Day 3: Both Sides of the Thames by Wyeth Moyer

It’s our third day in London and we’re staying at a hostel that’s an old Victorian building the color of red brick. It’s called “Palmers Lodge” and though I’m staying in a room with eight other boys – all bunk beds – it’s a cool spot. Each morning there’s breakfast in the dining area on the bottom floor. Today I ate breakfast at 8:00am. I then went to the lobby, where I patiently waited for the rest of the group. Once assembled, we hit the streets and headed to the Underground train commonly referred to as “the Tube”, which is a very effective mode of transportation.

We saw the new building called “The Shard” from both sides of Thames River. It’s the largest building in Western Europe. It is meant to resemble a long shard of glass. It is sort of looks like the Freedom Tower in NYC but it tapers off into three sharp angled points at the top. We then walked across Tower Bridge to get to the Tower of London, one of the oldest structures and certainly the oldest fortress in England.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Inside, there is tons of old armor and weaponry from many different times ranging from 1000 AD to the present. There are quite a few features of the fortress, such as a mote, many gates to not only allow ships and men to come in, but also effectively keep men out who were not welcome. The Tower of London is also where we saw the Crown Jewels, which are the royal jewels that the royal family have worn for centuries. Since the Tower of London is a fortress, we were able to walk up the stairwells to the tower walls, where archers would post up to defend the fortress from invaders. We then got on a boat, to go down the river to Greenwich.

In Greenwich we climbed the tall hill to the Royal Observatory where the Prime Meridian line is located. We took pictures standing in two hemispheres and walked through the museum, which educates people on the history of navigation and the development of longitude. We ended the day eating at a nice restaurant called The Crusting Pipe, which was a mixed cuisine. I had heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella, seafood linguini, and I ordered potato gratin on the side, which never came. The other groups decided on Shake Shack and other quick things, but since Sam, Savannah, Chuan, Dong, Orlando and I like to treat ourselves, we had a long and delicious dinner while Aldredge and Lydia’s groups waited for us. We walked to the Tube after dinner, and got off at Swiss Cottage. Back to the hostel, sleepy but restless, tired but ready for another day.

– Wyeth Moyer