Upon booking my trip to London, England to visit my new friend, Shea — I had no idea that I’d actually truly fall in love with this city.
I’d come to the belief that London was a drab city that was constantly overcast and raining. I thought I’d go, see the sites, hang out with Shea, eat some fish & chips and head back to Madrid. However, it was so much more than that.
I arrived in London and was instantly pleased to be back in an English speaking country. I didn’t have to worry about using shotty mimicry in order to figure out how to get around — however, my bus driver ended up being from Valencia, Spain so we chatted in Spanish after he gave me directions on how to get to the tube.
I met Shea after my bus got into the city and we headed off from there. The skies were cloudy, but it wasn’t enough to keep the warm air close to the ground. It was quite a chilly March evening but she took me straight to see the sites: Big Ben, The London Eye, & Westminster Abbey. It was all BEAUTIFUL by night. I only wish I had my tripod in order to take some decent photos without a shakey hand.
It was quite the crisp evening and we walked around for a few hours before catching the night bus back to Shea’s apartment to catch some zzzzz’s and head out for adventures in the AM.
Shea was THE GREATEST host and planned out our trip almost months in advance! She bought us tickets to Hampton Court Palace outside of the city. We caught a train in the afternoon from one of the stations in the city and went to the palace! It was SO beautiful and romantic as such chick-flicks tend to be. There were gardens and swans and horse drawn carriages. It was a different kind of magic, but it was still magic.
Earlier in the morning Shea took me to Portobello Market. It had tons of DELICIOUS and HUGE food that I bought a lot of. It was a beautiful way to start the morning. It was also sunny. Just perfect. Shea and I also stumbled across The Ryan O’Reilly Band playing their songs of their first album. We were hooked & bought it. The music is folk/rock inspired and catchy while the lyrics are soulful and sad. I recommend it.
That night Shea took me to the club Fabric and we danced the night away. We left around 4AM and walked forever until we found a night bus that would take us back to the comforts of her apartment. It was sweet bliss when I fell asleep on her couch and I slept soundly till the morning.
The next day was rainy and it stayed that way all day. I went to meet up with my friend I worked with this past summer in Kennebunk, but her bus broke down and we missed each other. I ended up exploring the British Museum myself and enjoying some lunch at ‘Pret a Manger’ (a French name that the English call “Pret”). I miss that chain, especially when I’m NOT in the mood for tapas — which is basically all the time.
So, even though my trip to London was short lived it was quite the experience. I saw so much in so little time and it was nice to be in an English speaking country that wasn’t home. Hearing a different accent always gets me — I think they’re the coolest.
Some day I hope to go back & for a longer stay. My best friend is starting Uni there in the fall. Maybe I’ll get the chance to visit her while she’s there 🙂