Two weekends ago I visited London! Even though I was exhausted from spring break, I was ready to visit England and gain a better understanding of the country’s relationship with Ireland.
We got in late Thursday night, and just decided to swing over to a nearby pub for a burger and a pint. The pub was packed with people enjoying beers after work. The atmosphere was similar to the many pubs one finds in Ireland, and so I felt a warm sense of familiarity as opposed to the uncertainty I usually felt upon arriving to other countries.
The next morning we woke up early, got our Oyster cards which gave us access to all public transportation including the metro and buses in London. The public transportation was amazing, allowing us to zip around all areas of London quickly. We visited West Minster Abbey, then Buckingham Palace. We just so happened to arrive at the Palace when they were doing the daily ceremony of the changing of the guard. It was fun to watch the tradition and stare at the gilded building. Next we made our way over to the Churchill War Rooms. That was my favorite spot. It was fascinating learning about British involvement in World War II, gain insight into Churchill’s fascinating character and leadership, as well as actually spend time in the rooms in which important war strategies were made while avoiding the bombings that occurred in the streets above.
We were lucky to have impeccable weather, so we picked up some food and drinks from a grocery store and had a picnic in the amazing Hyde Park. As we exited the grocery store however, there were many protests occurring over Brexit, which was interesting as well as overwhelming to scurry through.
We then ventured over to Notting Hill, the charming neighborhood that was featured in the famous film with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. It was adorable and colorful. We ended the night grabbing Indian food around Piccadilly Circus, which reminded me a lot of Times Square.
The next day, we traveled over to the Tower of London where we learned about all of the beheadings that took place there, as well as saw the magnificent crown jewels. After crossing the Tower Bridge, we visited the Borough Markets. Any food you can imagine with varying delicious cuisines bordered the area.
To end the weekend, we watched sunset at the top of the Shard.
Overall, I adored London. It reminded me so much of New York City, while Dublin gives me a Boston feel.
I look forward to spending my next few weekends in Dublin!