Back on an uncomfortable plane with a weekend full of clothes, beauty products, shoes stuffed in my North Face backpack, this time Destination: London, England, UK.
After the short one hour flight, I had arrived in a new country with a city that never sleeps, uses a different currency, and has a public transit system that is taken to a whole new level. I had all my touristy activities planned (hop on/ hop off tour, London Eye, Thames River Cruise, etc..) I had once again booked my stay through Airbnb, staying right outside of London in the Buckhurst area. Because I was there for 2 short days (definitely stay longer than 2 days, I’ll explain further down) my exploring started as soon as I dropped my bags off at the flat.
I purchased an Oyster Card, definitely a must in London if you’re planning on using public transportation. Using “The Tube” wasn’t that hard, thanks to Miss Laura telling me to download the tube app.
I arrived in the city, walked up a flight of stairs, and witnessed what I consider pure craziness. The amount of people, double-decker buses, shops, etc. are overwhelming at first glimpse. (You can sorta compare it to NYC)
My first activity I had planned was the hop on/hop off bus ride to get a feel of the city and somewhat understand the areas. It had started misting rain but that didn’t stop me from sitting on the top level of the bus. The sightseeing had begun only to be stuck in traffic for 45 minutes due to a socialist protest going on. After going maybe 500 meters in an hour, I hopped off. (Thankfully I had purchased a 2-day pass)
Here is why you don’t want to go to London for only 48 hours.
1. The city is HUGE!!
2. You never know what the weather will really be like (BBC isn’t always right)
3. You also never know when a protest or event will shut down streets.
4. 48 hours in London, trying to complete a mile long list of to-dos is impossible (with sleep).
The rain or protest wasn’t stopping me. I walked to The London Eye, one of the top things to experience in London. The ride is 30 minutes long, with around 20 other people in the pod. The views are breath taking, you can see all of Westminster and London City.
Finally what I had been waiting for all day, seeing “Wicked, The Musical”. The Apollo Victoria Theater was spectacular and so were my seats. 🙂 The performance/music/popcorn was amazing. After the show, I went to the tube to head back to Buckhurst… My goodness the amount of people getting on at 11:30 at night was ridiculous. I was compacted, hugging my purse like a sardine into one section of the tube.
The next day was Father’s Day/Sunday/ my last day in London. Thankfully the weather was nice! I started by going to church at Hillsong Central London, I got back on the hop on/ hop off bus and enjoyed seeing The Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and many more sights. I took the Thames River cruise that gave you a different view of London. Finally I hopped on the tube and went to an area of London called Shoreditch.
The area of Shoreditch was recommended to explore by the lady I was staying with. Shoreditch in one word, artsy. The area was filled with creativity, local artist/designers/markets/coffee shops, and a really cool place called “Cereal Killer Cafe” you can satisfy your craving in all forms, from basic cereal and milk to cereal cocktail drinks. You walk around hearing aspiring musicians play, see colorful graffiti on all the brick walls, and occasionally get asked begged to come into ethnic restaurants.
Though my time is London was extremely short, I got most of what I wanted to do done. Everything was totally rushed but it is intriguing experiencing a new country and adding a new stamp to your passport 😉
And seriously the only place rain is totally normal, prepared for by every English, and acceptable is London.