We hit the ground running and woke up early and got out the door for a full day of sight seeing before the night’s festivities.
We first went to St. Paul’s Cathedral and walked around the outside. The building was unexpectedly massive, tucked between the growing and modern city around it of Central London. We didn’t go inside because it was fairly expensive but we did take in the enormous building from the outside.
We then walked across Millennium Bridge (the one from the seventh Harry Potter movie!) and went to the Globe Theater. We did a tour of the Globe Theater which gave lots of history and information about the space and took us inside the theater. I was so excited because I have seen the outside a number of times but have never been able to go inside before!
After our tour of the Globe Theater we walked back across the Thames over the London Bridge, which these days just seems like an ordinary bridge. We walked through the Borough Market to get to the London Bridge. The market seemed like an instagram foodie’s wet dream with its little food stalls full of fresh juices and fancy coffees and pretty lights strung up. After crossing the bridge we went to the Tower of London but chose to simply walk around the outside and read about the history rather than waiting in hours of lines for a tour of the inside. The Tower of London was right on the banks of the Thames and gave impressive views of Tower Bridge, which we got to walk across (making that the third time we walked across the Thames today!).
We went and found some lunch at a restaurant with delicious burgers and local beer from London before we spent the afternoon at the Imperial War Museum.
We went home and got ready for the big night out, because we got tickets for a New Year’s Eve pub crawl! We got dressed in our best and then hit the town. The pub crawl started really early at 7p, and we weren’t really sure what to expect. The first bar was odd but it filled up (there were 90 people on the crawl!) and then we went on to the second bar. The crawl went around SoHo and so we got to walk through China town.
Eventually the crawl left but we stayed behind just to hang out until midnight, dancing and having fun like how we used to go out in Fort Collins. The top floor of the bar had a really pretty view of Piccadilly Circus and the lights down Regent St. Then just before midnight we went out in Piccadilly Circus to count down. It was really funny because there was no official countdown but there were large screens with advertisements all around like a mini Time Square. The ads put up their own countdown but the LG ad counted down a minute too early! So everyone counted down and then we counted down again when it was actually midnight. I had my New Year’s kiss and we could kind of see the fireworks from the show over the Thames.
After midnight we picked up some cheesy chips and headed home, which ended up being much more of an adventure than we had bargained for. We made sure the station near our hostel stayed open but we didn’t check the stations in city center because we assumed that since that’s where all the people would be, they would definitely be open. However, they were all closed. We then started walking towards our hostel with the idea of crossing the Thames and picking up a train on the other side. But that didn’t end well either because all of the bridges across were closed because of the fireworks show. So we ended up walking for over an hour before we finally found an open underground station and made our way home.