see and do. I like to adopt my inner vegetable and lay like broccoli, while he’s a ‘get up and go’ type.
We both, however, have a common love of London, and we try and visit as many times a year as we possibly can. Booked in advance, train tickets are very cheap and the journey is only an hour and a half, so getting there relatively easy. There’s something about it that we both connect with – the architecture, history and the atmosphere is wonderful, and over the years we have joined the millions of tourists with our cameras to experience everything the city has to offer.
Last Saturday I was attending the Annual Bloggers Bash, so we decided to make a little mini break out of it. We booked a room at the Premier Inn near Euston Station for Friday night and got a ridiculously early train so we would have the entire day to wander around. After leaving our bags at the hotel, we arrived at the Tower of London in time for opening, and it was already packed – it seemed like half of the U.S. had the same idea as us that day.
A panorama of the view from the central building
We spent the morning exploring the buildings in the glorious weather, looking at The Crown Jewels and the views of the city and being amused at the tourists making victory signs as they had their photographs taken in the red phone boxes. Their fascination with them always makes me smile – the British use them for urinating in and for advertising pornographic services. As is always the case, there was building work going on to maintain the architecture, so some of my photographs are blighted by scaffolding and cabins.
The central building
The Bloke testing his new camera
Can’t take him anywhere…
Looking a little more normal…
Afterwards, we went to the food section at Harrods to treat ourselves to a few things for a lunchtime picnic and then ate it in Leicester Square while we watched the street performers. We enquired about discounted tickets for a show, and after discovering that they were a little out of our price range we decided to book tickets at the Odeon to watch the new Mission Impossible film that evening. Granted, we could have seen it when we went home, but this particular cinema is where they host the premier screenings of new films and hundreds to celebrities have been there, so it was something else I could tick off my tourist list.
We went back to the hotel, checked in and promptly fell asleep for a few hours, both being shattered from being awake since 5.00am.
That evening, we went to the cinema and were promptly surprised by just how big the screen was, and the fact that it looked just like a theatre. The film was great – one of the best of the five, and aside from a silly woman sitting next to me who laughed all the way through it even in the parts that weren’t supposed to be funny, I had a great time.
As we were leaving, I picked up my rubbish from the floor and I noticed something underneath The Bloke’s chair. It was an A4 piece of paper, with a still of Tom Cruise in Top Gun. It read:
Congratulations! You have won a prize – please take this to one of our staff to claim it.
Our prize from the cinema – bonus!
We weren’t sure whether it was a prank, but we took it to the manager in the foyer. I half expected him to laugh at me and tell me someone had put it there for a joke, but I was pleasantly surprised when he smiled and asked us to follow him to a little cupboard near the entrance. Our prize was a Guardians of the Galaxy poster and a copy of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. It was completely random, and looked a little awkward carrying it back on the Tube afterwards, but I was delighted – I had wanted to purchase the book anyway, and let’s face it, it’s always nice to get free stuff!
I don’t remember my head hitting the pillow that night. Despite having an afternoon nap, I was completely exhausted…
I love the fact that we have little adventures together. I can’t wait to see what Barcelona has to offer in September!
What about you guys? Have you visited anywhere recently?
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