Updated: Dec 28, 2020
My trip to England began very well. We left our home in the Rockies and drove to the airport. Once on our Air Canada flight, we were lucky enough to have two full rows! A place for me to sleep, and a place for dad. Our flight even landed early.
I managed to fit in a good 4 hours of sleep on the 8 hour flight. That was all that I needed to get through my first day. Dad on the other hand, needed a 3 hour long afternoon nap and a rest on the couch.
What a dinner (with ‘uncle Richard’)
Once we arrived in London, we took the Heathrow Express right into the Westend (I had learn London is not just one city) and went for a fun lunch with friends on a canal boat.
The weather was a little grey, but the arrival into London was still very pretty. After lunch, we walked over to a true English pub. From there, we strolled around London for a while. We weren’t even 3 hours into our first day in London, and I was already having fun!
Over the next few days this famous world capital grew on me. I liked the gastropubs and the shopping streets, I found it charming and not overwhelming for such a big city. The brick, colonial buildings were interesting and so were the cobblestone roads. But I needed to see more of London’s famous sights.
During our week we did many great things. We walked past Buckingham Palace and the Canadian war memorial, spent time in the British Museum, went shopping on Oxford Street and Soho, wandered around numerous parks, trails and ponds, and enjoyed many meals. We also connected with special, close friends.
Hanging out by the Thames
Our trip around the famous sights of London was quite pleasing. We walked from our amazing friends’ apartment in St John’s Wood all the way down to Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. We walked through Marble Arch, and into Hyde Park. I found it was a beautiful green oasis in the middle of a busy city. The other sights we visited were Covent Garden, Big Ben (although it was undergoing major renovations), the Monument to the Great Fire of London, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. Overall, the sights of London definitely lived up to my expectations.
The true Rosetta Stone (in the British Museum, of course)
On our other days in the city, I continued to be impressed. The British Museum was excellent. I believe that we saw more of Egypt than I did when we were in Egypt! This really went to show the colonial reach of the United Kingdom.
There were many very interesting artifacts from all over the world, which fascinated me, however the history behind the way some artifacts were collected is definitely a bloody, and awful.
My favorite artifact that we viewed in the museum was the Rosetta Stone. It was amazing to see something so crucial to linguistic and historic research up close.
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge were both intriguing. The Tower of London dates back to 1066. It plays an important role in English history, the famous white tower was built by William the Conqueror. I was disappointed however to see the graffiti on both the Tower Bridge and the London Bridge. Other than that, the City of London was interesting and clean.
Actual London is, in fact, quite small. I learned that the actual city is less than 3 kilometres square. It is a mix of modern business towers, medieval and even Roman structures and buildings.
The Underground really is a ‘Tube’
Where we were staying, with close friends in St. John’s Wood was a real treat. They live very close to Abbey Road, made famous by the Beatles. They were also close to one of Paul McCartney’s Houses. We walked past it, but the house was hard to spot behind it’s walls. We were within walking distance of most places that we wanted to see and if walking wasn’t possible, the tube definitely came in handy (London’s underground system). There are many parks in London which makes walking that much more pleasant.
My shopping experience in London was fantastic! I visited many world famous stores such as Burberry, Harrods, Selfridges and Supreme, where I browsed alongside people from all around the world. My favorite shopping experience was at Harrods where I treated myself to a Burberry polo shirt. We learned that during our stay the wife of a former state banker of Azerbaijan spent 16 million pounds in Harrods, whereas I worked for four weeks to afford my purchase.
One of the best meals that we had in London was at a sweet, half pub, half restaurant. I enjoyed Guinea Fowl wrapped in bacon and covered in white wine sauce and peppercorns. Contrary to stereotypes, the food in England was overall delicious! This meal stood out by far, definitely the best meal I have had in a while (thank you Richard).
Our time in London wonderful and sunny. This was my second time visiting the city, and it did not disappoint. At some point, hopefully, I will return to London and perhaps even live there for a while.
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