Alternately titled, “More eating, more shopping, more selfies,” “London, why are you so expensive,” or “Seriously, that lil’ thing is Big Ben?”
The last leg of my non-academic European adventure occurred in England. We stayed near South Kensington station, so naturally, we took a short(ish) walk to Kensington Palace. Pro tip for wandering travelers (aka people who didn’t plan for anything at all): if you use the Google Maps app, you can see the photo icon that shows you monuments to take pictures with or cool things like that. Anyway, that’s how we found ourselves taking a picture with Queen Victoria in Kensington Park. We also followed the photo icon to a monument for… a king? To be honest, I have no idea what that was, but it looked cool. Literally every day is a reminder that I know nothing about European history.
We went to Harrods because that’s a thing that you have to do if you are into shopping. I think the most impressive thing about it was the sheer mass of the place. We legitimately got lost in there, and had to ask for directions to find an exit. We only had about an hour in Harrods before it closed, so we speed window-shopped, then stopped at a nice café for some tea and dessert before heading off to bed.
The next day, we started at Camden Lock, which is kind of an artisan market. We got some amazing tea and had food at random stalls. Looking around was an interesting experience that reminded me of craft fairs, but nothing tickled my fancy enough for me to spend those big bucks.
We walked along to Buckingham Palace, because duh, the Queen. There were a couple dudes biking (poorly) and one of them mistook a random old lady for the Queen. In his defense, she was dressed pretty nicely. We also visited the Queen’s gift shop because everything in there looked so pretty!
I think our timing kind of sucked though (we kept on waking up late), because everything was closing by the time we really got into it. We had a couple of pies for dinner (which were so! good!), then just walked around and took pictures. Not super exciting to talk about, but a fun time, I swear!
We visited the Borough Market early the next day, and got a ton of spices to take home. I swear, I could just go market hopping from country to country and never get tired of it. I loved seeing all of the different kinds of foods (both fresh and prepared) that the vendors had to offer. I even saw a meat counter that had exotic meats (like zebra) and ostrich eggs. It was such a strange experience, but I enjoyed it all the more for the strangeness.
Just a hop and a skip away from Borough Market was the Globe Theater. It was cool to see, but neither my sister nor I was feeling up for a tour (aka we didn’t want to pay for anything).
We did see the Tower Bridge, which was pretty cool looking. At this point of writing, I’m thinking that we spent a lot of time in London doing nothing but walking and seeing and whatever. But I think I’m into that kind of traveling. Who needs to go to every museum and learn about the historical importance of every fountain? While it would be interesting to learn someday, it was still as much of an experience just walking and exploring a new city.
Of course, time in London isn’t complete without tea time, and we had afternoon tea at Muriel’s. I would definitely recommend it, since it was fairly priced, and food is on point. The scones are definitely a little different than American scones though, that’s for sure. (I’ll probably do a whole post on scones on a later date).
That was London in a nutshell. Like said, I did also go to Birmingham for a short while, but I think I’ll save that for later, since I’ve blathered on and on. Thanks for letting me share a little bit of my time in London with you.
All the best,