I am currently riding the underground back to LHR to depart for Nairobi via Abu Dhabi. This morning, I woke up, packed up, and headed over to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. It was raining when I got there a little before ten this morning and one of the police officers told me that the changing of the guard could be cancelled due to rain, but they wouldn’t know until eleven. I didn’t want to waste an hour if the changing of the guard wasn’t going to happen, so I decided to go into Buckingham Palace for a tour of the state rooms. One of the first places the tour takes you is the quadrangle in between all of the palace buildings. You would probably recognize this if you watched the Royal Wedding. If you go through the castle’s front gates and through the main archway, you end up in the rather large courtyard that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rode through to the main castle door. As I could kind of see through one of the arches, I camped out on a bench there for about an hour and a half to see what I could of the changing of the guard. Admittedly, I couldn’t see much through the little archway, but it was still cool. I got to see the throne room where the famous wedding pictures of QE2 and Phillip and William and Kate were taken. There were some very old thrones there, which was cool. The palace was very interesting from a historical standpoint. There were so many beautiful objects and so much beautiful art. The irony of me visiting Buckingham Palace on American Independence Day is not lost on me. I had a conversation about it with some fellow Americans who were also touring the palace. I got to see a Rembrandt, an entire collection of Royal diamonds, the ballroom where Queen Victoria hosted giant parties and QE2 conducts knighting ceremony, and the room where Prince William was baptized among many other neat things. To get out of Buckingham Palace, I had the pleasure of walking through the Royal Garden, which is basically a large park. I then returned to the hostel to pick up my baggage and am now about half way to London Heathrow to pick up my bags, repack, attempt to organize things, try to get some Kenyan Shillings, and check in to my flight.
I am still exhausted today. I think the hostel experience last night combined with my jet lag to make me so tired. A drunk Australian boy set off the fire alarm last night and the lady at the front desk couldn’t figure out how to disable it. On the bright side, I made some French friends who were incredibly lovely people.
It is 3:30, I started this post before 2, and I still haven’t made it to the airport because some of the underground signals are malfunctioning and I had to switch trains three times. Luckily, I met a gentleman from Pakistan who helped me get on the correct trains. People here are SO nice and friendly! I know to still be careful and aware and blah blah blah but I have met a lot of truly kind people while I have been here.