The NewSLU

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University Madrid Campus

The NewSLU

The NewSLU

Confusion at the gate, ice cream for breakfast and an interactive tour

9:46 p.m. The airport.  We finally found the gate after the third attempt. Do not be fooled by just any flight to London on the Barajas departures screens: there are various London airports, we eventually learned. At one point, we were so distracted by our own conversation that we realized we were standing in line to board a flight to Shanghai. 

11:31 p.m. The flight.  We flew Ryanair and went with “random seat allocation.” When I went to briefly visit Ashlan’s seat, I ended up having to cram myself halfway onto her lap to allow a beverage cart to get through the narrow aisle. The flight attendant pushing the cart had not waited for me to pass but instead almost shoved the cart into me. I tried to maintain my balance as customers in other rows—and finally, Ashlan—ordered.  Ashlan ordered a mini bottle of rosè which cost about seven euros. When arriving, we reminded each other not to step in the trampled food and other mysterious substances splattered on the ground. But at least we had a clean view of the London skyline.  London seemed like a combination of New York and Madrid, with modern skyscrapers and European-style cobblestone streets and architecture.

11 a.m. Expensive breakfast. We found breakfast near our pre-booked tour for the Tower of London. I ordered a traditional apple pie accompanied by vanilla ice cream and cream sauce. We did not have time to stop by a money exchange, so I paid 9.95 pounds with a credit card. Ashlan ordered a breakfast bun and a coffee for 13.85 pounds. The staff were  friendly and attentive. Seated at the table next to us, a man and woman were complaining about getting jobs and visas, which reminded us of our earlier conversation about Brexit.

11:34 a.m. Tower of London tour. We arrived four minutes late to the Tower of London tour. Thankfully they still accepted us. The 27.70-pound, pre-ordered ticket was probably worth it. We had expected the tour to be like walking through IKEA, unable to freely roam. But we were wrong. The tour was interactive with volunteers, British locals, and a wide age range from children to elderly participants. We learned about what was considered the “bloodiest execution in British history.” The person executed was James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, who was dealt multiple blows of the executioner’s ax before his death at Tower Hill. We both agreed that we would recommend the tour. We then took pictures at the Tower bridge and, surprised to overhear the conversation of a small Hungarian family nearby, I offered to take photos for them. Throughout the trip I heard the Hungarian language in at least four instances in different parts of the city, which was surprising for just one day. 

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Confusion at the gate, ice cream for breakfast and an interactive tour