Hey everyone! Wow, it’s been a whole year since I’ve written a “My Travel Journal” post. I actually really love writing these and sharing photos with you, so I’m glad the time has come. As you all know I recently took a trip back to Europe with my family. My last trip was with my university’s art department, so I knew this time around it was going to be a whole new experience. We planned for England and Paris, France so today I’ll be showing you all my photos from London specifically. I’ll be going through places we visited, food we ate, and what I thought of it all.
Now, since I literally have over 500 photos from England alone, I will be splitting up each city into separate posts. I hope that’s okay! Today will be London and later on I will create posts for the other cities we visited by train (if you’ve kept up with my Instagram, these two extra places are no secret). Let’s get on to the photos!
Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, & More!
So of course, one of the first sights we visited was Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. We stayed at the St. Ermin’s hotel, which was very close to them. We ended up around this area a lot, considering the hotel’s proximity. This area was much more touristy compared to where I stayed last time, which was the Lee Abbey in Kensington. Unfortunately, as you can see, Big Ben is getting some cosmetic surgery right now and scaffolding was covering basically the entire building. Nonetheless, it was still quite breathtaking and so English! Our hotel ended up being even closer to Buckingham Palace. It was a short walk over, but right when we arrived was when the guards were practicing for the Queen’s birthday. We were there right before the birthday ceremony and after the Royal Wedding; two huge events for the country!
Tower of London & Tower Bridge
Another day we decided to take a long walk over to see the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. I had been to the Tower of London before, but never had the chance to explore the inside. In it’s walls lie the Crown Jewels and an endless amount of English history (which is fascinating to me). I never expected for their to be what seemed like a little city inside the walls (and a torture chamber, yikes!) The Tower Bridge was beautiful as always, and I got to walk across it this time!
Tate Modern is one of my favorite art museums ever, so of course we took a little walk through and saw some pretty cool works of art. I really love pieces that are placed in large exhibition spaces that make you feel so tiny. I’m also a big fan of audio pieces with odd or interesting sounds. The Tate Modern is a great place for that, especially the central room, which is called the Turbine Room (it’s probably one of the biggest spaces I’ve ever experienced). The following photo is probably my favorite photo from the entire trip! We took an elevator to the 10th floor of the Tate, where there was a 360 degree view of London skylines. This specific view includes the large column of the Tate and St. Paul’s cathedral in the distance.
Trafalgar Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral
Trafalgar Square was another place I had been to previously. It’s my favorite place to relax in the sun while snacking on my favorite cucumber and tuna sandwich from Pret a Manger! You guys better believe I took full advantage of the Prets on every corner, LOL! Trafalgar Square is just so beautiful and I love seeing the different art pieces they have outside of the museum.
I went to St. Paul’s during my last trip, but never got a chance to explore the inside. My family planned on attending a church service with the choir planned to sing. The inside of this cathedral is absolutely breathtaking, complete with coffered ceilings, tall arches, mosaics, and gold detailing. With the enormity of the thing, the voices of the choir filled the entire space and was quite angelic. Again, appealing to my love of audio art pieces. It was so beautiful, even the outer architecture is gorgeous. My sister and I decided to take some photos at the front while a strange English man decided to give us a history lesson about the statue out front. LOL, it was quite the random (and funny) experience. Love the photos we got though!
Food & Strolling Around Town
A few things I noticed about London this time is that there isn’t a wide range of food options. On every street, you have the option of either Nando’s, Pizza Express, Wagamama’s, or Pret a Manger. I’m not complaining though, I actually really enjoy every one of these places. Pizza Express and Pret were both huge hits with my family. There were some of the funniest places we found just by walking around. If you’re traveling somewhere new, I’d recommend taking a day just to explore and find random, weird things on your adventures. Hyde Park (which is right next to Buckingham Palace) was one of our favorite little spots to walk around and enjoy the beautiful garden they built around the water. Please enjoy the photo of me chilling with the geese that inhabit the park. I apologize if I annoyed any of them with my fascination, LOL.
That’s about it for this post, I hope you enjoyed this little trip through London with me. It truly is one of my favorite places, and I’d like to think I’ve seen a lot of the world. Our last day here however, I did get a pretty horrible fever and chills, which led to a further sickness that took a bit of a toll on our travels. Check out my post here if you’d like to read in detail about what happened. With that being said, I would like to mention how kind and considerate the hotel staff was when all this happened. On our way to the train station to leave London, they sent us off with a bag full of water bottles and made me a hot peppermint tea to calm my stomach. It really was one of the most kind gestures I’ve experienced, so if you’re ever staying in London, I would highly recommend the St. Ermin’s Hotel. Not only are you getting incredible room service, an elegant and beautiful building, but also a staff that genuinely cares about their customers.
London is definitely somewhere I’ll be returning to throughout my life, if I get the chance of course. The history fascinates me and the architecture is something I wish we had here in America! Let me know what you thought of my photos down below in the comments! What’s your favorite place to travel to and what’s on your bucket list? I’d love to know! I’ll be back soon with the other cities we visited in England!