Immediately after entering England, we noticed a stark difference from France. For one, everything was in English again. Hallelujah! Red, tall buses lined the streets, the structure and character of the houses and buildings was vastly different, and there were flowers everywhere!
London was quickly stealing its way into my heart.
London reminded Brandon and I so much of New York City but with older and smaller buildings. It had the same alive and busy feeling with lots of character. In Paris, we felt like we were crammed together with all the tourist. In London, we felt like we were hanging with the locals.
After dropping our stuff at the hotel, we headed to the Covent Gardens, which is basically and area for shopping, eating, and entertainment. Because things tend to close earlier in London, we didn't get to eat at the well known Creme de la Crepe, but instead settled for Shake Shack (a pretty good second choice if you ask me). Once our tummies were full, we window shopped, savored some of the most creamy ice cream I've ever had, and enjoyed the live entertainment around us.
Saturday was basically our marathon site seeing day (and good thing too because it rained the next day). We crammed as much as we could into that short day, and I have quite the long list of places we went. So, instead of writing lengthy, forced statements about each, I'm going to leave them in list format and add tidbits when I feel like it.
1. Borough Market - If you didn't ready know this about me, I'm a lover of "markets". Anything that sells produce, baked items, nicknacks, and goodies makes me all giddy inside. Weird? Maybe. Anyways, this place was AMAZING. There was a wide assortment of foods from sausage egg balls and seafood soup, to loaves of bread, cookies, brownies, and any type of vegetables or fruit you could imagine. And speaking of sausage egg balls... Brandon found his new love. I think he died and went to heaven for about 5 minutes. If you're ever in London, this is a must must must!
2. Tower of London - This looked grand and beautiful from outside, but we didn't get to go in, so if we ever go back, that will be on our list.
3. The London Bridge was our next stop. It reminded me of the movies, although I wasn't smitten by the baby blue arches.
4. Millennium Bridge & Shakespeare's Globe
5. St. James Cathedral - Impressive. Would have loved to go inside.6. Saint James Park - Green grass with lots of flowers, ponds, and people.
We stopped at the Laughing Halibut for lunch, and had the famous fish and chips. I found it all rather bland and had to wash it down with a jelly filled doughnut.
7. Buckingham Palace - Watching the soldiers in front was fascinating. All they did was stand there and shift their riffle from one shoulder to another, but I couldn't stop staring at them and wondering about their lives.
8. "The Mall" & Admiralty Arch
9. Trafalgar Square - Busy and full of life.
10. Piccadilly Circus & Regent St.
11. Hyde Park: Princess Diana Memorial Fountain & Royal Albert Hall
12. Albert and Victoria Museum
13. Les Miserables - If you love or even like theatre, this should be at the tip top of your list for entertainment. Hands down one of the best plays I've ever seen. Seeing it in London was surreal.
14. Church - This was one of my very favorite things we did in London. The members and missionaries were extremely kind and welcoming, and the Spirit was strong. When we travel, I always want church attendance to be a top priority.
15. Westminister Abbey & Big Ben - Each a breathtaking work of art.
16. London Eye - We didn't actually ride this, but we saw if from a distance and were content with that.
17. 10 Downing Street - One of the most famous addresses in the world.
18. Leicester Square
19. Covent Gardens - We finished off our trip where it begin, but this time made sure we had plenty of time to indulge at Creme de la Crepe.
The people were friendly and helpful
Flowers, flowers, flowers!
There weren't nearly as many tourist
Maps and directions on every corner
The use of free restrooms and wifi almost everywhere we went
Yes, I can definitely say... London has my heart.