A flamboyant tour guide

15 Jan

I’m sorry the dates on these don’t match the actual days I am talking about, I’ve been playing catch-up all week.

Wednesday was a lovely, drizzly day in London that started with an orientation for the internship portion of the program. Our internship coordinator is very Scottish. I’m thinking that when I visit Scotland I will just nod in agreement to what people say and smile sheepishly.

After the self-explanatory reading of our handbooks, we trekked back to the dorm to meet for a bus tour of the city. We were led to a large, purple coach and our tour guide, Stewart, greeted us as we boarded.

Stewart was very well-dressed. He wore a white shirt with purple stripes, a tie, and a sweater vest. His jacket was sleek and tan. He carried a black umbrella. And a man purse. Not a satchel-style, Indiana Jones, Alan from The Hangover man purse, one that looked a lot like my own black bag.

And he rocked it. It was still manly in style, I will say. Here are a few observations I made about Stewart, specifically things he said throughout our tour:

  • “We’ve given you (Americans) Amy Winehouse. Do you know Amy? She speaks to me. Rehab. We’re kindred souls.”
  • “This is where Charles first dined publicly with Gorilla. Excuse me, Camilla.”
  • “On a sunny day, you will see ungodly sights in all of London’s parks.”
  • “Sarah Ferguson, now what has she actually done? That saying, ‘famous for being famous,’ certainly applies.”
  • Any time we passed construction workers he said something along the lines of, “Now here is a prime example of British workmanship. What are they actually doing? They’re all trained to stand there and have a cigarette.”
  • And perhaps the most important thing Stewart pointed out on the tour was the prime shopping streets (Oxford, Sloane) and the number of shoe stores in the area. If memory serves, it was something like 74.

A few photos from the bus tour…

A typical street in London. Notice the helpful "Look Right" on the pavement. These are everywhere and without them, there would be a lot more pedestrian casualties.

Doors in London have the knob in the center of the door. And they are often ornate, like this one here.

The Queen's "office," as she calls it. A bit small for office work if you ask me. There is only one flag waving in this photo, the Union Jack, which is the flag of the UK. This means that Her Majesty is not in. When she is at "the office," a second flag, that of England, waves.

St. Paul's Cathedral, where Charles and Diana were married. They were the first royal couple to marry there in over 500 years. The reason? Westminster wouldn't have held enough guests.

Yes, I would take a picture of the two naked men wrestling statue simply because I think it's awkward and hilarious.

Along the way we had a few stops to take pictures (Buckingham and St. Paul’s) so I popped into a grocer, (Marks and Spencer) and found these:

If only Annalisa were here to enjoy them with me

To finish off the day, Sam and I went out to a place called Byron’s, which the sign proclaims is home to “a proper burger.” Being a vegetarian, I was initially prepared to scarf down a plate of chips (french fries) and be done with it. Lucky for me, they make an amazing portobello mushroom sandwich. I also ordered my first London drink:

Cider, which is kind of like beer only not as beer-flavory. Hard to describe, but being a lady who doesn't enjoy beer, I liked the cider. And the quirky label certainly adds to the experience.

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