Christmas Markets! Should be a thing in the US.
Also the camera that I bought to replace the camera that was destroyed when I fell off my bike is pretty crappy and I am sorry about that.
So last night I was going to catch a flight to Stockholm to spend 4 days listening to Nobel lectures, going to royal palaces, prancing through IKEA, and everything else one does in Stockholm. Unfortunately there was a big windstorm across Northern Europe and my flight was canceled, and the airline wasn’t really offering up much in terms of alternate flights (12 hours and 6 stops to get from CPH to Stockholm? Nothankyou). So I applied for my refund and went to Friday Bar instead, and the night was not a complete loss.
I have 12 days left here! And this whole city is Christmassy now! So I’ll get some of that good stuff up when I find the motivation to brave the cold again. Currently enjoying a quiet Saturday night being warm.
Fun facts about Vienna:
1. It is BEAUTIFUL at night and you should BRING YOUR CAMERA when you go to the city center after dark so you don’t end up with only mediocre photos of these buildings in the grey overcast daytime.
2. The Imperial Palace is more of a PALACE COMPLEX because it was the residence of the Habsburgs for around 600 years, and every generation added a little bit more. IT’S GINORMOUS.
3. There are 3 kinds of bars in Vienna: English Pubs, Irish Pubs, and Australian Bars.
4. Austrians love Americans. Especially when you tell them you’re from New York.
Thursday morning I said goodbye to Sam and her roommates and crossed the Thames to go see Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Going into it I wasn’t terribly excited, because I was in the mood to just get back to Copenhagen and prepare for Vienna, but I’m glad I made myself do it. The Third Globe Theater was opened in 1997 and is about as close to an exact replica as they could make it.
London, Day 3: Tower of London!
Turns out it’s actually a VERY LARGE complex, considering I thought it was just one tower. Sam and I spent close to 4 hours seeing everything here, and once again I had trouble wrapping my mind around how much history had occurred where I was standing. At one point I was standing just a few feet away from the bones of ANNE BOLEYN. WHAT.
Pictures include: Henry VIII’s armor (definitely compensating for something), and the tower ravens. Legend says that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London then the tower will crumble and the British monarchy will cease to exist. So they take like 6 ravens, clip their wings, and keep them in cages on the Tower grounds. Plenty of other ravens are flying around as well, but these ravens are a backup.
The Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace, as I discovered Tuesday, takes about an hour. It also involves not one but TWO brass bands, which play showtunes while the tedious and inefficient process of guard-changing takes place. I am not making this up.
Meanwhile, the London Police who are actually guarding the gates to the Palace continue to let people with the appropriate security badges into the Palace, regardless of any opinions the Royal Guards might offer, which they do not.
The whole ordeal was incredibly confusing for me.
Monday was a very productive day, tourist-wise. I left the flat (haha “flat”, so British) around 10am and took the Tube down to Westminster Abbey and Parliament. The crazy thing about the Tube stop at Westminster is one of the exits comes out RIGHT AT THE BASE OF BIG BEN. So you’re climbing the stairs to get out of the Tube station and looking up and what’s that building there and HOLY CRAP THAT’S BIG BEN RIGHT THERE I AM REALLY IN LONDON.
So last week I got up at an inhumane hour of the morning, slogged my way to Copenhagen International Airport, and boarded a plane bound for LONDON GATWICK AIRPORT. It’s only about a 2 hour flight. It was also dirt cheap.
First impressions were absolutely wonderful. I love London. The reason I fell in love with London so quickly is, I think, because it reminds me of New York. So there goes my sense of worldliness and culture. I’ve favorited the city in Europe that reminds me the most of the US. I’m incurably American, it would seem.
That time I was walking through London and all of a sudden the internet and real life collided.
(coming soon: London blog posts!)