Lady Luck is finally on my side! I slept-in today and after my shower, I had a burst of intelligence. I could use my in-room blow dryer to heat my hair and comb it into place. (I wouldn't dare use the blow-dryer I brought with me. I could blow a fuse again!) It didn't work out perfectly as planned, but at least I don't look like a curly Albert Einstein.
Also, I finally caught up with the tour group representative. She was very friendly and told me the closure of the underground meeting place and relocation to the inside of the Royal National Hotel had caused a lot of confusion. (Yay! I'm not alone!) She then told me that we were meeting tonight at 6 PM and we leave for Amsterdam tomorrow morning.
On my way back I stopped at Pret A Manger again and had exactly the same thing I had yesterday. It was still equally as good.
One of the small reasons I wanted to go to London was to collect a certain type of coin. The mint had taken the U.K. shield and printed parts of it on the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, and 50p coins, as well as the whole shield on the £1 coin. While in Pret I was going through my change and I found two of the coins I needed to complete the shield!
On my way back to my hotel room I took an elevator with a man named Mark. He's from Toronto and on the same tour as me!
Back home, my girlfriend just woke-up so I'm going to go call her and wish her a great day at school.
I'll talk to you later.
I just got back from the tour meeting. There will be about 39 of us on the tour.
At first, the woman (whose name is "Flip") was telling us about how we were going to take the bus to Paris tomorrow and all about the fun things to do in Paris. After a while of talking, her partner (named "Muffin") noticed all of our faces had a confused look on it and stopped Flip. She had gotten her tours mixed up! We were going to Amsterdam - but her next group was going to Paris!
There are people from all over the world on this tour. There's people form the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Australia, Maybe I'll be able to buy some foreign currency off the Brazilian and Japanese people.
We meet up at 6:45 AM tomorrow morning, so I'll have to leave the hotel at about 6:30. After all the trouble I've had making it to this meeting, I'd hate to sleep in tomorrow and miss the bus!
Oh, before I forget, I just brought breakfast for tomorrow at a local confectionery store (which are very common in this area of London; about two every block or so) and had supper at Pret again. I promise to mix things up a bit more in mainland Europe. Sorry for being so boring about my restaurant choices!
Well, I guess it's time to switch currencies in my wallet from Great British Pounds over to Euros. I still have over £150 left, but I still hope no women with small purple flowers find me!
Goodnight now. Hopefully my next entry will be from the city of my forefathers: Amsterdam.
Entered London with £350, left with £151.48
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Books I Recommend
Sign up for a list of 100+ Things to do in Regina!
If you follow my blog, you know I love history. History is what makes us who we are today. It defines our accomplishments and highlights our failures. Most importantly, it helps us move forward as a society.
A lot of my focus is Saskatchewan's history, but there's plenty of amazing history to be told in our neighbour province of Alberta too. From First Nations culture, through to early pioneers, the oil boom and the legacy the province today, there is always something to learn about when visiting Alberta.
The Island of the Dolls is in Xochimilco, a borough south of Mexico City. While it would be faster to take a car from Mexico City to Xochimilco, the traffic is dense and the roads are very congested. Instead, if you're going there, I'd recommend taking metro, which is easy and the cheapest in the world. What you gain in comfort, however, you lose in speed, as the train ride takes about 2 hours.
Mexico City and Xochimilco both sit in the Valley of Mexico. Until about a millennium ago, the whole region around Mexico City was surrounded by a massive body of water. Over the centuries due to both climate change and interference by humans, most of this water has dried up, for the exception of Xochimilco. With networks of canals crisscrossing the borough, car transportation is difficult and water transportation is essential. I'm sure there were motorized boats somewhere in the waters of Xochimilco, but I never saw any. Instead, canoes and rafts are common on the water. However, the most popular vessel is a trajinera – a colourful gonadal-like boat that is pushed along the water with a wooden pole.
Xochimilco is known worldwide for their Floating Gardens market, which are essentially canoes floating down the canals, selling wares to tourists on trajineras. These include things like food, drinks, silver rings, trinkets, ponchos and sombreros. Occasionally other trajineras full of Mariachi bands will approach tourists and offer to play beside them on the water.
Most people know how to ride a bicycle. They learned sometime as a child and never forgot. I am not one of those people. I tried learning when I was a child, a teenager and an adult, and I have never mastered the two-wheel contraption. Whenever I see a child zip past me on a bike, I get a little jealous inside. I've always wanted to learn, but it's just something I've never been able to do.
On my recent trip to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Alberta, I explored several of the many biking paths that wind through the area. The paths are also hikable, so I walked them instead. Although I've visited Cypress Hills several times, I never get used to the hills and lakes throughout the area. With dozens of kilometres of trails, you can spend a weekend there and never do the same thing twice. Although hiking around the park was incredible, I imagine it would be a lot more fun, and a lot easier, to bike it instead.