London

Big Ben and Parliament.

Westminster Abbey.

I seriously had such a great weekend!  Not only was I in a great city, but I also got to spend time with one of my best friends, Molly.  As I mentioned earlier, she is studying abroad in London this semester.  So, I was lucky enough to have my own tour guide throughout the weekend!  After being a clueless tourist in countless cities over the past couple months, it was a relief to have someone who knew exactly where to go and how to go about getting there.  I stayed in her flat, so it was super to not have to deal with a nitty-gritty hostel.  Not to mention, I was able to speak ENGLISH.  I forgot how mindless and easy it is to communicate with everyone around you when they all speak the same native language as you!  All of these factors made the weekend a little more relaxing than some of my previous trips.

Tower Bridge.

I got to London late Friday afternoon.  Molly met me at one of the tube stations and we just walked around the city for a while.  I was surprised at how early it gets dark out there, but I had no complaints considering there were Christmas lights and decorations EVERYWHERE.  Between the cold, the Christmas lights, and the sound of British accents around me, I was convinced that I was playing a part in The Holiday or Love Actually.  Keep on dreamin…

After walking around and seeing some of the major sites in London, Molly and I went out to dinner at an amazing Thai restaurant.  Since I’ve been in Europe, I haven’t had any Asian food.  So clearly, this tasted so good to me!  Afterwards, we went back to her flat to hang out with some of her flatmates and watch a movie.  It was SO nice to just relax!

Molly and her fried rice.

My delicious pad thai.

We got an early start on Saturday.  Molly’s professor told her that Lord Mayor’s Parade (part of Remembrance Day celebrations) started at ten, so we decided to get there at nine to stake out good spots.  But, when we got there, there was no one in sight.  We were worried that it had been canceled or that we were given the wrong date, but it turned out that it started at eleven, not ten.  Instead of standing around for an hour, we decided to go to one of London’s most famous food markets, Borough Market.  Seriously obsessed with this market.  There was so much good food and a million samples!  Even though we had just eaten breakfast and it was only ten in the morning, we decided to split a grilled cheese!  YOLO, right?!  I haven’t had a grilled cheese in the longest time!  I also bought myself some fresh apple cider and a chocolate chip cookie (another food that I didn’t realize how much I missed) bigger than my face. YUMMY!

Borough Market.

The infamous grilled cheese.

After Borough market, we made our way over to the parade.  It was so much fun!  There were so many cool floats and it was very community-oriented, which I loved.  We were standing behind the most enthusiastic parade-observer ever!  She waved and said “good morning” or “thank you” to every float and person that walked by.  What a hoot!

Lord Mayor’s Show pamphlet.

The mayor’ carriage.

After the parade, we walked around the city and did some more sight-seeing.  I was excited to recognize and name some of the buildings and their architects that I have been studying in my art class:

Ran into Laura in London! Seven other people from my study abroad program also went to London this weekend to visit friends and I ran into ALL of them at some point or another over the weekend.

After six hours of touring the city, we went to get afternoon tea/lunch.  Probably one of my favorite parts of the trip!  So picturesque and quaint.

Tea and our sandwiches.

Scone with cream and raspberry jam. Delicious!

We felt a little rejuvenated after food and relaxing, so we went ice skating near the British Natural History Museum.  I hadn’t been ice skating for almost two years, but I think I surprised myself as I didn’t fall once!  Success.

We had the morning and part of the afternoon on Sunday, so we went to Hyde Park and the Portobello Road Market, a famous antique market.  I really loved this market and it definitely reminded me of all the Ollingers 😉

Had such a great weekend and it was so nice to hang out with Molly!  Since it was so much more relaxed than my other trips, I didn’t come back to Sevilla feeling more tired than I was when I left, which is always a plus.  I leave for Paris on Friday morning and then, my family comes in just a WEEK!  CAN’T WAIT. CAN’T WAIT. CAN’T WAIT.

Love always,

Anna

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2 Responses to London

  1. Mark says:

    We look forward to seeing you also. Nice pictures.

    • Aunt Karen says:

      How fun! Have a great time with the family. Now you can be tour guide. I really look forward to the pics with the Ollingers in town. Love always.

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