London Day 2 – Walk, Walk, Walk, Crawl, Crawl, Crawl

Today we had some pretty cool adventures. Mickey and I spent several hours on a free walking tour where we hit most of the big locations and then we meandered around Piccadilly going into some of the most touristy shops I’ve ever seen in my life. On the tour we heard a ton of really cool stories which I will do my best to capture for you even though I’m pulling them from memory.

I’m going to butcher the names of a couple of these places so be prepared for some silliness. The tour started out at a place called Belushis pub where a bunch of people were gathered up and then herded onto the tube. We came out in a pretty cool park where there were war memorials that surrounded a gigantic triumphal arch. As the tour started they told us all about this giant arch and how the French and English were fighting and during the fights the French started to build an arch of triumph… Then the English won. So because of their victory they were like, “take that France! Now we are gonna build a better arch” but unfortunately they totally failed and theirs was significantly smaller. So then they made a statue that doubled the arches size and it looked hilarious and quite ugly. Since then they’ve made a few changes however and now in my opinion it looks lovely. From there it was a quick jaunt down constitution road to buckingham palace where the changing of the guards was taking place.

We were told of a few different break-ins at buckingham and my favorite one revolves around an Irishman. He made the decision to hop the fence and wander his way over to the palace where he discovered an open window. Climbing in he went down into the basement, and as a notorious drunk, was very pleased to happen upon the wine cellar. He then found a bottle to his liking and went on his merry way. Of course the bottle was quite nice and the guard was unable to discover who had taken it but instead of taking extra precautions they said to themselves that nobody is stupid enough to come back again.

Several months later he had a hankering to see more of the palace and so he hopped the fence again. Instead of going down he made the trek up to the throne room where he hops onto the royal seat and has himself a grand ol’ time. All this while alarms are being set off… and instead of going to look the guard says to himself “no way could anyone get passed the guards and the walls and into the palace, the alarm must be broken I’ll go and turn it off.” The Irishmen decides he’s tired and could use a lay down so he heads to the bedrooms… The queens specifically where she happens to be fast asleep. Upon waking to find a strange man in her room the queen keeps her composure, hits her emergency button (which does nothing as the alarm system is off) and asks how he is doing. They have quite the chat and then when she’s had enough the queen who doesn’t smoke asks if he would like to have a cigarette. She then calls her maid and requests a smoke for the strange man in her bedroom. The maid then raises the guard and he gets wrestled from the building. They wanted to put him in jail for the rest of his life but at the time the palace was public property… So he was unable to be charged with anything.

As this is getting quite long I will omit the other stories and instead list the other cool places we saw. Henry the VIII palace, statue of the Duke of York, Trefalagar square, the Horseguard square (this has a different name but I’ve forgotten) Westminster Abby, Big Ben, and we finished the tour off at a pub called the Old Monk which is rather famous! That evening we went on an adventure of a pub crawl where we met some really awesome people from all over! Bonded with two floridians named Matt and Mike and met people from Australia, New Zealand, and Russia. Mickey and I ruled the dance floors and convince many people that sitting around shouting at each other was way less fun than dancing our hearts out! Included in the pub crawl ticket was a free shot at each bar and happy hour prices on all drinks. So needless to say we were all having a grand time of it. Mickey and I were thoroughly impress with ourselves as we figured out the night bus system which at first glance seems very simple and absolutely is not!

I’ll do my best to update a bit more often but it’s tough to just sit down and write when all this awesomeness is going on. As the bartenders at our hostel say Ta everyone!

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