Swanson’s Got Swagger the Size of Big Ben Clock

This past Thursday, I was able to spend ten glorious hours in good ol’ London town.

My last flight to India was direct, but this one had a layover in London. And I have to say, I give a big thumbs up to the whole layover business. Your flights are shorter, you get FOUR meals, and, if you’re lucky, a layover in an awesome place.

I had a similarly long layover in Amsterdam when I flew to South Africa in 2007, but we unfortunately didn’t venture out into the city. I didn’t make the same mistake this time, especially since I have never visited London, and have wanted to for, oh, I don’t know, forever.

I landed around 6:30 in the morning and immediately made my way into the city. I had already planned out my explorations and was actually able to see way more than I had originally expected. I found the tube to be easy and convenient, my photo taking skills subpar–and I was asked multiple times to take pictures for other tourists because I must look non-threateny–and my ability to navigate the city decent enough to suffice, amid the large groups of middle school tourists (who all seemed to be French for some reason) and the many, many bridges I crossed. The only pain of the day was my carry-on luggage, a backpack, which caused some unpleasant pain and angry thoughts as I made my way through the city. I don’t see how backpackers do it. I was ready to throw that thing in the Thames.

Here are a few pictures of the trip. Just as I am obsessed with the Empire State Building, I have the same affinity for Big Ben. I just can’t rhyme about it as skillfully as Jean Ralphio.

Visiting the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Visiting the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

A Londoner contemplating the meaning of life at Trafalgar Square (or perhaps just annoyed by the hordes of middle school aged tourist groups).

A Londoner contemplating the meaning of life at Trafalgar Square (or perhaps just annoyed by the hordes of middle school aged tourist groups).

BIG BEN BIG BEN BIG BEN!!! Arrived just in time to hear the bells chime for 10 AM.

BIG BEN BIG BEN BIG BEN!!! Arrived just in time to hear the bells chime for 10 AM.

Hello, sir.

“Swanson’s got swagger the size of Big Ben…clock.”

“Hands down, best Abbey I’ve ever seen.”

A bit of Big Ben and the London Eye.

A bit of Big Ben and the London Eye (and many, many tourists, just like me!).

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge.

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge.

Annnd Big Ben and London Eye again!

Annnd Big Ben and London Eye again!

The only picture I asked someone to take of me, in front of Tower Bridge.

The only picture I asked someone to take of me, in front of Tower Bridge.

A view of downtown London through the Tower Bridge.

A view of downtown London through the Tower Bridge.

A hungry London pigeon.

A hungry London pigeon.

St. Paul's!

St. Paul’s!

Unfortunately, I did not get to see Shakespeare himself. Sad....

Unfortunately, I did not get to see Shakespeare himself. Sad….

St. Paul's from the Millennium Bridge, last bridge of the day before heading back to the airport.

St. Paul’s from the Millennium Bridge, last bridge of the day before heading back to the airport.

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