Sunday, September 21, 2014

london 2014.

Jamie and I moved on from Amsterdam for a 2.5 day visit to London. We started the morning with lots of travel and figuring out where our very cool flat (so British!) was located, so we didn't start exploring until about 4 pm.
We found the Tower of London, got some cool pictures and admired the new red poppy installation honoring the lost soldiers of WWI. We followed the River Thames, enjoying the sunshine and breeze off the water and crossing some of the more iconic bridges, including Tower Bridge, London Bridge, and Millennium Bridge. After crossing, we checked out the Globe Theater which was actually only just rebuilt in 1997. The more you know, hah. On our way back to the tube (so British!) we stopped to admire St. Paul's Cathedral and walk through the gardens. For dinner we headed to a bar right next to where we were staying for fish and chips (so British!) and cider (so British!). It was an excellent day and we crossed a lot more off our list than we thought we would, so it was nice to feel like we'd regained the first part of the day that we lost due to travel.
The next morning, we wandered over to a small coffee shop in our neighborhood of Shoreditch called Brick Lane Coffee to enjoy a dirty chai and some great local chatter. We headed over to the London Eye after coffee to see the city from 443 feet up! Very cool. I imagine it would be especially cool to experience at night. When we got off, the temperature had dropped quite a bit and it was drizzly, so we ducked into the Florence Nightingale Museum to kill some time and also, helloooo, we're nurses. It continued raining after we were done with the museum, so we stopped at Horse and Stables, a pub (so British!), for some steak and ale pie (so British!) and to wait out the overcast day. Once it cleared up, we wandered over to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and then got tickets to go inside Westminster Abbey. This was one of my favorite things that we experienced in London! So many amazing people are buried inside and the church also boasts tombs dating back to the 1200s. Amazing. We headed over to Buckingham Palace to say "hello" to the Queen and then hopped on the tube home after a long day. After resting a few hours, we decided to eat dinner at a popular Indian restaurant, Dishoom. Indian food topped my list of things to do in London and I was so pleased with this choice!
The next day, we chose to sleep in a bit because after 7 days of running around, we were pretty beat. Once we finally did get up and going, we headed to King's Cross to take a picture at Platform 9&3/4! So fun! I look like the biggest nerd alive, but I was so thrilled! We headed from there to a couple of well-known areas of London - Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden - just to check them out, see what all the hype was about, and get a bit of shopping done. To end this short day, we took the tube to Kensington Palace to have afternoon tea at The Orangery with the Queen. Okay, maybe that last part isn't true, but we really did have afternoon tea there and it was one of the highlights of the trip for me! We spent almost 2 hours drinking a fabulous berry tea and just enjoying the sun and little pastries.

Overall, I found London to be bustling much like NYC and very expensive, but full of rich culture!
We'd be starting our tour the next day and we were very excited about that!

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