24 January 2006

London: Day 3, Part 2

So after checking out the Tower we went ice-skating. Apparently it's some kind of special seasonal thing that they only do round about Christmas and New Year's, so it was nice that we got to do it. I'm not a huge fan of ice-skating so I skated a bit and then sat out to have a yummy cookie and some hot cocoa by the rinkside, but John was *LOVING* it. He just kept zipping around the rink and didn't get bored of it even after an hour. I will say one thing though I have a new-found respect for figure skaters. I had enough trouble just trying to move around the ice at a pace above a snail's, but the way they do all the those Double-Axels and Triple-Lutzes and whatnot makes it look so easy!

After we finished at the Tower we made our way to the London Eye, which is the largest Ferris wheel in the world. It doesn't just have a little carriage where you sit down, but rather it has a whole room with enough space for about 10-12 people where you can walk around freely while you admire the sights. (NB: This picture is just to give you an idea, we actually went on at night and couldn't get any decent pictures.) I loved it, but I think Dad would probably have a panic attack if someone made him get on (heck, he was sweating bullets on the little Ferris wheel at Hep 5). The view was spectacular and especially since it was at night we were able to see the famous buildings along the Thames (Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and The Houses of Parliament etc.) all lit up.

But, but, but, that's not the coolest thing about the London Eye. The coolest thing about the London Eye happened while we were waiting in line. We had just gotten our tickets and were standing in line chatting about this and that, when I heard the couple in front of us speaking in Japanese, in fact speaking in Osaka dialect. I'm always happy to hear Osaka dialect, so I turned around to take a look at the couple and who was it but my old manager Yuuichi from Flowertown Nova and his wife Jun!!!!! What are the chances! (According to Dad the chances are in fact very good, but that doesn't mean I didn't get the shock of my life!) Anyway we were all very surprised and happy to see each other and we decided to hang out together for the rest of the night.

Since we were in London we decided that we had to eat that most English of foods: Fish and Chips, so we repaired to a pub for dinner. Yuuichi and Jun were very excited about having real Fish and Chips, so they did what all Japanese tourists do and got out their cameras to take a few pics of the old F&C before chowing down. I took a pass on the fish thoug, obviously, and had a rather yummy grilled cheese and mushroom sandwich with chips. It was still early so John suggested a post-prandial stroll around Leicester Square. We soon discovered that there was some kind of carnival going on and Yuuichi, Jun and I took spin on the merry-go-round while John took pictures. I also had a nice big stick of fairy-floss (that's what the Brits call cotton-candy).

After our walk we parted company with Yuuichi and Jun and returned to the hostel to pick up our bags. Then we trundled them on over to our new hostel in Russell Square: The Generator. It was a bit pricey for a hostel, but it had free breakfast and a cool trendy atmosphere. John thought it was too trendy, but I kinda liked it, and their granola was quite good too.

OK, Goog Afternooner to all and keep checking back for more installments!

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