London, UK

I’ve been in Paris for two days, and that’s all I need to confidently say that yes, I do simply adore it. After two days of lugging suitcases from London to the Chunnel via Eurostar to access Paris, I am here with a 4 euro bottle of french red wine and am able to sit down and express all the wonderful things I have encountered in the past few days. Although my diction won’t do the places I’ve seen and the people that I’ve met justice, I will try.  imageA sweet parting gift from my best friends mom

imageA to-go meal made by my mom

I arrived in London listening to The Clash (suggested by my dad who said he did the same when he was my age) after an overnight flight on British Airways. To my surprise my taxi was a Mercedes and although I was excited at first thinking of the luxe accommodations, I soon realized that most of the cars on the road were new and luxurious. I barely saw any old car models on the road while driving from Heathrow to my hotel, which was located next to Chelsea Football Club, in the neighborhood of South Kensington London. My room wasn’t ready so I hopped on the tube (still dressed in my plane clothes) and headed to see the sights. As soon as I got off the tube at my destination, my jaw dropped open as I realized the loud noise I was hearing was the marvelous clock striking noon at the Big Ben right above me. I found out “Big Ben” is the name of the bell, the actual tower is named the Tower of London. I was amazed as the snow drenched my jet lagged body of the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and the energy that I felt on the bridge over the River Thames.
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imageView of the London Eye
imageEver so handy tube map

During the day, I dined on fish and chips in a restaurant frequented by Prince Harry. That night is where the real magic happened, it didn’t matter that I hadn’t slept in the last 24 hours. My new friends accompanied me to see the London-appropriate West End show, We Will Rock. I choose this show because it was all songs by Queen which I felt was London appropriate. The West End was surprisingly more animated than Broadway. There were also no Playbills for me to add to my collection.
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imageTube stop for the West End
imageWe Will Rock You-Dominion Theatre

The next day began with a sighseeing tour of London. Rather than explain-here are a few pictures of the things I saw.
imageBig Ben at 12 on the dot 

imageWestminster Abbey

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imageStatue in front of the National Gallery-replaced annually 

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Gate at Buckingham Palace 

imageLondon Bridge (….my fair lady)

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After finishing the three hour tour (which was more like four due to large amounts of traffic in the London area) I began my own adventure thanks to recommendations by my friends. First thing on my list was to get a pie. I ended up going to a pub and getting a short rib pie and a delicious rhubarb apple cider.
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I then ventured to the National Gallery which rivals the Met, Smithsonian National Gallery etc. I of course enjoyed the Impressionists the most, but there were many pieces I enjoyed. I then strolled down Bond St and found myself walking through Hyde Park—there wasn’t much there except a large pond called the Serpentine, abound with Swans. It was to Harrods and time for a coffee after realizing that was all I could afford.

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The next morning, exhausted at 7am, I took the Eurostar to Paris. It was very simple and a short trip (may or may not be because I slept the entire way, only waking up to see fields with windmills). The only tip I can give is don’t pack more than you can handle—my forearms still hurt from lugging my suitcases up and down the train steps! Upon arriving in Paris, I realized I would need to take an Advil due to increased brain activity trying to make sense of the french conversing going on around me. I was given a packet containing my french address for the next three months and hopped in a cab.

I will leave you in suspense to find out where the cab ended up taking me. If you’re thinking he took me to the slums because my french was so awful, you’re wrong 😉

 

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