The Northern Hemisphere had been calling my name for years, from the rich history and culture, beautiful historical buildings, and of course the food scene. With a list like that, why would I not want to explore it?
To some, London might seem like a pretty average place to start out your European adventures in when you have the rich history of Germany calling or the foodie scene in Italy to investigate, but in the short time I was there, I was able to create many memorable memories.
Day One: Drama in the skies
Like something out of a movie it was, my sister and I had the most draining 24 hours of our lives flying into Heathrow Airport. We were two hours out of landing when our plane had to make an emergency landing in Iceland, those words are not exactly what you want to hear to be honest.
While it had nothing to do with the plane itself, it was due to a medical emergency on board the flight. The crew decided it was best that the passenger was removed off the flight to receive medical help, and weirdly enough, this incident foreshadows something that will happen in my second London blog post.
We safely landed and arrived in London, “at last” my sister and I were both thinking. With that out of the way, it was time to get out of there and head to the hotel for some much needed relaxation, a shower and probably a drink.
Day Two: Colourful Charm of Notting Hill
With a good nights sleep behind us, it was time for a day of exploring. A great way we found to do this was to make the most of the ‘Hop On Hop Off’ styled buses that dart around the city. There are lots of different companies that offer this service but we went for ‘The Original Tour’ brand; research who is out there and find out who works best for you if you plan on doing this.
Tip: I recommend purchasing a 48 hour pass if you can as London is MASSIVE so a two-day pass will allow you to cover a lot more of the tourist sites of London and to be able to get off and explore these places a bit more in depth.
We made our way over to Notting Hill and quickly fell in love with its charm, from its cute coloured buildings to a great looking food scene, it was definitely the place to be. We had brunch at Farm Girl Cafe to fuel ourselves up for a few hours of exploring the streets of colour.
We made our way from Notting Hill to Kensington Palace, a lot of walking was done this day as well as a walk through Hyde Park.
We also made a visit to the Natural History Museum, make the most of this as it’s free entry and there are a lot of exciting displays on. You can choose to pay for some of the displays but we visited the free ones, a great way to save yourself some money if museums are your thing.
Before we started to make our way back to the hotel for the night, we had to make a quick visit to see Buckingham Palace. Felt like we were mingling with royalty today!
Day Three: The Big Disappointment
One of the many touristy sites in London would have to be the Big Ben, but in our case it was more of the Big Disappointment. Looking back at this now, this definitely did foreshadow a lot of what we would eventually see as we made our way around Europe, a lot of construction and renovations on things.
All that you could make out of The Big Ben was a sad clock face peeping out from behind the scaffolding around it, but I guess that just means I’ll have to make a trip back to see if it’s finished!
We also visited the outside of Westminster Abbey and Parliament, the London Eye and the Tower of London. We chose not to go inside these as we had lots to see and do that day. We did however walk across the Tower Bridge which made for a very cool experience.
After fueling up on smoothies and vegan doughnuts for lunch, we ventured out to check out some of the Monopoly places like Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Pall Mall.
For dinner we headed into Covent Garden before making an important trip over to Kings Cross Train Station to live out our Harry Potter moment.
I’ll spare you the boring details of the next day we had, washing your clothes in a laundromat doesn’t really make for exciting blog content.
And just like that, our first part of London was over before we made our way into Europe over the next few weeks.