Part 2 London and Paris 10 Day Getaway - Arriving in London

12:40 PM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

Our major traveling behind us, but our jet-lag following us, we emerged from the London Underground. I had a small inkling of the location of our hotel. I knew for certain that it was located just off the main square of the Piccadilly Circus. Having planned on taking a taxi, I had no map, only memories of a map. We had no idea which exit to take from the subway so we chose randomly and blinked into the bright, crisp, 6:30am, English sunlight.
Ok, good. This looks familiar. And everything is in English so we are in the right country!
I began to walk in a direction that felt right. Not much really feels right when you have terrible jet-lag like I get but I had to put on a show for the bf so he wouldn't think that we have been on London soil for all of 2 minutes and I have already gotten us lost. I had actually used Google Maps Street View to do this little walk some time back and that sure came in handy now. I remember passing some statues of horses...and low and behold...I got hoofed!
The horses attacked me, then helped us find our way to the hotel.
I knew then that we were close to hour hotel and it took us not another couple minutes and we were dropping off our bags to go find us some proper English grub. As most hotels go, you can't check into your room until mid to late afternoon but pretty much all hotels are happy to watch your bags for you. We left our bags and asked for help finding a Full English Breakfast. We were hungry and wanted the full experience. They gave us a map and said lots of words. I smiled, nodded and made my way outside. We walked around pretending we knew what the person at the hotel was saying but we were immediately lost again. We passed a fire station. It must be the same around the world...if anyone is going to know their way around a city it will be firefighters and letter carriers. They helped us find our way along until we ended up at a little cafe, packed to the gills with construction workers.
Full English Breakfast, tea and juice. Yum!

We got the full English Breakfast which typically consists of baked beans, sausage, eggs, black pudding, toast and roasted tomatoes. There are other variations but mine was, as you see above, sausage, black pudding, baked beans, fried eggs, toast, tea, juice and a little wedge of hash browns. Oh man was I happy eating! I felt like I was on a boat from the long travel but the greasy food, much like it helps hangovers, helped settle my seasickness a bit.
British Museum and Easter Island and us.
Despite being tired and jet-lagged, we had no choice but to soldier on. There was no way we were going to waste one day of our 10 day trip resting! So we took our hotel map and walked to the British Museum. Some highlights were a statue from Easter Island, a crystal skull, Egyptian artifacts, mummies, real Samurai armor, and the best part...the Rosetta Stone!
THE Rosetta stone. Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. 
We walked and walked through all the many rooms. I started feeling seasick again. The bf was in hog heaven with all the ancient stuff, specially the Egyptian things. He took his time looking at everything and I took my time barfing in the bathrooms. I learned through trial and error that if I just kept moving, I didn't feel as sick so I started wandering the sarcophaguses. I remember being at this fantastic museum 30 years ago when I was just a little girl. The mummies were what had the biggest impact on me. I circled and circled until the bf caught up with me.
One of the many, many mummies and sarcophoguses at the British Museum
I marveled at the human forms preserved in the glass cases. I was amazed by the bright colors that still decorate the sarcophaguses despite their ancient age. I loved looking at the mummified pets, children and farm animals. I like seeing the old jewelry, the jars that hold the guts and stuff and the booty the people were buried with. So cool! After we went through the whole main collection, we were treated to a special exhibit all about Witches. It was a whole floor devoted to displaying books and papers about witches. The art was beautiful. I wanted so much of what I saw. I guess because it is near Halloween they deemed it an appropriate time to have this display. I loved it.
A small sample of the art in the special Witches Exhibit. 
After we exhausted all there was to see at the British Museum we walked back to the hotel and were able to check in. We took a little nap. The hotel is very modern. It must have been upgraded some time recently. I am used to staying in older buildings. I like the musty smell and old world charm of the antiques, the creaky floors and threadbare rugs. I liked the look of the hotel but there was one small issue. The rooms are small, which is alright, but the bed is locked between two walls at the head and foot. This would be fine for most people but we are not most people. The bf is 6 foot 7 inches so he was kind of wedged in trying to sleep. Poor guy, he does get this a few times when we travel. Even in the older places we have this problem because they give us beds with foot and headboards. I said it was like sleeping on a submarine when I described it to my good friend who was coming to stay with us the next day.

Nap time over we, once again, headed out into the London air. We walked over to the National Gallery. It was dark at this point but I knew that, thankfully, the National Gallery was open late because it was a Friday. Like most museums in London, it was free to enter the museum. Yay, England! We walked along looking at rooms full of Monets, Caravaggio, Van Goghs, Rembrandts and more. There were even a few Vermeers!

The National Gallery is open late on Fridays and is always free to enter.

After we walked all the halls we wanted to see we exited the gallery onto Trafalgar Square. The weather was perfect for an early October evening. The sky was clear and people were everywhere. There were works of modern art displayed in the Square. One of the things was a massive, blue chicken on a big pedestal. I tried to get a good photo of it but failed. I loved that chicken! The night air gave us a bit of energy. We also fed off of the energy of all the people walking around this night.
Trafalgar Square on a lovely October evening.
We walked back towards our hotel looking for something to eat. We found a little place that my pizza loving vegetarian bf was ok eating at and plopped into the chairs. Man, talk about exhausted! I had barfed up all my breakfast a while back so I was ready to eat some dinner. We had pizza and a calzone with olives as an appetizer and a couple ciders. I love that the bf is drinking! I guess he doesn't have his pot so he is branching out? Either way, it was a lovely meal. It was a BIG meal!
Big Italian dinner to finish off a loooooong day.

The restaurant was a block away from the hotel so we strolled home and crashed out. Ready for day 2 in London tomorrow!

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