Hullo there, old bean! Right-o, time to regale you chaps with the tale o’ my trip to jolly old London town, what what. Fish and chips knickers banger tube pint Big Ben.
Okay, that’s out of my system.
But seriously, I went to London this weekend. It’s kind of like America, except people drive on the wrong side of the road and don’t really speak English very well.
The first day was sightseeing: Parliament, Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, und so weiter. I also rode a lion.
I visited Westminster Abbey, where more famous people than I’ve ever seen in one place are buried, embalmed, interred, or otherwise stored. It’s definitely the place I want to be when the zombie apocalypse occurs — who needs high ground and fresh water when you have the opportunity to brain Charles Dickens with a shovel?
The next day I went to the British Museum, which was an incredible, incredible museum. It’s basically a shrine to things the British Empire stole from other cultures, but what museum isn’t, right? And if it means I get to see the Rosetta Stone, Greek sculpture, Assyrian wall carvings, and moai all in the same place — for free — well, who can begrudge imperialism that? Don’t answer.
After the museum I took a bus with a friend from Stanford to Oxford to watch another Stanford friend who’s currently studying in Oxford race the steeplechase for Oxford’s track team. “-Fords” are apparently pretty interchangeable (just not in the previous sentence). The Oxford track, however, is the place the first sub-four-minute mile was run, so naturally I had to run on it.
Oxford may actually be even more of a quintessential college town than Palo Alto, and it’s incredibly old. We passed a house that was older than Berlin itself — and Berlin was founded in the 1230s.
All in all, I really liked Britain. The food is pretty perfect for a weekend — fish and chips, mushy peas, pints of ale, steak pies, more pints of ale, more fish and chips, eggs and bacon, Borough Market in general, the Sherlock Holmes pub in particular — and everyone I talked to was very nice, even when I inadvertently wandered into a transvestite pub in the gay district of Soho. Maybe because I inadvertently wandered into a transvestite pub in the gay district of Soho. Or maybe British accents just make people sound polite.
It was a whirlwind tour of the Land of Drunk Chelsea Fans. I left yesterday morning, which was absolutely perfect timing — Heathrow was shut down today because of Icelandic ash (again).