Friday, September 9, 2016

So We Began in London

I was hoping that if I kissed him, he would turn into a real boy! 






There he is, Big Ben himself! 


Buckingham Palace

Hyde Park

Trafalgar Square with Nalina!


Piccadilley Circus
Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Notting Hill

Notting Hill 
This is the train station where everyone takes the classic Harry Potter picture at the platform 9 3/4

London was pretty dreamy and very serial. We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon a little tired from traveling but also eager to explore this new city across the pond! We couldn't believe how seamless all of the traveling was and how quickly it seemed we had arrived. We checked into our air bnb first and then we were off to see all London had to offer! The first day, we wanted to see the classics. We figured out the metro system quickly and arrived at our first stop BIG BEN! It was so fun getting to see all of these monuments that you had only seen in movies. Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and the London Bridge. All of these places were pretty magical. Buckingham Palace was fun to see in person too. We walked up to a huge crowd of people waiting for the "Changing of the Guards." Which in mine and Shannon's opinion wasn't as amazing as we were hoping it would be with how many people were watching but part of that was it was so crowded it was a bit hard to see. Still at least we can say we saw it! From Buckingham Palace we went to Piccadilley Circus and walked all around! We shopped and stopped for some fish and chips because DUH when in London...! We had so much fun taking in the buildings and all of the British Pride.

The next day we explored Hyde Park which reminded me alot of Central Park! I loved wandering around there. It was beautiful, but I was in desperate need of a nap. Shannon went and explored a little more and took pictures while I found a tree with shade and took a quick nap by the squirrels. Then we went to meet up with one of my oldest friends Nalina who moved to London a few months prior! It was so fun to see a familiar person in a not so familiar place. She took us to a cute restaurant for meatballs, and then we wandered around parts of London we hadn't seen yet. We stopped in Trafalgar Square and listened to some live music, and that place was so beautiful! So alive too on a Friday evening! Then we walked over to the oldest wine shop in all of London and shared a bottle of wine while we hung around the locals of London. I would try and eaves drop on conversations whenever I could just so I could hear the accents that are so freaking cute. From there we went and saw the London Eye lit up at night and then said goodbye to Nalina.

Our last evening in London we went to this amazing rooftop bar that was in our neighborhood. Which as a side note, we kind of stayed in what we joked was the ghetto of London. If we could do London over we would have picked an air bnb that was closer to central London. We had to take a 30 minute train ride to and from our air bnb which made things a little more difficult because if we were gone for the day we couldn't easily stop back at home. The redeeming qualities of our neighborhood though were made up for in the cutest coffee shop "Black Bird Bakery," and then the rooftop bar. We walked up a series of stairways that were painted NEON pink, and then up to the roof where probably a hundred plus people were hanging out that were all people in their 20's and 30's. And of course you can see all of London too. We loved that bar minus the fact that no one talked to us, not even any women. Ha! We just wanted to hear more accents and learn more about locals and what they do for fun. But apparently they weren't as interested in two Portland tourists.

The following day before we took the Chunnel to Paris (which is the tunnel train that goes under water on some parts) we went to see Notting Hill! I LOVED it! It was crazy crowded, but the area was so quaint and so many fun bright colored houses. We enjoyed just wandering around there, and doing a little shopping too. I would go back to Notting Hill in a heartbeat!

Overall, we loved London and it was a great way to start our trip in an english speaking country. We were so excited though to take the quick train ride to end up in Paris, but I would love to go back and explore more of London in the future!

Love and Cheerio

-Kate

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