So I’m a little late getting around to this, since I went to London more than a month ago. Oops! I’m just thankful I wrote notes as I went, so this will be a lot easier!
To start, I LOVED London. I arrived Thursday night, and met up with my friend Kristi from USC. It took forever to get through customs, but I finally arrived at our hostel around midnight, at which point we set out for food. I must say, it was much easier to find food after midnight in London than in Paris!
On Friday morning, we set out to explore the city and started with Trafalgar Square. They had a guy playing the Star Wars theme song on the bagpipes, which was pretty interesting! They also had some sort of protest (I think), because they had a bunch of people in all black just sitting in the middle of the square, and then TV crews came. I’m still not really sure what was going on. From there, we wondered over to Parliament and Westminster, which were both absolutely gorgeous buildings! After that, we went to Buckingham Palace (the Queen was in residence!) and Chipotle for lunch. I hadn’t even thought about how much I missed my American food until I got my burrito. Needless to say, that was not our only trip to Chipotle while in London! After that, we just wandered around the city and found some great shopping areas. I did make one (pretty funny) tourist mistake: that night, after getting a car to take us home, the driver asked me if I wanted to sit in the front. I of course agreed, and walked around to the right side of the car (see where this is going yet?) and tried to get into the driver’s seat. Oops. Thankfully, our driver assured me that I was far from the first person to do that, and even he had trouble remembering when he first arrived in London.
The next day, we were able to tour Wimbledon! We were able to see the grounds and even got to go into Centre Court! That might have been the highlight of my London experience. I even got to have my picture taken in the press room, and sample the famous strawberries and cream!
After going back into the city, we made it over to the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels (which were every bit as spectacular as I had hoped!) and the Tower Bridge. We then walked along the river for a bit and got to see Shakespeare’s Globe and St. Paul’s, which was huge! Our trip to London would not have been complete without a trip to Harrod’s, so we spent some time wondering around there.
On Sunday, we met up with Kate, another friend from USC who was studying abroad in London, and went to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham. We couldn’t see much due to the crazy crowds (I’m pretty sure every tourist in London had the same idea we did), but it was still a neat experience. From there we went to King’s Cross, where we got to take pictures at Platform 9 3/4! We were also able to go to Abbey Road, and recreate that infamous picture. It was a surprisingly busy intersection! If I lived in London, I would avoid it at all costs, because there were always people standing out in the middle of the street taking pictures. Oh well!
That night, we went up on the London Eye right at sunset. The view was beautiful, and we were able to see the entire city lit up below us. We had an early night that night, because we were catching an early train to Paris the next morning! At the train station, I ordered a Duffin with raspberry filling (donut and muffin combo, and absolutely delicious!) before we boarded the train and went under the English Channel on the way back to Paris!