I See London


More often than not I end up regretting not doing a recap of my traveling adventures. When I did a study abroad five years ago in Paris, I only wrote two posts to cover my three months! Now back from my second big trip to Europe, I've decided not to make the same mistake twice. This trip was a more compact version of adventures five years ago, but still in three weeks I managed to visit six different countries. Instead of doing a post per day I was gone (though I easily could) and tying up my blog for the next three weeks straight, I've decided to dedicate a post to each country I visited. First up is Great Britain where I spent three non-consecutive days in the city of London.

First stop in London?  

 I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I heard about a big Star Wars exhibit at Madame Tussauds that I was pulled to just like a magnet....or should I say tractor beam?

Yes even in Europe I found a way to be distracted by Star Wars

I absolutely wasted way too much of my precious time in London here, but having the pictures now is almost worth all the frustration the endless waiting in lines caused me. 

I think I hit it off pretty well with Han Solo.

The droids were on their best behavior too.

Stopped by for some life advice from Master Yoda.

And learned an unfortunate revelation from Darth Vader.

After ALLLLLL that, I took my mom to all the "big spots," London has to offer.

From Big Ben

Tower of London  

Tower Bridge 

Buckingham Palace 

and St. James Park. 

That was it for my first day, but I returned again toward the end of my trip for two more days...this time with my sister. 

On my first day with Laurie, we visited the Kensington Gardens in Hyde Park

Stopped by Harrod's for lunch and died over the dessert cases

Took a trip to the National Portrait Gallery to see if the Kate Middleton portrait was as hideous in person as it looked online

Decided NOT to feed the birds at Saint Paul's

Ate some very scary food on a Japanese conveyor belt 

stopped by Platform 9 3/4. 

My favorite thing from this day though, that I didn't get pictures of: the archives of the British Library. Here there was EVERYTHING from a copy of one of the first Gutenberg bibles, original handwritten music by Mozart, Handel, Bach and Beethoven, original manuscripts by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Emily Bronte. But perhaps best of all... was handwritten lyrics by the Beatles! Help, Ticket to Ride, Yesterday and Michelle...all in their first drafts with various lyrics scribbled out and rewritten. Gave me chills to see so much inspiration in one room.

The second day, we hit up Portobello Market

 The market features in a memorable montage in the film Notting Hill

Coming near the end of the trip, it killed me not to have ANY space for all the wonderful souvenirs I could have bought there! But also at that point I was pretty spent out. 

After the market, we trekked on over to the Kew Gardens. 

This place was insanely beautiful... 

I could have spent a whole day or even two there wandering the grounds very easily. 

But since we had more on our agenda than that, we returned to downtown London to survey the modern art found in the Tate Modern.

This guy was my favorite...

But Andy Warhol's stuff was pretty good too.

Shakespeare's famous Globe theater (well the reconstructed one anyway,) happened to be right next door so I could kill two birds with one stone.

That's it for Jolly Old England, a charmingly beautiful city that I hope to visit once again someday. Up next, I'll share my adventures in Italy... so stay tuned!


Johanna said...

Yes, I definitely have the bug to go back to England and the British Library will be first on my list...also Selfridges. :)

Sarah said...

Very nice. The gardens in England are so breathtaking. I would kill for an estate garden/secret garden like the ones they have there!

Laurie & Clint said...

London is my favorite place! It is so magical :) Thanks for taking me along

Amelia said...

You saw all the things!! The Kew Gardens seem especially amazing. Definitely worthy of a picture heavy post, haha.