Installment One: London Calling

Hi friends,

So let’s pretend that we’re back to last Sunday, as my sister and I were boarding our Icelandair plane for London. It’s the day that our whole Euro-adventure began…

Trafalgar Square

With our layover in Iceland, we started a little worried that a certain volcano might erupt and ruin the whole wonderous time that we had planned (and paid for). Lucky for us (and everyone around us…trust me), that didn’t happen. We spent three days in London, a few hours in Paris, and three days in Rome, with a couple hours in Florence stuffed in there as well. In order to give this trip the full importance that I feel it deserves (because believe me, it deserves importance), I’m going to break the blog entries into three shifts—London, Paris and Rome. So let’s get started across the pond….

Having arrived in London around 11:30 in the morning, Steph and I hopped on the Piccadilly line train towards Northfields, where my boyfriends sister lives, where we were staying. Northfields is a good 20 minutes from the central area of the city, but the tube in London is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in New York City. It’s actually clean. With arm rests. And quiet little passengers who quietly read their paper. And there’s no eating or drinking on the tube that we saw either (outside of our own eating and drinking, of course).

It didn’t take us long to fit right in in London. Steph and I found our own favorite cafe in Kate’s neighborhood, and made a habit of picking up a cappuccino or iced drink every morning before starting our day.

Crepe tasting in London

Despite really full days of touring around the city (there’s plenty to see in London, who knew?), we managed to make it out at night as well. We took in Jersey Boys one night, after purchasing tickets from London’s very own version of TKTS, and saw Ingrid Michaelson perform on our last night as well. We drank London beer and ate crazy London food:

Crazy London food in the form of pickled onions, cheese, bread, apples and some kind of pickled olive spread. Oh yum.

We saw all of the sites, took a bus tour and a river cruise, spent some pounds and went to the Tate Modern museum (the jury is still out on whether or not this museum was the best).

Basically, to sum up:

Trafalgar Square
Towering Big Ben
Westminster Abbey
Buckingham Palace
As the story goes, poor ole’ Queen Mary was posed looking towards a bar, and away from a church. Poor Queen Mary.

The Eye of London, which we did NOT ride
Exploring Tate Modern

Also super fun was the elephant parade that was going on in London while we were there. All throughout the city (seriously, alllll throughout the city. They were even in the mall) you could find elaborately decorated elephant statues that were for sale (if you had, say, $2,000 to spare on a statue elephant). While we abstained from purchasing one to take with us home in our carry-on luggage on the plane, we did have fun spotting them throughout the city:

Elephants on parade

After only three short days (which seriously went by too quickly), we boarded a train early Thursday morning for a few hours in Paris—but more on that to come tomorrow……

Bis bald friends!

Oh, and also, Iceland has it’s own language. Yup, Steph and I had no idea. It’s okay. We’re not embarrassed. And not only do they have their own language, but Iceland is actually gorgeous, and it’s now officially on my ‘some-day-vacation’ list. It’s only 103,000 sq. miles in size, with only 319,000 people in population. Also, according to the information on the in-flight Iceland movie on our plane, the most popular restaurant in Iceland is not actually a restaurant, but a hot dog stand. Come on, who wouldn’t want to go to a place like that?! (besides, perhaps, a vegetarian).

7 thoughts on “Installment One: London Calling

  1. Sooo great!! I felt like I was there with you–but what were the women crying about?were they “lost”too!!

  2. You mean the crying women in Paris? I think it’s pretty much just a ploy to get naive travelers to feel sorry for them and give them money. You should have seen them—there was a whole gang of them!

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