We made a short return back to Dublin before hopping onto a ferry and then grabbing a train for London. Now, not a great deal happened this night, we spent a short time enjoying Dublin's nightlife, but what is noteworthy about this layover are two things. First, I met some ladies from Vienna, Austria who I will likely visit in the early winter. They have promised me a night at the Vienna symphony (I am so psyched!!) and some amazing snowboarding in the Alps (I think this trip just continues to get better!!!!). Also, while waiting at the Dublin bus station for our shuttle to the ferry terminal I first heard the news about the collapse of Lehman Brother's.
Two things stood out to me about the fall of Lehman Brother's. First, the international coverage of the American marketplace is superb. Unlike American media, which puts international affairs at a very far second to domestic issues, the European media's focus has been largely on American Affairs, whether the election, fallout of Lehman, AIG, WaMu, Wachovia, or others. Secondly, the way that our world is rapidly changing. More could be said on that, but I will leave that to later conversation...
Anyways, enough on Dublin. My Aussie mate, Brendan, and I made it back to London, but not without excitement. After departing the ferry, we walked through the terminal looking for the appropriate train platform. Returning to the platform from which our train had arrived, we looked around seeing only two other people. Considering this a bit strange for a popular route, I decided to look around and see if there were any other possible places that the train would depart from. Wandering over to another platform, I saw a huge gathering of people and realized our mistake. With less than 3 minutes before departure, I ran back to grab my heavy backpack and rush to the train, just in time!! Then, on the train, Brendan looked through his slew of seat reservation cards looking for the ticket, only to realize that he had given that to the ferry attendant back in Dublin. I had my ticket but he had none, thus we devised a plan to make it to London. We used a common distraction tactic, and were able to make it back. Whew!
I stayed for another day in London, where I saw things better than I had a chance to before. Off a tip from a traveler from Vancouver Island staying at my hostel, I went on a free walking tour. The tour took us through some of the most interesting parts of London. We returned to Buckingham Palace where we saw the horseback changing of the guard and even got a picture with one of the infantry. Then, went past Downing Street, home of the prime minister. We also saw the hat maker and the wine broker to the royal family. Moved on through the financial district and saw some of the gentleman's shops, very ritzy! And at the end of the tour, we visited the Westminster Abbey, seeing probably the most interesting and incredible part of the city. This building, impressive in architecture, also is the burial ground and/or memorial to over 3,500 influential world leaders. Absolutely incredible. Right before the exit are, what may be the most memorable exhibits, that to Winston Churchill and to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These two sites recognition of some of the achievements of the world's most important politicians. Westminster Abbey is, without a doubt, a must see if you have a chance to visit London.
Very little more happened on this visit. Then, at 2am I had to wake up and catch a 5:25am train to Paris. It's hard-knock traveling. :) Anyways, I have to catch a train to Lisbon, but I will be sure to write some interesting notes about Paris later. However, I may not be able to upload pictures for another week.
I miss all of you!!!