Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Celebrating New Years in the UK
By some sort of luck (and having a friend in graduate school in London) Chris and I made it to Europe for winter break. We spent about 16 days traveling different countries and fighting the frigid cold. First stop on our list: London. We arrived in late December and I was battling the worst cold of my life.
We weren't prepared for the severe jet-lag our first few days in London. We woke up at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and had to rush to get ready and see the sights. My biggest advice for European travelers is to allow an extra day to sleep a few hours. It will help tremendously, especially if you're on a long trip.
After a few days of nursing a cold and celebrating the New Year, we started to visit all the popular tourist sights. New Years day, we visited Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye. The eye is pretty cool if it isn't zero degrees outside. If you plan on going up in the eye, expect long lines and spending about 15 euro a person. We were unable to get up until 4:30 p.m and it was already dark, so our pictures weren't very good. It's definitely cool to get a view of the great city of London though!
Another problem we faced frequently was the lack of things open during the winter. We weren't able to go inside West Minister Abbey, Parliament, or Buckingham Palace. Parliament is actually closed to tourists all year round, but other places are typically open in the summer.