The NewSLU

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University Madrid Campus

The NewSLU

The NewSLU

The monumental Big Ben sparks memories of… Cars 2?

4:28 p.m. We wanted to briefly see Big Ben, officially named the “Elizabeth Tower,” so we took the tube to the Westminster Station. I had expected to walk for a few minutes after leaving the underground—to see it from afar before getting a good view of it—but it was already looming impressively over us. I had no time to process the shock from seeing this iconic landmark in real life as many people, mostly other tourists trying to take photos, bustled around us. The first thing that popped into my head while staring at Big Ben was the scene in Disney’s Cars 2  where a spy has some harrowing experience inside the clock tower. It was an odd moment for me – seeing Big Ben for the first time at age 21 and my first thought is – what? – a Disney movie?  (Ok, I admit Cars and Cars 2 were among my favorite movies as a kid. I watched both films an obnoxious number of times and had crushes on various characters including Finn McMissle, the Aston Martin secret agent, whose action figure married and subsequently divorced several of my Barbies).

5:15 p.m. After gawking at and taking photos of Big Ben, we walked to a vintage clothing shop about 25 minutes away even though my phone was low on battery and Lilla’s had already died. We didn’t buy anything at the first shop, and we had not had a meal since morning, so we decided to find food. We found a place within about two minutes of leaving the clothing shop. We were looking at the menu of a small restaurant when a late-middle-aged man with gray hair came out and gently asked us if we were hungry. We both slightly hesitated before saying yes, and I asked him, “Would it be possible for us to charge our phones, do you mind?” He said. “Yes, no problem,” and that settled it. In we went. The Mediterranean Café & Restaurant had posters of musicals and renaissance paintings all over the walls. I had to squeeze past a man practically cooking in the tiny hallway to get to the restroom. Next to our table, we could see into one of the kitchens. We both ordered pasta and found it very tasty.

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The monumental Big Ben sparks memories of… Cars 2?