Playing the Tour Guide

Strange to say, but after living here for about a month, I had to play the tour guide. My friend Alexa, who is studying abroad in Dublin, came over for the weekend. She’s friends with Zoe and I, and since Zoe was in class the afternoon Alexa came in, it was my job to show Alexa the sights.

I knew the perfect route to take her that would check the maximum amount of tourist boxes: it starts in Piccadilly goes through Trafalgar and ends in Westminster, giving her the opportunity to see the Trafalgar Lions, Big Ben, the Eye, and much more. I had walked the route on Day 13 so knew my way around (relatively).

Alexa leaning through the gates at Westminster to take a photo. © Violet Acevedo.
Alexa leaning through the gates at Westminster to take a photo. © Violet Acevedo.

As we made our way to the most famous clock in the world, I was amazed at how familiar it all seemed: The rush and bustle of the streets, the noise and pollution of the road, the twisting and turning of the route. I walked with purpose and was only slightly hesitant. Don’t get me wrong, things were still new to me and the crowds still had a tendency to bombard my senses, but I was much more confident navigating through the streams of people and maze of streets this time around. Whereas, Alexa, as new to the city as I once was, tagged along behind me, confused and overwhelmed.

We eventually met Zoe and another friend at the Eye, deciding afterwards to cross the river again in order to search for somewhere to eat. We ended up choosing the Sherlock Holmes Restaurant (I’ve been having a particularly Holmes-filled week), which served classic English pub fair. I had a fantastic steak and ale pie and Alexa had a classic toad-in-a-hole (bangers and mash with Yorkshire pudding). As was expected, the upstairs dining room was decorated with various Sherlock Holmes posters and advertisements. There was even a little glassed-off room that contained a dusty recreation of Sherlock Holmes’ study.

Later, we walked the streets of Soho, passing through the lights and noise of the various clubs, bars, and restaurants that populated the area. We elbowed past more crowds and eventually wandered down a side street and to a tearoom. It just shows what kind of people we are that amongst our alcohol-filled surroundings, we chose to go in a tearoom to eat cakes and tarts. (Though, we did end up having a quick drink in a toned-down rugby pub Covent Garden.) As is the way with my friends and I.

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