Day 12

The morning was met with preparation to catch our bus to London!
It was about a five and a half hour bus ride from Liverpool which wasn't too bad.
True to it's reputation, London was rainy all day, but we had a lot of fun being tourists and sight seeing nonetheless. 

Our first stop was Buckingham Palace. In all honesty it was a bit anticlimactic in my opinion. 
(Am I allowed to say that? Don't tell the Queen...)
But that probably had to do with the fact that watching Mary Kate and Ashley movies while growing up had led me to believe that the guards would be outside the gates and not several yards behind them, in tiny little boxes, looking like little itty bitty toy soldiers.
Oh well.
On that note, I wonder how one becomes a guard of the Queens? Also, is it a voluntary choice? 
I mean what little boy thinks to himself: "I want to be a Queens guard when I grow up and stand still for hours on end!"
I mean I'm just wondering...

After that we walked through St. James Park which was really beautiful. 
It was a shame it was raining because I would have liked to have stayed and enjoyed it a little bit, but it was too gross out. So we stopped at Pret A Manger for a quick lunch and headed off to The National Gallery
I love art museums. 
There's just something about seeing pieces of art, created years and years ago, still enjoyed and looked at today by so many people who come from all over the world to see it. It's the coolest thing. And the variations of art and different interpretations of things is so huge and varied that there's always something for everyone's taste. 
I just love it.
By far the coolest painting to see was Van Gogh's Sunflower painting. 
I have to admit I kind of freaked out a little bit when I saw it!
I had no idea it was there and it took me completely by surprise. 
I've always loved this painting, and Van Gogh's works in general. Especially after seeing a documentary of his life a few years ago at the Imax.
Despite the "no picture taking" rule, I snapped a photo of the painting with my phone.
Everyone else was doing it...

We headed to the British Museum after that. But by that time I think we were kinda done with museums and ready to find our hostel and get some dinner so we breezed through it pretty quickly. 
The Roman statues were pretty neat though.
Sadly I don't really remember much else.
Oh! Except for the Rosetta Stone.
That was really cool to see.
Or, what we could see of it, through the masses of people.
I think that was the other thing too, I was just really done with being pushed past, pushed by and pushing through crowds of people. It's really tiring after awhile.

We left and headed for our hostel and on the way saw none other than Big Ben!
Now that was cool to see.
He was so regal and majestic looking (can I call it a he? Is that ok? His name is Ben after all...)
It was definitely a highlight of the day. 
Other than the Van Gogh paintings, Ben was my favorite thing to see. 
See his picture? Isn't he handsome?

We took our time (not intentionally...) finding the area where the hostel was located, but once we did we started looking for a place to eat and found The Grand Union.
It was the neatest place. A really fun atmosphere with old pictures and paintings hanging on the walls and a random mish mash of tables, chairs and mirrors as well as several chandeliers hanging all over the place.   
The food was delicious too. I had pretty much a whole pizza to myself. It had arugula on it but they called it "rocket" which was interesting (yet another British word for something). 
It was really an awesome place though, I definitely would go again if I had the chance. The people were really nice and chill and we sat and hung out and played cards (of course) and rested after having walked our feet off.
We headed to the hostel, happy and full.

I'd never stayed in a youth hostel before, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I thought The Steam Engine was pretty decent. 
I have to admit I was a bit nervous about it, sleeping in a room with a bunch of strangers isn't really on the top of my to do list in life, but it ended up being fine (though I will say I was supremely happy to get back to a clean bathroom once we got back to Liverpool).
I thought I would have trouble falling asleep but I was out like a light.
Walking does that to me...

All in all it was a good first day in London.