European Tour -- Day Four Blog
May 23, 2012
LONDON, England - We woke up at 6 a.m. today to eat breakfast, get ready and then walk to the train station to go to London. We rode a couple trains on the way. The first train brought us from Mechelen to Brussels, and the Euro Star train took us the rest of the way to London. The Euro Star took us through the Chunnel at 190 miles per hour en route to London.
Our arrival in London was at a perfect time to see something that most people never get the chance to see. We walked from the King's Cross station to Buckingham Palace where we were planning on taking a team picture. As we arrived at Buckingham Palace, there were thousands of people standing at the gates holding cameras, so we figured something significant must be happening. We got to experience the "changing of the guard." It may not sound too important, but it was quite the show. There was a band, countless metropolitan police officers and a large number of guards. After waiting for the festivities to end, we finally got our picture and split up to tour the city of London.
Through the assistance of the locals, we were able to develop a plan to see all the most impressive sights. Our first stop was the Oxford Circus. It contained a series of streets with some of the most spectacular stores we have ever seen. Being basketball players, the Niketown store got our attention. We spent a lot of time there.
After exploring the rest of the stores, we got on "the tube" (subway) and made our way towards the Parliament buildings and the "London Eye" ferris wheel. Due to a slight error in our plans, we ended up walking for about 45 minutes along the River Thames to get to the Parliament buildings instead of taking the tube, which would have gotten us there in a little over 5 minutes. Thinking positively, we figured that we got to see even more sights than we originally expected.
After visiting Parliament and all of the beautiful buildings, we decided to take the tube to the London Bridge. After marveling at the bridge and taking pictures for a few minutes, we boarded the tube to go to Waterloo station. As Seth Hinrichsinformed me, Waterloo station plays a pivotal role in The Bourne Supremacy movie. We walked around the station for less than a minute and got back on the tube to return to King's Cross station where we reconvened as a team.
Another cool aspect of London is that the 2012 Summer Olympics setup is almost complete. This particularly fascinated Levi Giese. He was determined to buy something with the Olympic theme and finally found what he was looking for in the train station right before our departure.
After taking another couple of trains, we returned to Mechelen and are preparing to visit Amsterdam in the morning for another day trip.
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