Who can complain about a free London trip? Not I! Nopers!
Here are some little known facts about England, that perhaps could come as a surprise, make complete sense, or prove that I am a bit behind in understanding the people "across the pond", as they say.
1. They do not season their food. They rely on eating foods from other ethnicities to get the flavor that we seem to appreciate daily. For example:
As part of the trip, we received dinner and breakfast at the hotel or a couple pubs around the City (if a town has a cathedral, it is called a city). Breakfasts consisted of cereals, rolls, croisantish things, fruit, yogurt, cheese and meat (salami and ham). I had bran flakes everyday, as an homage to my grandmother, who I often called gramflakes. And coffee. And the difference in Greek coffee, which I experienced on another free trip through school, is HUGE. Greek coffee rocks.
For dinners the hotel had a buffet with three options: vegetarian, fish, and a meat. Each night there was a "thai" something and an "italian" something, and a roast (a la English) with cabbage. I have never had so much cabbage in one week in my life.
The pubs offered pretty bland roast, roasted chicken, and a terribly flavorless version of fish and chips.
The best food items I ate were pasties from the Cornish Pasty chains. Basically it is a puffed pastry filled with goodness. I had a pork and apple, with ground pork, baked apple, roasted potatoes. Then I had a bacon and leek pasty. So good. I will be trying out the pasty business here in the George house.
2. Anglican Church worships royalty and war heroes like the Catholics idolize Patron Saints. And yet Catholics are not allowed in Parliament.
3. Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were buried together, in the same big adorned box, with only Queen Elizabeth's effigy on the top. The QM got the shaftola. Probably the whole Catholic thing again. Burning Protestants at the stake and all...not a wise choice.
4. Pounds come in 1 and 2 pound coins, and you spend them like quarters. And the American dollar is only about a half a pound. And Starbucks is the same price (number wise) but it certainly doesn't equate. 2.89 for a cappuchino...as in 5 dollars American. YIKES!
5. You can buy shrooms on the street, as in from a store, laughing gas too.
6. The whole driving on the left side of the road is scary. You never know which way to look when crossing, and the traffic lights have warning lights before it turns green and before it turns red. Kookily sensical! Yet I would never drive there, and not so sure I will have to ever worry about that.
7. When travelling London, everything is so old, that if it took place in the 1700s you really aren't that impressed. Pre Henry the VIII is pretty sweet, but even that isn't impressive when you think about the pre-AD Stonehenge, ninth century Canterbury Cathedral and just a little younger St. Paul's.
8. The Blitzkrieg thing really sucked! And the Brits seem to talk about it a lot, or at least our tour guide Fred did. And understandably.
9. The London Bridge is now in Arizona...huh?
10. London Underground Rocks.
11. The Parthenon in Athens had a whole slew of sculptures telling stories at the top, around the building, and some Brit took them and now they are in the British Museum. And when I was in Greece, they were pissin' and moanin' about it. They are called "marbles" and truly belong back in Athens. That is what I think about that.
Pictures to come. Gots to take them off my ipod.