So it’s been a week or so since I left London and arrived in Kefalonia. This island is truly so amazing but I do miss London. I fell in love with London a bit. I thought it was going to be similar to New York City but it’s truly very different. When you walk around you see and feel the history surrounding you and it’s an amazing feeling.
On my last day in London I did a free walking tour starting in Covent Gardens. This was an area of London I had yet to explore because it was a bit far from my hostel. Once the tour began we walked towards Trafalgar Square. The square was absolutely beautiful. Do you see that large column that’s ridiculously tall? Well there’s a fascinating story about it. At the top is a statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The Battle was fought between the United Kingdom and France. Nelson is commemorated in such a large way because he devised a plan to defeat the French when the odds were greatly against him. His unique plan gave him the victory but his gloating got the best of him. My tour guide explained how at the end of the battle when the enemy ships were surrendering, Nelson looked upon the defeated ships admiring his victory. The enemy took advantage of his moment of happiness and shot him through his left shoulder which then passed through his spine and he died. Now usually they would toss the dead bodies overboard because the smell would be too strong for the passengers. However, it was made very clear that if something happened to Nelson in battle his body was to be brought home. Now the crew needed to find a way to preserve his body for the return journey. They decided the best way to preserve the body was to submerge it in a cask of brandy. However, on the journey home the sailors were celebrating their victory against the French and decided to have a party where they drank all the liquor on board. When they returned to England and opened the barrel containing the admiral only they found the brandy cask empty and holes at the bottom. The crew drank all of the brandy that had the admirals body inside! Fun stories like this one is what made this walking tour so enjoyable!
The tour guide lead us to Buckingham Palace which was so beautiful with its gardens and blooming flowers. The tour guide gave us this wonderful story on how a homeless drunk man somehow broke into the Palace one night. He first entered the wine cellar and drank himself silly and as he headed around the Palace he walked into a bedroom. Not realizing whose room it was he sat down only to find a grey hair old lady sitting up in her bed asking who this gentlemen was. Now the Queen is prepared and trained on how to handle situations like this. Rather than screaming and scaring the drunk man she had a casual conversation with him. They discussed their children and their lives for over thirty minutes. When the drunk man pulled out a cigarette he realized he didn’t have a lighter. The Queen said, “no worries I will call someone in to bring you one.” She slowly reached for the phone to call one of her ladies and explained how there was a nice gentlemen sitting in her room looking for a lighter. The lady didn’t believe her and only sent up one guard to bring a lighter. When the guard walked in and saw there really was someone in there he jumped him and had him arrested. The man went to jail for eight years. However, when he was released he sold his story and made millions. He made enough money to buy himself a private island to retire to for the rest of his life. I say the eight years in prison was worth going from a homeless man with nothing to a man who has millions and his own private island.
We moved on from Buckingham Palace to St. James Park. It was absolutely beautiful but I will admit I met a friend on the tour from Florida and we got caught up in conversation that I missed the stories about the garden that my tour guide explained. The one story I managed to listen to was why the park across from St. James Park is called Green Park. Apparently, King Charles II used to tell his wife he was going for a walk in the park each night. When his wife asked what he was doing he explained that he just wanted some fresh air. Well, the rumor was that he actually had several different women he was meeting each night and was having affairs with each one of them. Once his wife found out she had all of the flowers destroyed which is why they now call it Green Park because there is only grass and trees. It was forever kept that way and no one plants flowers in Green Park.
We ended with walking to Westminster Abby and the Houses of Parliament. I toured Westminster Abby the day before and wrote about it in my last post so I won’t gush again about how much I love Westminster Abby. Once the tour ended I invited the girl I met on my tour to lunch with me and my friend living in London. We went to this wonderful restaurant and sat for a while talking about each other’s lives and getting to know each other. It was really nice meeting someone who was solo traveling like me and hearing about all of the places she had chosen to visit. We added each other on Facebook and continue to keep up with each other’s adventures.
I headed back to my hostel with my friend Alahna and we shared one last drink before I headed airport. As I got my suitcase together and headed to the underground station I realized I had no idea what terminal my plane was leaving from. The underground had a stop for terminal 1,2,3 and 5, a different stop for terminal 4. I did not know my surroundings enough to figure out how to get to the right terminal if I was dropped off at the wrong one. I would have looked it up online but I didn’t have any wifi in the underground. A woman next to me had the same issue and asked me where she should get off. I explained to her my situation and we both were confused on what to do. Then all of a sudden the most charming and handsome man standing next to me asks me what airline I was flying, looks up what terminal in Heathrow Airport it was located, and explained to me what to do and where to get off. My plan originally was to get off at terminal 4 and thank goodness I didn’t because my airline was in terminal 2. As I exited the underground and headed to my terminal I felt excited for Greece but I knew I had to come back to London to finish seeing all of the things I didn’t have the time to see.
My flight to Athens was pretty awful. I had the aisle seat which was terrible. The flight left at 10:15 pm and it was a three-hour flight. There was no opportunity to fall asleep and I landed in Athens at 4 am (different time zones.) My next flight left Athens at 5:15 am and I arrived in Kefalonia at 6 am. My dad picked me up and dropped me off at my aunt and uncles house where I have been happily staying these past two weeks. The moment I entered my room my head hit the pillow and I was out for 8 hours. It was the best sleep I had had since leaving New York. I leave Greece in a few days and promise to do another post on my time in Kefalonia. So much has happened since I’ve been here that it might be a lengthy post, but a fun one!
Thanks once again for coming along with me on this journey!
It’s only going to get more exciting from here!