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2004-05-04 - 6:38 p.m.

(Written 17/04/04)

I'm currently in a net cafe in Trafalgar Square, right in the heart of

London. After I last wrote, I went back to the hostel and met a bunch of

people who were staying there. The main people I hung out with were a 19

year old guy from Oxford in his gap year, 2 sisters from Melbourne

(originally from England) and two girls from Denmark. I didn't really do

much more sightseeing in my last two days in New York, although I did walk

around Greenwich Village which was cool, more cafes and Uni students and an

Indie kind of feel (it's also where Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix started

getting noticed).

The nights were another story. On the first night we went to a very trendy

looking bar called Lotus, and stuck around 'til it closed at 4am. The second

night we found a pub that played all the sort of music that I like and after

that found a club with similarly decent music. By that stage it was just me

and the English guy, but then I met 4 other people just as he was going home

(or getting into a cab with a girl) and I hung out with them until the sun

came up.

The upside to staying up late (and still having to be out of the hostel by

11am both days) was being able to sleep on the plane from New York to London. It was an overnight flight (only 6 hours though) and I got into Heathrow at about 8.30am. I caught "the tube" (that's the London underground for those who don't know) to Tara's station, which was easy enough, but then managed to get lost trying to follow the directions to her place, and ended up on Abbey Road (only finding out later that it was *the* Abbey Road, but I didn't cross any pedestrian crossings anyway).

On Easter Sunday I went to Church with Tara and Tristan- well, "The Church"-

a gathering place for Auusies, Kiwis and South Africans were much irresponsible drinking and rowdiness goes on between midday and 3.30pm. We

were well behaved of course. Then we stopped in at a couple more pubs and

had a quiet night in with takeaway and a video. You need a few of those.

On Monday Tara drove me up to Liverpool (well, she had work to do up there

but it was still very much appreciated :) and after catching up with my

friend Mel from Uni in Nottingham, we got to Liverpool and headed straight

for the Cavern Club (where the Beatles played 292 times as they were on the

cusp of greatness).

On Tuesday I did the Magical Mystery Tour of Liverpool, getting my photo

taken at Penny Lane, the original Strawberry Field (a children's home) and a

bunch of other places. There is also an enormous Anglican Cathedral which I

went to the top of and I finished off the day with a Ferry Cross The Mersey.

The next day I did a tour of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's childhood

homes, which are owned by the National Trust and are done up 1950s style. We

drove back to London Tuesday afternoon and I that evening I had a few pints

with an old family friend.

So today and yesterday have been my London sightseeing days. I saw Big Ben

and the Parliament building, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the

changing of the guard, Trafalgar Square, the recently recreated Globe

Theatre (which is supposed to be as close as possible to the one that

Shakespeare's plays were first performed in), the Tower of London (including

the Crown Jewels), Greenwich (another cheesy photo of me with one leg in

each longitudinal hemisphere) and St Paul's Cathedral (where I couldn't

resist climbing to the top of the dome, all 400 odd steps).

So tomorrow I head to Amsterdam, and then Paris on Tuesday (if I ever get

around to booking a train ticket). Stay tuned for more zany adventures....


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