Friday, May 10, 2013

London recap.

London It was a whirlwind of a trip, balancing between the crazy tourism and just slowing down to appreciate the local culture. Most of my trips have been GO GO GO WE HAVE TO SEE EVERYTHING I HAVE THIS LIST, but my relative Sophia, being a local, made me see that slowing down might just be best to appreciate things more.

I arrived at Stansted Airport about 11:15 GMT Friday night and went through Border Security, which was quite the experience. My relative Sophia and her sister Faye had come to pick me up, and we arrived at Sophia's house at 1am. We went to bed with the understanding that we'd take the Tube into the city and see how we went.

The Underground! Such a historically important and interesting system.

Saturday was heavy with picture taking and landmarks. At the horse guard, I expressed the wish to a guard to give him a hug, and then simply walked away.

Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, River Thames, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, even old Scotland Yard.

We took a walk down the Thames, I got some Paella, and we saw Tower Bridge and Tower of London. Sophia had confused the London Bridge with the Tower Bridge, as most people do, and the London Bridge was quite ordinary in comparison, so it was a bit of denial on her end.

Sunday I went up the London Eye, and then got a proper tour of the Tower Bridge, before exploring Covent Gardens with Sophia in the afternoon.

Monday was a bank holiday in London, and Sophia encouraged me to slow down and enjoy the day. It was about 18 celcius, so went to Kenwood Park and spend probably half an hour in an ice cream line. We just strolled around, enjoying the nature, and even found a ladies only section.

We also went to Oak Hill Park to spend time with relatives enjoying the sunshine.

Tuesday was the Harry Potter Studio Tour! I decided to do this instead of going to Cardiff, and it was logically and emotionally the best choice.

And then I stopped by Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross.

 ...and I departed for Stockholm Wednesday afternoon.

This was an amazing trip - and the first one practically on my own. I have to thank my relatives for letting me stay, and they made this trip more than the usual tourist crammed miscellany.

So let's see that list of what I wanted to achieve in London.

I want to find the Abbey Road crossing and get a photo op.
I want to walk down the Millennium Bridge.
I want to walk past Thames House and down the River.
I want to cross Tower Bridge somehow.
I want to poke out my tongue at guards at Buckingham Palace.
I want to find 10 Downing Street.
I want to stand in Trafalgar Square.
I want to know if the Queen's home at Windsor Castle.
I want to find Captain Jack Harkness.
I want to hear Big Ben ring out over the city.

All in all... most. And I'll say that as a fantastic thing, considering how ambitious the list was to begin with.

I crossed off 'find Captain Jack Harkness', because despite me not looking for him in Cardiff... he found me in Enfield. I had my laptop in the living room with the TV in the background, and HE WAS THERE in an episode of Arrow.

And I did offer a hug to the guard at the Horse Guard.

EUROPE List: London, England
Achieved 3/5/13-8/5/13



Clockwise from top:
Die-cast telephone box,
Mind the Gap: A London Underground Miscellany by Emily Kearns,
London Eye in front of Big Ben print
Piccadilly Circus print
London Underground magnet
London t-shirt.
Clockwise from top:
Union Flag
Tower Bridge guidebook
Big Ben print
England collectible espresso cups from Starbucks
Underground t-shirt.
Clockwise from top:
Slytherin school tie
Chocolate Frog
Butterbeer tankard (Butterbeer was drank at the studio backlot)
Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans
Slytherin crest key ring
London to Hogwarts Platform 9 ¾ ticket
Thestral t-shirt
Clockwise from top:
souvenir Quidditch photo
souvenir Platform 9 ¾ photo
The Making of Harry Potter Official Guidebook
Slytherin and Ravenclaw tank tops.
Next trip, next week... Malta.

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