Hello from London, England.
First things first, a huge THANK YOU to all my friends and family for making my last weekend in the US such a lovely one. Thank you for all the hugs, little gifts, sweet notes, prayers, texts and wishes for safe travels. They were all so appreciated.
Corey and I arrived in London yesterday (Wednesday) at 10AM local time. We spent most of yesterday afternoon trying to navigate our way from the airport to where we are staying. This has been my least favorite part of the trip so far. Planning an extended layover somewhere is very convenient if you are flying through that city and want to see the sights. However, it is not so convenient when you are packed for a year abroad and you can’t even carry your suitcase up a flight of stairs. It makes walking anywhere much more difficult. Thankfully, Corey packed a little lighter than me (okay a TON lighter than me and one suitcase less). So between the two of us we managed okay- it’s just something that I would do a little differently next time.
We booked a place through AirBnB which I would totally recommend doing when traveling (if you’re planning on visiting London, I’d love to give you the address of where we stayed!). Check in was not until 4PM so we dropped off our luggage and found a café nearby. After checking into our room we found a place for dinner, a local pub called Indo that served great pizza. Naturally, I had to buy myself a LEGAL glass of wine.
Today was our tourist day. We had purchased an Oyster Card which is very convenient. It allows you to pay as you go and works on all subways and buses (London’s public transportation system is incredible). A friend of mine highly recommended The Breakfast Club (Madison you rock) which is where we went for breakfast.
We decided to walk to breakfast and I was so happy that we did. London is filled with cute little side streets and art covered walls. The street signs are sometimes hard to find though as they are not separate signs but instead found on buildings along the corner. We learned quickly that Corey is much better at navigating then me. So thanks for that, Core.
After breakfast we walked into the City of London. This is the business district of London and is filled with men in suits and women in high heels. We walked through to the River Thames where we found the classic London Tower Bridge.
From there, we took a double decker bus to St. Paul’s Cathedral and then to Westminster. Large historic landmarks like the Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey cost money to go inside. For us, we were happy to just take pictures from the outside and walk around marveling at the size of them. Museums were one thing that we found London has quite a few of, almost all of which are free. We visited the National Gallery in Westminster. It’s massive and we didn’t see the entirety of it but still enjoyed it.
After the museum we walked around downtown Westminster which was beautiful. We got to see the London Eye, Big Ben, the House of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
London is, without a doubt, a city that takes more than a day to see. But in the time span of a day and a half, we met people from Colorado, China, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Cambridge and Gatwick, saw some main sights that I had wanted to see, walked a lot, mastered the Tube, had great food (though we didn’t try fish and chips-maybe next time), great drinks, and loved taking in all that we saw. Tomorrow, Core will be off to Spain, and I’ll be flying to Italy.
London, you’ve been great.