Taking a UK trip (plus Dublin) just isn’t complete until you go to London! On Saturday April 11th mis padres y yo boarded a train in Cardiff bound for London. It was only a two hour ride across beautiful English countryside, and the train even had wifi. The views and little towns along the tracks were spectacular.
It was our second time in London as a family, although my dad goes multiple times a year, so we knew how to navigate the city pretty well. We arrived at the hotel and got dinner at what we once thought had the best fish and chips in the world. The fish and chips were great, but I think the reason we liked them so much 5 years ago was because it was the first british fish and chips we had tried. Going back, they just weren’t as mind blowing but they were still delicious. We headed to Leicester Square to check out the night life but being a 20 year old with her parents, we couldn’t do much when it came to clubs or bars, so we ended up just calling it a day.
Sunday was our only full family day and we decided to spend it at the London Tower. We saw the crown jewels and a few other famous buildings, but what surprised me most was the history behind the tower and who has lived there throughout the history of England. The next morning, my mom and I found an old coffee shop that Anthony Bourdain visited during his special on London, and then we hit a few Pinterest “must see” spots around SOHO. After, we got cupcakes at TopShop and walked through St. James Park before meeting dad at the Dovetail Belgium pub, which I would easily say is my favorite pub in London right behind The Friend at Hand pub close to our hotel. We didn’t stay for dinner though and went to an old italian place instead, then took the tube home, but not without stopping at Kings Cross to take a picture at platform 9 3/4 of course.
On the tube ride back from Kings Cross we had ice cream with us, and met some girls who we bonded with over how amazing ice cream is. Then when we arrived at our station the exit was a choice of either an elevator or 15 flights of stairs, so naturally I took the 15 flights, and some older guys from holland were so impressed that they bought me (and my parents) a round of beers. That led to two more hours of drinking and bonding over travel plans, and then these Swedish guys that were actually my age at the table next to us called me over and I talked to them until the bar closed. Also somewhere along the way an English guy had his number given to me via a friend of his on the back of a newspaper? And the bartender made a move too so all in all it was a perfect night.
On Tuesday, my mom and I took a bus around England, which went to Leeds Castle and spent some time in the surrounding gardens and garden maze, then to the white cliffs of Dover, and finally to Canterbury Cathedral and the surrounding city. The tour was a lot of fun and we saw some beautiful parts of England, but considering how beautiful Scotland was, it just couldn’t compare. Wednesday was our last full day in London, so we decided to be super-tourists and go to Westminster Abbey and Borough Market. We didn’t actually go IN Westminster since we’d been before but we walked around and admired it, and then walked around Big Ben too. We spent a good two hours at Borough Market between getting juices and black licorice for mom, and then finally getting real food for lunch. We also spent a few hours at Tate Modern museum, and then got dinner with dad one more time before I left the next day and went to Paris. It was an amazing trip with my parents, but since I got to see them and don’t miss them anymore I now have no incentive to go back to America. Can I please just accidentally miss my flight back home?
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it!