#tbt Travel Diaries - The Trip Where My Parents Came to London
Welcome to the next part of the #tbt Travel Diaries series, as I revisit my study abroad adventures in England. After a couple days in Paris, I was meeting my parents in London for a week to show them the city and surrounding towns. This trip made up a bulk of the Eurotrip and allowed me to do all the activities I did not do last time or only checked out from the outside. Just one more city after this to complete the whirlwind Eurotrip I was on. So hopefully you guys enjoy coming down memory lane with me on this next one:
Original Blog Post April 16, 2013:
The second city in my Eurotrip adventure was London. If you’ve been reading my blog/facebook/twitter/etc., I had already visited London for a quick weekend back in January when I first arrived with a few of my friends. This time though I was spending a week in London with my parents. Seeing as how I thought it wasn’t necessary to come visit me in the area of my school and they wanted to see London we decided to just meet there. This would be their first time to the city and our first time to the surrounding area. It was great to finally see some people from back home, especially my parents, as communication with those back home is limited to Facebook/Twitter/Email and I haven’t physically been able to talk to many of them often or at all.
We decided to use the week in London to spend a few days in the city and then a few days in some of the surrounding area. Although the weather certainly started out crappy, yes especially after what I just experienced in Paris, it got better near the end with the sun coming out (we still had to bundle up though). We did visit a few areas I had seen on my previous visit but this time I got to actually experience some of the things I saw and got to see a few new things I didn’t have time to see back in January.
The first two days were spent checking out the city, showing some nice areas to my parents that I got to experience last time as well as trying something new with them.
This is Covent Garden (I thought I took more then just this picture) from our first night in the city. Its a real cool shopping/eating/nightlife area in London. Seriously good food here, definitely check it out if your here. Ended up here a couple nights for dinner. I only got here late at night last time to hit up a bar but I actually got to experience the area this time. And right (sort of) next to Covent Garden is Piccadilly Circus.
And not far from Piccadilly Circus is Admiralty Arch next to Trafalgars square.
The first day was a trip to the Tower of London. And make note people, the Tower of London is not just a tower as my parents had thought, it is a livable castle.
This is from inside Tower of London, as you can see it was raining/snowing this day.
This is where Crown Jewels are kept, no pictures allowed inside though.
And also the famous bridge that everybody recognizes from London is not in fact the London Bridge, its actually the Tower Bridge. We all seem to make that mistake.
The next day was spent walking from the west side of the city to the center. Walked from Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Harrods, to Buckingham Palace and London Eye. First stop was Kensington Palace.
Then passed by the Princess Diana memorial fountain.
Strolled through Hyde Park.
Harrods! It was freaking huge and really, really cool. I was not allowed to go shopping around the store though. There was also a Princess Diana memorial in Harrods. Also you can’t miss the ice cream bar at Harrods, it was so GOOD!
Made our way to Buckingham Palace next.
Forgot my camera for the changing of the guard that we came back to see the next day. Probably for the best I was not a happy camper getting there two hours before so we could have a spot on the fence. But hey at least now I can say I saw the changing which was interesting at least but I am glad I do not have to go back and stand there for two hours ever again.
Made a trip back to Abbey Road; had to get my parents crossing the road. Had to settle with them going the wrong way, they were too hard to take a photo of doing it correctly.
The city center was next to see Big Ben, London Eye and Westminster Abbey. The weather also finally started to look good with the sun finally popping out. First was checking out Westminster Abbey. We came back later on in the trip and actually toured inside.
So although I was able to see Big Ben, the Eye, and the Abbey last time, we never got on to the Eye because a couple of us had already been on or we knew we were coming back later and decided to wait to ride with our families when they came. Its a pretty cool experience, really gives you a great view of everything at once and gives some great views farther out into the city. The dirty glass and sun did not let for too many great pictures though unfortunately.
Looking out towards the Shard, Millenium Bridge, St. Pauls, Tower of London, Tower Bridge.
Looking out towards Trafalgars Square, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden.
Looking towards Parliament, Big Ben, the Abbey.
At the top you really do get some great views from the Eye.
I forgot my camera the next day when we went to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard, St. Pauls Cathedral, the Globe Theater and Tower Bridge at night. We also did the Churchill War Rooms which is a real cool history museum on Winston Churchill and the war rooms that he planned his war tactics in during World War II. Was really interesting walking through the actually underground rooms and finding out some interesting things about him. I really recommend Imperial War Museums (IWM), they are really excellent and interactive museums. The one in Manchester(which is free by the way) and this one are just excellent.
The day after though we took a trip out to Windsor Castle. The weather was perfect that day, the sun was shining bright and it wasn’t too overly cold. The castle was really cool and a lot bigger then I thought.
It still amazes me how people actually live in these places, and I dont mean the Queen or anything, like actual people live there with there families. This is one of the resident of the castles yard.
The state rooms were crazy huge and elaborate. Couldn’t take pictures inside of the state rooms unfortunately, so no pictures for you guys. This is the Queens quarters though and she was even in!
At least I got them changing guards at Windsor Castle. And there was a guard stationed perfectly to take your picture with.
The chapel inside the castle, closed unfortunately because it was a Sunday so no pictures inside.
This is the entrance to the Queens area of the castle.
The castle towers over the town which was really quaint and quintessential England. We ended up having dinner down here before the train ride back into the city.
The next day we ventured out of the city again to the seaside town of Brighton. Cool “little” town with a nice amusement pier and a very artsy feel to the town. Not so sure if I like English beaches, well at least the ones up by me or the ones down south. The beach was made up of all rocks and no sand, not so sure if I could enjoy being on a beach with no sand.
There was a pier abandoned and ruined out in the water. Must be like what the roller coaster in Jersey feels like.
Entrance to the Brighton Pier where there were amusement attractions, arcade, food and all your typical seaside pier attractions.
Took a ride on the Ferris Wheel at the beginning of the pier. Go views looking down the beach, could see them setting up for the Brighton marathon. Also got a glimpse of the white cliffs in the background, bonus credit.
Looking down the other side of the beach towards the town.
Brighton is also home to The Royal Pavilion one of the Kings I believe vacationed in it. It was built with Indian influences from that time.
The last day was spent touring the inside of Westminster Abbey. I did not realize how big the area is, I just thought it was a church but it is like a whole village. People actually live there too and there is a whole hidden side from what the public can see from the outside. The area beyond the church was really cool with all these little courtyards surrounded by walkways with houses. Felt like I was in a Harry Potter movie. We weren’t suppose to take pictures when we entered the church but wasn’t sure if that applied to the outside area too so didn’t take any pictures except for one quick one with my iPod to show you how it looked like walking around Hogwarts.
We finished with a dinner at the very first Hard Rock Cafe ever and where the memorabilia collection started. Was really cool to see that. Ended the day early as my parents had a long trek from our hotel to their new hotel next to the airport.
Was a really good trip that went by too fast, was nice being able to see my parents again, some one from home for that matter, as it had been months since I have physically been able to talk to them. Only a couple more weeks and then Ill be reunited with everyone back home again.
But the Eurotrip didnt end here, I also had an early flight the next morning to Barcelona to continue my adventure.
Have you been to any of these areas before? What are some of your favorite things to do in London or the surrounding area?
See you in the next adventure.
-The Wandering Professional