Come along with me on my daily adventures! Here you'll find random tales from the trail, and just everyday happenings.
"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life"
Okay, I'm just going to say this first: I have always been in love with London. In fifth grade, I decorated my notebook covers in pictures of London and the nearby castles. I knew I would like London. But I think that this expectation, a standard set superbly high, kind of actually ruined my trip.
Now I am definitely not saying that the trip was bad. It was great. I just was expecting...more. Especially after going to Denmark. Denmark was amazing, even though I felt a bit lonely going to a new country by myself (without my family). With friends, the trip became a lot more fun, and that's something that was missing in London. Since I went with family, it was a totally different experience. And don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I didn't have a ton of fun- because I did! I took a gazillion pictures, enjoyed every tourist site we visited, and was psyched to experience the British culture that I had been fascinated by for so long.
So instead of me just rambling, let me summarize the trip!
Firstly, we went to our relatives' house in a suburb an hour away from central London. When we got there I was pleasantly surprised by how classically 'British Suburban' it looked. Just like Privet Drive in Harry Potter! (You should know, I'm a HUGE fan of HP and am going to be making a lot of references. If you haven't read the books or watched the movies, you should do that before reading this blog :) Or just be prepared to be confused. The books/movies are one of the main reasons I've dreamt of travelling London for so long.)
Staying in a town that wasn't quite in the big city, but still had the elements of British life, was an interesting experience. As soon as we we dropped off our luggage, my dad and I set off to explore the nearby surroundings. Since we had just gotten off a very long flight, my whole family was starving. We looked up nearby places and discovered a TESCO within walking distance. TESCO's are one of the chain supermarkets in England like Superstore or Walmart. As soon as I walked in this store though, I was amazed. It was so...cool. Not just because the AC was running, but because it had all the basic things you would find in a grocery department store, but the layout and the products were so different that it made the entire experience different.
Now, it might sound strange, but one of my favourite things in London were the super markets (and the mini ones!). TESCO and M&S to be specific. I found it refreshing how good the food quality was, and how many different types of products there were. The variety! It was very cool. So anyways, after wandering the store for about an hour (it was a Super TESCO, okay!), we finally bought some food to take home for my mom and sister. We got some microwavable chicken rice and pudding cups. The rice was pretty bad, which was pretty much expected, but wow, the pudding cups were amazing. I think what I realised through all of this, is, that in Canada we've become used to a lower standard of quality because of a smaller population and less diversity. Now that I have discussed the groceries, let's talk about some actually interesting stuff: London Town!
We surprisingly visited at the perfect time; we didn't see a drop of rain (insanity), and there were barely any tourists around. We were there from around the end of august to the first couple days of September. If you're visiting London, I would highly recommend that window, because the weather is still really nice, and most of the tourists have left for the season.
After the first couple days in the subrubs, we moved to an AirBnB in actual London, near Hyde Park. It was a second floor walk-up, which was interesting. Possibly the most surprisng thing in this AirBnB was how narrow the stairs were! In North America, we're so used to wide open spaces, Europe always surprised you with how little space you actually need. This location was really nice though, because the underground (metro) was pretty close by, and there were a ton of things to do nearby.
Quickly, everything I saw:
Even though this was one trip where I can say I saw enough that I don't need to return to finish the sights, I can't wait to go back to London! It was such a lovely city and had a great vibe to it. Cheerio!