“God Save the Queen” and “Anarchy in the UK” were the close runner-ups to the title I’ve chosen, but really any cliche would do. While in London the past 5 days, I feel like I really soaked up all of the typical English tourist fare. Big Ben, the London Eye, St. Paul’s, and Piccadilly Circus were all stops on the list. Of course we can’t forget the classic fish and chips meal, can we?
My friends and I arrived very late Wednesday night into Stanstead airport, and after a long line at customs, an even longer bus ride to the city, and a scam cab driver, we finally got to spend exactly 5 hours in our hostel before taking off to find ourselves an English breakfast Thursday morning. I finally got to see my mom after three months which was so great! Luckily for us, the weather was fantastic all week, so we walked through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, Westminster, and the House of Parliament (Big Ben). We found the perfect red phone booth for a classic London photo op:
The next day we did a walking tour of places related to the Harry Potter series - a favorite of mine. We saw where some things were filmed, where JK Rowling may have gotten inspiration, and some generally cool places in the city. We met up with my friends at Tower Bridge, which until then I had always incorrectly called London Bridge. We walked through this amazing open air market and took a break with some happy hour drinks before heading back to the hotel to find some dinner.
On Saturday, my mom and I rode the London Eye. It was very cool, you can see a ton of things even though I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I was looking at. Saturday was the only day of “London weather” where it was in the 50s and cloudy. We went to watch The Hunger Games at the famous Odeon theater - where all of the Harry Potter premieres took place. Fantastic movie! Of course I had to get my American food craving out of the way, so we ate lunch at Chipotle (the closest thing I can find to Panchero’s). The amount I miss American food is indescribable.
Sunday we went to the Museum of Natural History where we got to see dinosaur fossils, a giant Sequoia tree, and a bunch of mammal replicas. My mom and I went to see Jersey Boys in the West End that afternoon. It was a really great performance - the music was just incredible. The British Museum was our first stop Monday. It was absolutely huge! The exhibits were amazing, I was able to see remains from the Pantheon, Egyptian mummies, and even the Rosetta Stone. My mom really wanted to see St. Paul’s Cathedral and while it’s a magnificent structure, I’ve already seen too many cathedrals to waste £14 (≈$23), but my mom went and she said it was amazing. I took some pretty cool pictures of the outside though. We finished with a bus tour of the city and made sure we saw everything.
(PS - more pictures on my Facebook)
St. Pauls Museum of Natural History British Museum