Sunday, March 25, 2012

Braccent

If I wasn't a eurotraveler before, I sure am now. I just arrived home from a whirlwind week in two of Europe's greatest cities (London and Paris) and then Amsterdam. I just have so much to say about everything so I'm just going to start with London for now - I'm sure you can only handle me in small doses anyway.

Big Ben, gloomy skies, bare trees, that's London for ya. We actually lucked out with some pretty sunny weather on our last days there, but it did look like this quite a bit. Regardless, I would have to say that London is my fourth favorite city in the world (first NYC, then Rome, then Paris, then London). Fourth is a pretty high ranking, since I've seen a lot of cities and all. We arrived on Friday, and took a train right over to Earlsfield, where we stayed the first night. It's the equivalent of Monteverde (where I live) in Rome; totally a suburb, but easily accessible. It was really quaint, sort of like Ridgewood. We shopped around Oxford Circus on Friday, taking in all the sites and shops that we miss (FOREVER 21 AND STARBUCKS YAY).


On Saturday we went to Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived. It's a museum to her now, though unfortunately it was closed while we were there. Then we did super touristy things, like shoved ourselves in telephone booths to take stupid pictures while all the locals rolled their eyes as they walked past (clearly they haven't seen the top model episode where they take super fierce pics inside a London phonebooth, or clearly they don't think that I look super fierce, even though I totally do). We also fulfilled one of my lifelong dreams: we went to platform 9 and 3/4. YES, it exists. Well, not really; the lovely brits at King's Cross station put a little sign up on the wall and a half a shopping cart so that all of us Harry Potter nerds can pretend that we too are throwing ourselves against a brick wall and will magically appear on a platform on the other side.


Then, to redeem our ladylike class, we went to afternoon tea at The Leonard Hotel. We ate scones with Devonshire cream, an assortment of little finger sandwiches, cupcakes and whichever tea we liked. We sat for hours, shmoozing and letting our feet heal a bit, before we headed over to a pub for St. Patty's Day. On Sunday we met up with our Bus2Alps group at the hostel and then embarked on a three hour walking tour of the city. We got to see Buckingham Palace, the famous guards, Trafalger Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and all the other famous sights of London. I tried fish and chips (yum), shopped around a famous London market and got to use my braccent (british accent, for those of you who couldn't figure it out). We mastered the public transportation system in five days and learned that England is as obsessed with bacon as I am (they have a street called Bacon Street. I have picture evidence if you don't believe me).


(parliament building)

Now, to the most exciting part of my trip. On Tuesday, Alex's friend who works at Parliament (so legit I know), took us inside to show us around. It just so happened that the Queen was also there to make a speech about something or other. And guess what, WE SAW THE QUEEN! There was a whole crowd and she got out of her macked out Bentley and shuffled inside. But not before I snapped a photo (unfortunately this picture isn't on my camera, but once it's uploaded I'll be sure to share it). You can hardly see her in it because I was pretty far away, but if you squint your eyes real hard and look extra close you can see the Queen in her powder blue outfit with her oh-so-British hat. Just so casual. Stay tuned tomorrow for Spring Break: Paris edition! (I promise there will be delicious food pictures in that post, since I know that's why you all read my blog anyway).

1 comment:

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