Checked out of the Hostel and made my way back to the Hyde Park room. Got settled. Actually used the dresser drawer. Had a real desk and real WiFi so I tried to do some real work for a while.
Ended up watching Netflix instead a lot. Decided on “Suits” since it’s obviously one of those shows that I would like and it only has 2 seasons on Netflix so it isn’t a huge investment. But I watched way too much of it of course and got a minimal amount of work done. An apt prelude to my return home.
Aside from working, I just walked the Serpentine a bit and relaxed in Hyde Park. I didn’t do much, but that was mostly by design again.
Initially, my plan was to go down to London Bridge. So I took a connecting train to Notting Hill and was going to head down there, but the train was down so there was a huge line and I decided just to hang out in Notting Hill again instead. I bought a book at Waterstones, then walked back down Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park towards my place, leisurely of course.
That kind of ruined the “for myself” part of the day, so I went back and got some work done and inevitably ended up watching more Suits.
After two days of being a terrible tourist, I decided I needed to get out and actually do something. So I did the last thing that was on my list and went to the Tower of London.
They didn’t treat a lot of people very well there. It’s also where the Crown Jewels are. So I saw those. There was this little kid there asking the tour person how hard it would be to steal them for like 5 minutes. She seemed pretty confident he wasn’t going to be able to pull it off.
The White Tower was a gigantic display of armor. Like, room after room of armor. Which was cool. REALLY cool if you’re into armor. So I went through there. I did the border walk as well, so I went through all the towers and walls and stuff too. Lots of prisoner graffiti in there and stuff. Not exactly Banksy (which I saw some of during my wanderings), but they did what they could with what they had.
As I walked out, I realized that I kind of took my early arrival for granted (I got there like right at 9 when it opened). No line for tickets. No line to get in. No line for the crown jewels. Not a ton of people to walk around. I glided right through everything. When I left at 10:30 or so, there was a line for EVERYTHING. All the group tours had arrived, and it looked like what I imagine hell looking like. My 90 minutes would have easily turned into a 3+ hour trip had I arrived later.
To celebrate, I walked over the Tower Bridge and back again. I’m in a bunch of tourist pictures, but none that I have access to. Then I went back “home” and did some work.
One of my writers from Rochester is studying abroad in Oxford for a couple months, and she had just arrived in London for a couple days before going there. So I met her at The Swan by Hyde Park, we had a beer and talked about England and whatever.
I spent a while walking around trying to find something to eat, but I was kind of sick of falafel and a couple places were advertising veggie burgers but did not actually have veggie burgers. Lame. I don’t think I had anything for dinner and just went to bed kind of early.
I got up a bit early and headed towards Heathrow because I unconsciously decided I wanted to set some kind of record for airport and flying-related things for the day.
I caught the 7:30 train to Heathrow and hung out there from 8 until my flight boarded a little after 11. I knew it wouldn’t take that long to get through security, but it seriously took like 20 minutes so I had a lot more time than I thought.
My flight was 8 hours long or so. I read some from both of my books and watched Cool Hand Luke and The Book Thief. The Book Thief was different then the book and they ruined it so if you read the book, don’t go and watch it. It’s stupid.
And now I’m in Philadelphia for 6 hours until my flight to Rochester. I think I could jog to Rochester in that much time.