The Land of Brits and Royals

Ever since I was little I have had an infatuation with London. Maybe it is the charming British accents or my mild obsession with the royal family. I don’t know, but there is just something about London that is is truly amazing. This past weekend, I finally had the opportunity to go to London.

Planning the trip I was not near as excited as I was when I arrived there. I was actually surprised with my reaction. I was like a little girl on Christmas morning and I had just opened the present I had been wanting. As I walked the streets of London, my obsession with everything British had been validated.

Although the trip did not start out as smooth as I would have liked, it was still the most amazing place I have visited (I’m sure that will change when I begin my next adventure!).

The hectic day of traveling started out very calm actually (You think we would have realized that something had to go wrong). We had to catch our bus in another town at 8:15 pm, so we had planned to leave at 7 pm and be there ahead of schedule.

It was around 5 pm when we were doing last minute packing and planning when Sophia decided to look at her bus ticket. She asked what the day was and as soon as she said that I knew something was wrong.

We quickly realized that Sophia’s ticket said she was leaving on the 21st and I was leaving on the 20th. You can imagine the sense of panic I had. In that moment, while Sophia was freaking out, I just calmly came to terms that we were leaving on different days.

Instead of panicking, we decided that we would just go to the bus station early and try to change her ticket. It was around 5:30 now and we were running out of time.

Not having a dutch phone plan, we could not call the emergency number, so we just had to hope once we got to the bus station we could sort things out.

We quickly left our apartment, hoping we didn’t forget anything important, and went to the train station to buy tickets to get to the bus stop. As soon as we got our tickets, we saw an info desk and thought that it wouldn’t hurt to ask if they could help us.

The lady was one of the nicest people I have come encounter with in my experiences with public transportation. We explained to her our situation and how we were running out of time. She then picked up her cell phone and called the emergency number for us.

We then were informed that we could change the ticket, but we had to go to their head quarters which is outside of Amsterdam. At this point it is 6:30 and we have to decide quickly what we are going to do.

We then change our train tickets and decide to go to the head quarters in order for her to be able to leave tonight.

The thing was that the head quarters closed in an hour and it took just around an hour to get there. We had no time to spare, so we just ran.

You can imagine the anxiety I was having on the 45 min train ride. I said so many prayers and just hoped that someone how we could make this work.

We FINALLY made it to the bus station and for some reason God was looking over and there was one extra seat on the bus and that was now Sophia’s.

I can’t even explain the sigh of relief I had when we both were on this bus, ready to endure a 12 hour bus ride together.

It is safe to say that when we made it to London, I was just happy that we both were there in one piece.

This trip was special because Sophia’s friend from home was meeting us in London. They had not seen each other since Christmas and it was nice because even though I have only been with her three times before, it was the closest feeling to home I have felt in a long time. AND she brought us mac and cheese to savor for our last two months in Europe. It’s pretty sad when artificial cheese makes you feel like you’re at home.

During our first day there, we saw everything we possibly could. We did a free walking tour and ended at a traditional English Pub.

On our walking tour we saw Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, the bunker of Winston Churchill during WWII, Clearance House, King Henry VIII Palace and the Prime Minster’s house. We basically saw all of London in 2 and 1/2 hours.

We then indulged in some classic fish and chips. Which was a great way to semi end our first day there.

After fish and chips, we made it to the top of the London Eye to watch the sunset against the background of London. It was the most picturesque end to a perfect day in London.

The next day, we started out by going and seeing the changing of the guards. This does not sound that interesting, but it was one of the most intriguing things I have seen.

Changing of the Guards

Unfortunately, the Queen was not on her throne at Buckingham Palace, so there was no royal meet and greet. Hopefully she will be there next time.

After that we went and adventured around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Both incredible parks to walk through and admire the people and the landscape. The whole entire time I was there I was just looking for Kate Middleton and Price William, but sadly no spotting of the royal family.

We then made our way to the most touristy spot in all of London, platform 9 and 3/4. As a Harry Potter lover there was no shame in standing in line for 30 mins just to get my picture taken with the trolley. I chose Griffindor of course.

After that we had plans to do a pub crawl that night and experience the London night life. I won’t give too many details, but the night life in London definitely did not disappoint. We danced the night away and into Sunday morning!

On Sunday, we had a Sunday Roast (British version of brunch) and had a relaxing trek to see London Bridge and Tower Bridge.

We then went to Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden to do some shopping.

We ended the night with just relaxing. It is something that I have to keep reminding myself to do on trips because I feel I never see enough, so I exhaust myself. But it was nice to finally be relaxing.

During our last day in London, we did some pretty touristy stuff. We took a bus to see Abbey Road and Abbey Road Studios. It’s actually pretty comical to go there and to see how many people actually just go there to get there picture walking across the street (which is actually a really busy street).

After Abbey Road, we walked our way towards Regent’s Park, and on the way we stopped at the Sherlock Holmes museum. Which was pretty awesome, I must admit.

After walking in the park, we decided that we had to end our time in London at the same place that we started it. We went back to the pub where we ate the first day and had a nice farewell to London lunch.

You can’t even imagine the sadness I felt leaving this city. During my time here I have seen so many different cities, so many different things and I have to say that London has been my favorite city. There is just something about it that makes my heart skip a beat. It might be the quintessential streets and calming atmosphere, but I just fell in love with London.

And as much as my mom and dad will hate to hear this, it was the first city I have seen that I can picture myself living in.

It was pure perfection, and that weekend I lived a dream, but like every dream I had to wake up and go back to reality.

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