For my last day in London, I got to play the role of directionally challenged tour guide to my cousin Josh. He is studying abroad in Estonia for a year, and has an excellent habit of meeting up with family wherever they happen to be in the world. I was looking forward to his visit, because any time spent with Josh is guaranteed to be interesting.
We started off the day at the most important tourist destination in all of London: Chelsea Football Stadium. We got a behind the scenes look of the impressive stadium, including the locker room and pressroom. I don’t think I was the target audience for the tour, but I learned a few things despite myself.
After our tour we walked to yet another football stadium, Craven Cottage, home of Fulham Football Club. It sits right on the river and it is kind of charming, for a stadium. I think Spencer would agree.
From Craven Cottage we strolled awhile along the Thames, had a classic pub lunch, and then hopped on some rental bikes for a ride back to the city. Being dutiful tourists, we made our way to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
Although thronged with tourists, Tower of London is always impressive to see. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it has been standing since 1078 and has seen so much of the history of England within its walls. Now it is just cool to see such an old fortress surrounded by the gleaming skyscrapers of London.
We walked along the embankment for a while longer, taking in the sites along the river. We tried to go for some cocktails at the top of the Shard, the tallest building in London, but were denied entry because we were dressed like ragamuffins. The view from the top is well worth a visit, and you can just pay a fee to go to a viewing deck on the top floor. But if you clean up nicer than we do, you might as well spend your money on a cocktail and enjoy the view for free.
Instead, we got back on the rental bikes for a harrowing ride through London streets and tunnels at rush hour. Note of warning: Londoners really don’t like it when you take a bike on the sidewalk, and they will cluck at you. Our final site was the imposing Buckingham Palace, home of the Queen.
Josh survived my limited knowledge of the city and terrible geography, I managed to not die on the bike, and neither of us got into any serious trouble. A successful day in London!