Vacation in London

By: Rene Smith

My time in London was set right in the middle of my month long overseas adventure. From Christchurch, New Zealand I'd traveled through Bangkok and onto the majestic city of London. Just flying over the area was exciting; looking down on the Thames River was great and for some reason reminded me of the Eastenders TV programme.

After settling in at my sister's apartment I got some valuable sleep, traveling can be great fun but the jet lag can quickly bring you back down to earth. The next day I headed out to St Paul 's Cathedral, it's an amazing monument and was well worth the visit. After taking the usual touristy photos in front of St Paul's I moved on to the Tate Modern Art Gallery. They had some really fascinating exhibitions on at the time with some great sculptures and art work.

Heading out to lunch reminded me of how expensive everything is in London after you've exchanged New Zealand dollars to British Pounds, after coming from the very cheap Bangkok; I realized that this part of my holiday was going to be expensive. Holidays are all about spending money though so it was time to move on and spend some more.

Being a huge sporting fan I was very keen to get to Wimbledon to watch some tennis. After the first day got rained off I decided to make the journey to the grounds and see what my chances of getting in were.

Turned out that I just had to wait in line, a particularly massive line! Luckily waiting in line turned out to be part of the fun, I received my queue card, my official guide to queuing handbook and numerous other goodies that were dropped off to those who were waiting so patiently. We waited in the line for an hour and a half in the end which wasn't too bad, especially when you compare it to the other line of people who were queuing for good tickets to the following days play!

As I walked into the legendary Wimbledon complex I realized that this was so much more than a few tennis courts, it was like a small town it was so big. I watched some games on the outer courts first, had to pinch myself that I was actually watching tennis at Wimbledon, where were my strawberries and cream? After having some fun checking out the speed of my own tennis serve I ventured towards the main courts, I managed to purchase some resale tickets to the main courts and ended up watching both Raphael Nadal and Andy Murray, couldn't believe my luck! The atmosphere was amazing, even for so early in the tournament.

The next day involved lots of time in the underground and on foot as I made my way around London's Museums. I went to the Science, Victoria & Albert, Natural History and British Museums and thoroughly enjoyed each one, just the buildings were impressive. I particularly enjoyed seeing all Egyptian and Greek artifacts such as vases, statues and the Rosetta stone. It's a shame I had limited time because there was so many interesting things to see.

For dinner we went out to the Ivy, a very posh restaurant that my sister had booked well in advance. The food was good and the atmosphere nice, if not slightly pretentious. After a few drinks at a local pub we meandered back to Clapham Common and my sister's apartment. It had been a great day of sightseeing and certainly one I wouldn't forget any time soon. Luckily I had bought enough memory on my digital camera to last me a lifetime because I was taking a lot of photos.

London is full of amazing sights and to do it justice you would have to spend weeks exploring its vast areas. The only problem is that it can take a long time to get from A to B so you have to be prepared for some frustrating times whether it's delays on the underground or huge lines at famous attractions. Luckily you'll never find yourself disappointed with what you find in London, it's a destination that should be on every traveler's to do list.

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