So far the trip has been great [read: we've only had a few snags]. Starting off, London was awesome. The weather was beautiful and we only needed jackets in the evening. When we first got there, it was rush hour. My opinion of London was that it's basically New York with an accent and longer history. Super busy, lots of pedestrians, crazy traffic. Andrew had the same opinion. We went to a pub for dinner and drinks the first night, then we took a walk down by Big Ben and Parliment. I already posted the pics from the walk. The next day, we woke up early and went to the Tower of London. We saw the Tower Bridge too because it's right there. Here are the pics from both:
After the Tower of London, we went to the Old Operating Theater Museum. It's literally an old operating theater where they used to perform operations on people in a theater setting where students and scholars could look on. They also had lots of old tools, syringes, saws, scalpels, chloroform masks, etc. It made me glad to be born in a time of anesthesia. We found some interesting sights on the way there as well. Here are a few photos:
After the operating museum, we went to Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Of course, the original theater was destroyed. It burned down once, was rebuilt, then years after Shakespeare's death it was torn down by the Puritans (cuz theater is too wild and crazy for them, apparently... again, I'm glad to be born in this era). They rebuilt the theater studying written descriptions from visitors to the original theater, from looking at other buildings during that era, and from pulling out clues from Shakespeare's texts. One man had the idea to rebuild it. When the tour guide was talking about him, one of the visitors asked in her British accent, "Yeah, but why did it have to be a Yank?" Apparently it was an American who built the theater. I'm both glad (that we're not the only ones) and sad (because it causes so much unecessary argument) to see such pride exists everywhere besides the US. And yes, of course I knew it existed. I just hadn't seen it in action before. The tour guide quickly responded to this lady with, "Go ask the millions of brits why they didn't do it. You didn't do it. I didn't do it. He did it. Besides, Shakespeare is no more British than he is French or American." I liked her! Here are the photos from The Globe:
Also, we visited what was left of the original site after the Puritans tore it down. Only a few bricks remain outlining the original theater and what looks like apartments now take up the site. The original theater foundation bricks are the ones in red:
That night we also saw Les Miserables at The Queen's Theater. It was great! We ate an overpriced, mediocre dinner across the street before the show. We paid for convenience, I guess.
The very next day was a slight disaster. We were supposed to leave early to go to Brussels but we were waiting on a FedEx package of a few things we left at home. The package never came. It was being held in customs. FedEx thought we were being sent gifts and not personal items so they tried to tax it. We spent an hour or so on the phone with them and left the UK still with no package. We only got to spend a couple of hours in Brussels and we spent those hours visiting a site that had closed down just last year (didn't do my research on that one) and getting lost. Oh well. We weren't counting on Brussels to be the highlight of our trip anyway. We got into Amsterdam late that night, took a cab to the hotel and crashed.
Will post with Amsterdam photos soon. We really loved it there! I'm typing this while on the train ride between Amsterdam and Berlin and we will arrive soon. We're excited to see all that Berlin has to offer!