Day 4, October 14th, 2011. This morning I woke up and had coffee (meaning she had coffee and I had nothing) with a fairly attractive Swiss girl named Maggie. No big deal. She had to go meet a local friend, and I had whatever it is I had planned that day (shit), and we decided to meet for drinks that night. I never saw her again. Where are you now Maggie? Facebook me!!
That day I actually did have a plan: find my way to the meeting spot for the free London tour by some important arch (Wellington Arch). I decided I’d walk through Hyde Park to do so, the other notable park in London, and one that I was staying quite close too. Again, like Regent’s Park, I immediately felt at home. Maybe it was the Kensington Gardens, the pretentious sculptures, or maybe I just like bird shit. The park is split by the Serpentine, a 28 acre lake that one can boat on or eat and drink beside, or walk along. I did the latter, since I’m a cheap bastard, a recurring theme. The park also houses the Diana Fountain, a tribute to Wonder Woman I believe. It also houses the Serpentine Art Gallery, which was free to go inside, and it was a thrilling seven minutes. I almost went into the Kensington Palace because Kensington is a great British name (and I believe an Austin Powers broad), and because the Palace looked like some kooky Alice in Wonderland-like exhibit, but it required money, and I had more pressing business: I had to get my Mom a picture of the Peter Pan statue. Despite putting myself in danger of missing the free tour, I took the picture, even though kids were obscuring it for awhile, what the fuck? Because this paragraph wasn’t really exciting I feel like it’s worth mentioning that my Mom split her head open trying to fly like Peter Pan. She was 17.
I assumed I had plenty of time to get to the tour, but Hyde Park covers 350 acres. That’s like nine Ron Jeremy penises. Needless to say I barely made the tour in time, but I’m glad I did. I relished the company of Thomas the Tour Guide, a young Irish lad, and met my first couple fellow Americans (Nathan from Arizona and Iesha, yes Iesha, from Arkansas). Basically, we saw a lot: Buckingham Palace and I was able to see like three of the guards during the changing of the guard (because it’s a fucking zoo during the ceremony), the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, the Churchill War Museums, Big Ben (which is actually the name of the bells, not the actual clock), etc. And it was free! Great solid tour, and it’s been posited, and I concur, that these free tours may even be better than the ones that you actually pay for, because the tour guides are young, vivacious peeps working for tips, so it promises to be lively, informative, and a lot of fucking walking.
After we met at a pub I forgot, but it was probably an animal and a human, like The Lion and the Child (you combine animal-animal or animal-human or color-animal or famous British family-“Arms” to create an English pub. It’s taught in elementary school). Once there, I tipped Thomas, ate ice cream and waffles for lunch (I eat like a child when travelling, apparently), bought tickets for the London Pub Crawl through the tour company to meet some people and get drunk (conveniently forgetting my aforementioned plans with Maggie). Turns out Iesha was heading to Oxford in the next couple days, which happened to be my next destination. She put down my facebook information but never contacted me in Oxford, that bitch.
Huh. There’s a lot of parentheticals in this post. Get used to it (seriously).
Following some other girl’s advice on the tour I went back to Camden Town Market for dinner to purchase a Turkish wrap (sausage, cheese, spinach and yoghurt, yeah check out that ‘h’). Done. Divine. Also had like the equivalent of a prawn samosa at a Brazilian stand. Meh.
Next time: Andy has a miserable time, a fantastic time, a drunk time and one of the more horrifying sleeping arrangements of his life.