Time: 30 min- 1 hour
We had told ourselves on day 1 in London if we could stay awake until 9:00 pm London time we would be in decent shape to beat jet lag. We were so happy to have made it to almost 9:00 when we left The National Gallery (minus the nodding off Jacob did while I bawled as mentioned in my last post). Imagine our surprise to find it still bright as could be outside! Arizona doesn't do daylight savings, so the sun comes up early and sets early during our very hot months. Pretty sure this only contributed to our surprise!
I figured I'd take advantage of the light and get a pic of Jacob in front of The National Gallery. We'd kind of gone in the back way and missed the front side, so perfect opportunity.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I turned around to see this view:
I think my heart skipped a beat- Big Ben, the architecture, the monuments- I knew I was somewhere cool, but it took us a few minutes to realize we were in the historic Trafalgar Square.
This is the literal center of London, and connects the modern world with the ancient. Above us is the world's biggest Corinthian column, and it has Admiral Horatio Nelson staring into the channel where he helped save England by defeating the French at Waterloo. It's also a tribute to those who saved England during WWII.
I was just so thrilled to see buildings with architecture and history behind them- not something kids from Arizona and Utah get to see all that often. I also was trying to suppress my tourist excitement at seeing double decker buses everywhere.
And being at a place where locals and tourists meshed was kind of a cool thing. Tip we discovered fast: tourists wear backpacks, locals don't unless they are students (you can't pull that off unless you want to wear a schoolboy/girl stereotypical uniform, trust us). If you want to try to avoid this get a shoulder bag or pack that doesn't scream you're backpacking through life. Now go ahead, play spot the tourists in the picture above and below!
We had fun doing just that! We also sat and enjoyed a solid 20-30 minutes watching the sun finally starting to set, enjoying the scenery, people watching, watching street performers do crazy things, protesters being chased by police, oblivious tourists being poached by pick-pockets (so easy to spot who is scanning the crowd- thanks for that tip Rick Steves!), and enjoying the sites, sounds, and smells of London at its finest.