Sunday, June 22, 2008


Well Blogosphere, its been awhile hasn't it? How about we make up and I can leave an update? I couldn't be happier. I'm sitting in an Internet Cafe in Northeast Athens, a Diet Coke next to me, Europop music over the loud speakers, and the Mediterranean heat blowing in from the door. It has been a crazy week to get to this point. On Wednesday I waved goodbye to my stay at the London Centre at least for a little while (also to shaving). My parents flew in that afternoon and I picked them up via tube system and led them to our hotel in Camden. That first day they were quite tired, so we took it easy. My mom (should I say mum now?) stayed at the hotel while I took my Dad to visit the centre and take care of some last minute business before I officially checked out. That first day was pretty low-key. We ate at the hotel and got ready for the next couple of days.
On Thursday we woke up kind of late, and took the tube to the West end for the day. Breakfast that morning was something else. We ate near my swimming pool at a family-run Turkish restaurant. The food was cheap and filling, and only got us more excited for the Mediterranean. We spent the day on a tour bus that took you through the city and allowed you to hop-on and hop-off. One of our stops was St. Pauls Cathedral and I took my Dad part way up the Dome. For lunch we had some British food, which is not much more than meat pies and chips(french fries) with everything. My parents weren't too impressed with British cuisine, and neither am I. It is very hearty and filling, but isn't much to experience of even look at. Even you can't imagine what it is, think of baking everything in a flaky pastry and add some mushy peas on the side. The highlight of the tour was probably a boat tour that took us up the Thames from Tower Hill to Westminster Palace. Our guide on the tour was a typical Brit, with a biting sense of humour and full of witty observations. I couldn't really ask for more to end my British experience. Even the accent was spot on. That evening we saw Les Miserables in the West End. I have to say it was a pretty good show.
On Friday we were a bit tired of the city, so we headed to the countryside for a trip to Windsor Castle, the Queen's favorite residence. To get there we had to catch a train from Waterloo station. Our train shared a platform with the one heading to Ascot for the day of horse races. Royal Ascot is a chance for the London elite to show off their most outrageous hats and mingle amongst each other. It really threw myself and my parents for a loop to see all these people dressed in huge hats, and long coattails. On the way to Windsor we passed by a town called Whitton, which is pretty similar to my last name Whetten. Supposedly both last names come from the same place. I guess at least part of me is British to the core? Windsor was an awesome place. It is still a fully functional palace. Just days before it was closed for a state visit by President Bush, and Prince William was made a Knight in the Order of the Garter. While we there the Queen was too, because her flag was flying from one of the towers. That evening we didn't have too much to do, so we hit up another show. This time it was the musical adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. I was skeptical when we bought the tickets because I had heard it wasn't too good. However, it closes in July so I figured I at least could be one of the people that had seen it before it disappeared into musical oblivion. I've been to a few musicals now, so I consider myself an apt critic (haha) and given some bad acting, and a poor storyline, it was pretty good. The set was incredible as were the costumes. Parts of the stage would rotate and rise up to mimic the mountains and the battle scenes. Actors were dropping from the ceiling, and in between acts they would come out and interact with the audience. The Hobbits would hop from chair to chair making jokes, and the Orcs would creep in the aisles scaring the occasional tourist. It was great fun.
Saturday was a day lost. We didn't have much planned because our flight left in the middle of the day. When we got there, Olympic Airlines told us we were delayed until 9:00 pm so we spent the afternoon touring Heathrow. There isn't much to see, haha. We made it into Athens last night (or should I say this morning). I'll save my love for Greece for the next post.

No comments: