London - My Family Travels

“Were might I find the water closet?” I absolutely love using new terminology I learn when taking vacations. Using the words from a different culture makes me feel as if I belong and brings a vacation to life. This feeling I got when I vacationed in London, England an idea initially generated by my grandmother who desperately wanted to go.

            We were warmly greeted by the tour guide, and then taken to our hotel, after the thirteen hour flight. The Royal Horseguards, a stately hotel with which luxurious rooms overlook a luscious garden that displayed a beautiful fountain. The hotel is near the Tube, the subway system that allows quick travel across London. The Horseguard is also one of the few air conditioned buildings in London. I appreciated this since my visit coincided with a record heat wave.

            At our hotel we met our group on the veranda for refreshments; a wonderful idea of the Globus Tour Company because everyone got a chance to get acquainted with sight-seeing buddies. Dinner was in a large dinning room with lovely fabric table clothes, and sparkling, bright china dishes. Halfway through our meal, our tour guide for the week, Kristina, briefed us on upcoming activities.

            The next morning after a wonderful English breakfast, we hopped on the tour bus and were off to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The moment we stepped through the door a hush fell over the group. Everyone stood in awe of the high-domed ceilings painted with beautiful scenes. During the tour, I couldn’t stop thinking of all the history that must have unfolded within these very walls. The historical aspects of our vacation overwhelmed and amazed me. Every location was a piece of history. For instance while on our way to Oxford College, we passed a street corner where a King of England was beheaded! As for a little modern history, while at Oxford, I walked up the stairs where a portion of the “Harry Potter” movie was filmed.

            Later we toured Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. Outside each building were the red and black uniformed members of the Royal Guard. Inside Windsor Castle we viewed the lovely crown jewels, Queen Elizabeth’s doll house, and a hall with coats of armor displayed on the walls. One of the most intriguing rooms was the torture room at the Tower of London. Old medieval torture instruments were set up, including the stretching rack used to tear the limbs off prisoners.

            After a long, hot day of touring we went to eat dinner at Sherlock Holmes Pub. We ate fish and chips, spotted dick, toad in the hole, and my grandmother ordered ale, which was warm beer. After dinner we met up with some of our tour buddies and went to ride the London Eye, the largest ferris wheel in the world which has clear capsules large enough to hold twenty people. This was awesome! All of London could be viewed, including the Parliament building, Big Ben, and Westminster Abby. A visit to historical London should be on everyone’s life itinerary. London was the trip of a lifetime. I loved it so much that I’m considering studying abroad in London while in college. Also, just a heads up, when asking for the elevator say the “lift”, so people don’t give you weird looks.


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