This is Shelley Spalding’s great post about her fantastic weekend in London. Shelley studies at Harlaxton College this spring. This is her comment on Facebook: “Here’s my London blog post! Enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!”
Before we left for London on Thursday, Dr. Kingsley, the principal here at Harlaxton, gave us some anecdotes on his experience of the city. At the end, he read us this quote by Samuel Johnson, which I found to be beautiful and true.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
Never before in my life have I been in such a lively city such as London. They say that New York is the city that never sleeps, but the same goes for this one.
We arrived Thursday night and proceeded to a couple of pubs just to see what urban ones looked like, and they were great! Very friendly people with a fun atmosphere, and especially good food.
Next morning, we could never have foreshadowed the aches and pains that would plague our feet. Literally, we walked all day, and it was the type of day that you fall asleep the second your head hits the pillow. However, in no way whatsoever did that detract from how awesome the day was in itself. Friday we saw everything. Leicester Square. Trafalgar Square. Buckingham Palace. Piccadilly Circus. Big Ben. Houses of Parliament. The outside of Westminster. Call boxes. Shopping on Oxford Street at night (I got a skirt at H&M for 4 pounds!). The whole enchilada. And it was wonderful. For dinner, we had a cute little Italian place. For lunch, God’s gift to mankind: Pret-a-Manger.
Next day, we woke up and had an itinerary in our heads of how we wanted to spend our second day in London. Naturally, the entirety of it didn’t come to fruition, but that’s okay because we had some wonderful experiences in spite of this.
First, we ventured to the British Museum. Which is a famous ancient and medieval history museum that has FREE admission due to its sponsorship by the British government. So thanks for that, Britain. Good chap. According to our charming and witty British Studies professors, it’s just a collection of the booty brought back when Britain was practicing imperialism and conquering countries left and right. Which is a pretty accurate representation of it in my opinion.
The museum was phenomenal. It had the Rosetta Stone. THE ROSETTA STONE. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Not that I don’t want to tell you about it, it’s just the fact that it’s so important that I can’t fit it all here. And I wouldn’t tell you adequately. Even Wikipedia would do a better job than I. Plus, it had statues from the Parthenon. So much cool stuff.
Then, duh duh duhhhhhhhhhhhh. We had our first tube experience. Or as it’s called in the US, the subway. It was hard to get used to, but once we got the hang of it, we were addicted. An entire day’s pass for it was only 8 pounds! So worth it.
Then, we ventured to Westminster Abbey which was perhaps my favorite part of the weekend. So wonderful. If you ever go to London, take the tour of Westminster. It was phenomenal to go inside. All the big stuff happens there.
Sadly, after this, we didn’t make it to the Tower of London in time, so that was a shame! But instead, we saw the Globe Theatre and the Millennium Bridge, so not a bad trade. If you don’t know, the Millennium Bridge was dedicated in 2000 and was a famous scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. No biggie.
Afterwards, we chilled for the rest of the night! It was great! London was so cold this time of year, so we got some much needed heat in the hotel.
The next day, we headed back. But stopped by Hampton Court Palace: Henry VIII’s vacation home. So beautiful and grand. Lovely conclusion to the weekend! We went through a maze there and said that the first person to reach the Tri-Wizard cup would get a free lunch. I won, but no free lunch. Rats.
In all, London was bigger than I ever imagined. Giving it two day’s worth of traveling is unfair to it. It’s perhaps the most international city in the world, with so many influences from the globe, but it also has a certain charm to it that has maintained throughout Britain’s history.
Definitely a must-see when you stop in Europe.
Cheers (Brits say this when you do a kind gesture for them or something of the like),