Our great attempt to prove Tomek true.
12.12.2009 - 14.12.2009
From about the middle of October, a group of North American students studying at the University of Tromsø were looking at ways to take advantage of their exchange as a jumping-off point to explore the rest of Europe. The weekends flew by, and our schedules just wouldn’t mesh.
Then someone had the bright idea: “What about December?”
On paper, the plan seemed simple enough: write three exams, pack up the apartment, fly to London (well, Gatwick) direct from Tromsø, fly back on the 15th, write an exam on the 16th, and leave Tromsø on the 17th.
Actually, as I write it now, it seems insane. Luckily, I’m still here to write about it.
And so it was that via a few different flights, Josh, Nina, Linda (Mexico), Melinda (erm, Wisconsin?), Loes, & I headed to the bright sunshine (remember, we were yet in the polar night) of London, England.
"Sure, you can do tourist London in three days”
So were the words of Tomek, our resident Tromsø expert on all things England. (Grace helped too, of course.) However, since this is in spirit a Norwegian blog (that 23-hour foray to Northern Finland being in that spirit), I’m just going to give an overview of the sights we hit. Anyone who wants to come share a Guinness and see 330-odd pictures from our three-day tour is more than welcome.
Setting out from our little hostel just off St. Paul's square, we spent our days "Minding the Gap" on the Underground, dodging double-deckers and black cabs, and looking the wrong way when crossing the street.
OUR WHIRLWIND TOUR IN POINT FORM
(along the way, of course, were all manner of touristy shots, shops, and pub stops.)
- London Bridge
- Westminster Abbey
- Trafalgar Square & Nelson's Column (site of the Canada Day street hockey extravaganza)
- The British Museum (with the real Partheon Frieze)
- Soho & Picadilly Circus by night
- St. Paul's Cathedral (for a beautiful Advent service)
- Tower Bridge
- Tower of London
- Churchill Bunker
- The John Snow Pub (the father of communicable disease treatment – I thought it was nifty)
- The Lyric (great stop in Soho for pub fare)
- Tower of London (again – so cool, so very cool)
- Hyde Park (alas that we missed the Corner the previous morning)
- Natural History Museum
- Covent Garden
- Maple Leaf Tavern (Canadian expat pub - Sleeman's or Moosehead, anyone?)
- The House of Commons (inside, actually)
And, to top it all off: Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" (showing number 23,771 - longest running play in the world) followed by a return to the Lyric (with two spectacular hostesses).
When all was said and done, we had three spectacular days in the former capital of the British Empire (and once nucleus of Canadian Government itself).
However, I never could have dreamed the impact this trip would have on my final days in Norway: for the rest of story, stay tuned…