When they said pack comfortable shoes, they meant it! Today was my first real Saturday in London and it did not disappoint. I'm sure I walked about 500 stairs and more than 50 miles! Well, maybe not that many, but my feet sure felt like I had!

After sleeping in till 9 a.m., I met up with Lauren and we hit the Tube to the Tower of London. Our journey started when we witnessed what looked like a car and bicycle accident; not good.

Once at the Tower of London we took the free 50-minute guided tour around the area. The tower is the most perfectly preserved medieval castle in the United Kingdom. William the Conquerer first started building the tower as a watchtower, but by 1100 it had transformed into a palace-fortress. Our tour guide was hilarious as he pointed out all the different buildings inside the palace-fortress. We toured the "Bloody Tower" where Sir Walter Ralegh, Sir Thomas Overbury and the "Princes in the Tower" were imprisoned. On the second floor of the tower, there was a exhibit showing what Ralegh's room would have looked like while he was a prisoner. On the third floor, there were storyboards describing the disappearance of the two princes; Edward V and his brother Richard. Visitors could read the facts and decide for themselves if they thought their uncle Richard III or Henry VII murdered the boys. Needless to say the Tower of London has one of the country's goriest pasts. 

When walking around the courtyard, we saw a glass pillow commemorating the spot on Tower Green where people of nobility were executed including Anne Boleyn, Lord Hastings and Lady Jane Grey.

Then we saw some sort of palace marching band playing music in the yard. We also happened to be taking pictures by the royal guards when they did the switching of the guards. Talk about the right place at the right time. We were able to watch this ceremony up close. 

The Tower of London also holds the beautiful crown jewels. Again we lucked out because we didn't have to wait in a long line like most people to view the jewels. While standing on a moving walkway, we viewed St. Edwards Crown and the world's largest diamond, the 530-carat "First Star of Africa." We also saw the famous Imperial State Crown worn by the Queen on most state occasions. This has 2,868 diamonds; saying it was beautiful is an understatement. 

Leaving the Tower of London we explored the Tower Bridge which is lined with turquoise railings and intricate designs. 

Amazingly, while eating lunch at a pub we were able to contact two people from our SFA group so we could meet up with them. It is so hard to communicate with everyone when you can't call or text them. 

After lunch, Lauren and I met up with James and Shelia at the Tate Modern Museum. This gallery housed three floors of modern art. It was very interesting seeing all the different styles and visions. 

After the Tate, we went our separate ways; James and Shelia went back to the college and Lauren and I continued exploring. 

Of course, we decide to go to Trafalgar Square when there was a huge protest going on. So we looked around for maybe five seconds and then walked to Big Ben. 

Now before I tell the next little adventure, you must understand that I was doing this for my Uncle. Every time I saw an important landmark, I would stop (sometimes in the middle of the street) and change my shirt and put on my Rusty Taco t-shirt. Don't worry, I still had an undershirt on! I bet people where looking at me like I was crazy. But by the end of the day, Lauren and I had this switch down to a science. 

In the mood for some dessert, Lauren and I stopped at a Tesco and grabbed a brownie sundae. The good thing was it was only two pounds. The bad thing? It didn't come with any spoons. So we walked like five blocks to find a McDonalds for some spoons. Then we walked back three blocks to eat at a little park. We definitely worked for our food.

With our feet killing us, we decided to just chill at the park for a while before we headed to the London Eye. So at about 7:30 p.m. we walked to the London Eye. I had decided I wanted to go in the Eye around sunset because I'm a sucker for sunsets. Lauren had already gone up in the Eye so I went by myself. The timing was perfect. As I stood in the glass Ferris wheel, I looked over the horizon at the beautiful architecture and landmarks of London with the sunlight streaming through the clouds. It was breathtaking.

Now our day still wasn't over. The lady I sat next to on the plane ride here was from London and she told me I needed to see the Waterloo Bridge at night. So Lauren and I walked the South Bank to Waterloo as the sun went down and the city lights lit London. Jamaican street performers, restaurants and musicians lined the South Bank creating a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Once on Waterloo Bridge, the lights transformed London into a whole new vibrant city. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament stood in a golden yellow light mixed with green while the London Eye sparkled with blue lights. Even though the temperature dropped and our hands were freezing, we walked both sides of the bridge taking tons of pictures. 

After walking for 12 hours, our Saturday was complete. Once we got back on the Tube, I immediately put my feet up and relaxed. It was a great Saturday and I got to check a lot of my "Must Do in London" list. 


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    I'm Kasi Dickerson. Journalism is my passion. I'm a big family person, love to travel and I laugh all the time.


    July 2013
    June 2013