London

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Top of the day to ya, mate!

Do they say that in London?  Not sure!  But I am sure of a few other things.  London is an awesome city.  It’s huge and it’s beautiful and there are so many things to see.  DSC_0125

Remember Shannon?  My best friend from college?  She is going back to grad school next month, so she planned one last ‘hurrah’ through Europe.DSC_0020

Do we look royal?

Her trip includes 3 days in London, 3 days in Paris, and 4 days in Mallorca (an island off of Spain).  It’s the ultimate Euro trip, if you ask me!  (Looking to plan a multi-city Euro trip?  Click HERE.)  We decided to meet in London, then she would head to Paris, and then she, Luis, and I would all meet in Mallorca!  It’s the perrrrfect mix of site-seeing and ends with an awesome few days of island bliss.

We both had INSANELY early flights on Tuesday morning.  Like my alarm went off at 3 am and I was walking to the bus station by 4 am.  Bright and early, as they say.  I took the bus, a plane, another 2 hour bus (from Gatwick airport, where the low-cost flights go in and out of.  If you are looking to get to central London at a much more reasonable price than the train, I suggest easybus.  It takes almost 2 hours, but round trip was 12 Euros.  Worth it).  Anyway, then two metros (errr Undergrounds) and walked 20 minutes to the airbnb.Knotting Hill cute restaurantWe found an Airbnb in Canada Water, which isn’t super central, but certainly wasn’t difficult to get to.  It was so strange though because the place was sooo much messier than in the photos and then 2 days into our stay, out of nowhere, the hosts MOVED OUT.  Eventually, they came back and told us they moved down the road and we were the last guests.  It was so strange.

Back to London things.  I found Shannon at the Airbnb, fast asleep, but since I had slept on the flight, I was feeling ok.  We looked at a map and sort of “mapped-out” (haha) our next couple days.  London is HUGE.  Like Paris huge.  And there is a lot to do.  We mapped it all out based on weather and how much time we had.  Since it was later afternoon by the time we were doing this, we decided to hit a few places our first day.

First, Notting Hill.Knotting Hill London underground

We had read that Notting Hill is an adorable area close to Hyde Park and worth a walk through.  We took the underground to Notting Hill Gate and walked around for a bit.  Look how nice!Knotting Hill colorful housesKnotting Hill colorful houses

I’m going to quickly bombard you with more colorful houses because they were awesome.  #housegoalsKnotting Hill colorful houses rainbowKnotting Hill colorful housesKnotting Hill colorful houses rainbowKnotting Hill colorful houses

Mom, maybe you could talk to the neighborhood gals about doing something similar?

Oh!  And besides these colorful houses, they had the best-looking restaurants.  This was all over in London, not just Knotting Hill.  They looked like the pubs in Ireland, but those flowers!  DSC_0993 DSC_0042DSC_0966

It was pretty gloomy out, so after walking for awhile, we stopped and had our first scone of the trip. If you ask me my favorite part about London, I will say “Soho and scones”.  It’s true.  Oh Tamara, you are so sophisticated and worldly.coffee house London

The coffee house culture is ON POINT in London.  

A bit more walking and exploring…DSC_0990 DSC_0001 DSC_0009

I really do wish I were hipster enough for one of those sweaters.

After lots of walking, we did even more walking, but now through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.  What a beautiful place!  Lots of runners, walkers, bikers, picnicers, and…birds.  We looked for Kate Middleton, but we couldn’t find her anywhere.DSC_0017 DSC_0020 kensington gardens pond DSC_0029 DSC_0031 kensington gardens birds Kensington carousel london

We saw where the Embassies are, taking it all in while munching on rice cakes.DSC_0012 DSC_0014

Lastly, we finished off the night with fish & chips from The Fish House of Notting Hill.  We ended up there based off of a recommendation and it was so good!  I don’t usually like fish and chips all that much because it tends to repeat itself, but this was just lightly battered.  We shared a plate with a side of mashed peas (kind of good, kind of gross) and it was plenty.Fish and chips notting hill london

From there, we headed home and both slept a good ten hours.  We were completely wiped!  

This post is a lot longer than I anticipated, so part II coming soon.