Last post about my trip but certainly not least, the beautiful city of London! Here we spent the most time (and the most money). After being surrounded by the Dutch culture for almost a month, hearing an English speaking society once again was immensely calming. I felt at peace being able to read the menu’s and signs which is why I instantly deemed the city “mini America”. Here is everything about London, the good,the bad and the tours!
Oh lawdy, we were so glad to arrive. We waited 10 hours at the train station for our train to depart from the CDG airport in Paris and mind you, they do not heat their buildings. It was 47 degrees and we were by the doors. Once our train finally arrived, we then proceeded to wait another hour for our Flixbus. We arrived in Lile and then had to wait another 45 minutes for our next bus to come (in the same weather) at 1 in the morning. By the time our bus came, we were all tired, a tad cranky and ready to get into the warm.
Bailey and I prevailed and we arrived in the heart of London at 7:30 in the morning. Our check in was not until 2 so we decided to get lost. We found ourselves in this park, napping on a bench as it was the first sunny day we had seen in 4 weeks. There was even a zoo in the same park! We got ourselves some coffee and food and before we knew it, it was time to check in! For this portion of our trip, we stayed at the PubLove at The White Ferry Victoria Hostel and might I just say, I entirely recommend this! It came out to be about 20 pounds per person per night and it included breakfast, wifi, showers, bathrooms and a lot of coupons! Each sleeping area had 15 beds in it and you needed access codes to get into each and I felt very secure!
Alright, I’m off my soap box there. I passed out that day out of exhaustion so we woke up bright and early the next day. We did not have a set plan other than to go on the Harry Potter walking tour and to visit the Ripley’s Believe it or not museum so it was a free day! We again grabbed some coffee and went straight to Ripleys! It was astonishing to learn about who Ripley was! He was a very trusted collector and previous U.S. presidents sent him small keepsakes because they knew he would take care of them instead of selling them- how cool! The renowned three headed calf was there amongst all the other creepy crawly things Ripley’s is known for!
After this we grabbed lunch as this restaurant called Nandos. Sophia (our UK friend) recommended this one and it tasted great! We each spent about 10 pounds but we got a delicious burger (I opted to try their famous chicken) and a side. Totally worth visiting, do not leave London without going here! After this we found the Harry Potter walking tour and I HAD A BALL. I got to see some spots where they filmed, where JK Rowling got inspiration for her books, and so so much more. The tour was free and I still gave our tour guide Hagrid some money and a hug because I felt so complete after seeing my favourite series come to life.
From our tour, Hagrid pointed out where they sell discounted theatre tickets. Fun fact, there are 50 theatres in one square which is the most densely populated theatre area in the world! We had looked at prices throughout the day and they averaged 75 pounds a seat so we almost had given up hope. On a whim I decided to go and look and I found tickets to the Lion King for 26 pounds each! This was almost 75% off and I gave Bailey the ” want to be impulsive because why not” grin, and she was just as in as I was. We then booked it to the theatre, tickets in hand and stood for the show of a lifetime.
Day two was an adventure and jam packed day and was hands down the best part of our trip! For the rest of the 4 days, we booked the Big Bus Tours once again as they were having a special buy one day get one free so we got 48 hours of tours for about $40 a person. It seems pricey but it includes three different routes, live commentary, hop on hop off, discount vouchers and a river cruise! We took advantage of all of this and it made the ticket so worth it!
I saw all the sites: the big ben, the river, the london eye, the millennial bridge, St. Pauls Cathedral, the works! Every time I saw the big ben I couldn’t help but fall more in love with it. It is so intricately designed and is truly a work of art. I will never get over it.
And this was pretty much the rest of our trip! Once Sunday came, we grudgingly got back onto our Flixbus and headed to Amsterdam. From there, we caught the train and a bus back to our home away from home: Nijmegen. I spent more money than I wanted and used about all of my travel budget on this trip, but I have zero regrets. I bought experiences and memories I will never forget. And most importantly, I felt at home in London and it made me feel so so much better. Until two days in the future my internet friends!