United Kingdom

The Family in London!

To start off our two-week adventure we headed to London from Newcastle by train. Tess and I have been there a few times before but this was our parents’ first so we were all excited.

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So happy to be back! While I’m in my leather jacket the guy behind me is in shorts.

The past two times I visited London the weather wasn’t really great so I was really happy to have the sun shining on this beautiful city this time around. Well, we did experience rain on the first day but the rest of the trip was bright and lovely. Now I can prove that those British tourism videos showcasing sunny England did not use special effects!

We stayed at an Airbnb just off Portobello Road and arrived Saturday noon, which was perfect because it was market day. There were loads of fascinating finds,which brought about welcome cause of delays while walking. I’ve never been to this area before and so I was really delighted to discover something new.

Wow.
Had a chat with this vintage jewelry vendor
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Bought some bread for breakfast
Drool!
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Bought fruits for breakfast 

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First order of business was the London Eye at night. Tess and I have been on it before during the day and so I wanted to see what it would be like all lit up. The views are just as stellar with all the lights. It’s a bit more difficult to spot the sights but the night time scene has a different charm compared to its daytime counterpart.

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Our next day found us wandering after a failed bus tour (there was an event somewhere in the city which caused massive rerouting; luckily we got to use the tickets again the next day). We ended up at Westminster Bridge for Nay and Tay’s first look at the magnificent Big Ben.

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A river cruise gives you a fresh perspective with which you can see the city. Being on the River Thames you can just relax and see the various sights while a bored tour guide does his job of pointing everything out to you in an accent which, if you’re unlucky, is not that understandable especially through a P.A. system. 😀

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London Bridge is not falling down, fortunately for us
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The Shard-one of Tess’ fave buildings

Image may contain: sky, skyscraper and outdoorImage may contain: 3 people, people sitting, bridge, sky, ocean, outdoor and waterWe were very lucky to have witnessed the passage of a National Geographic ship through the Tower Bridge. Talk about perfect timing! It was a special moment indeed.

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Image may contain: 4 people, people eating, people sitting, drink and indoorAfter a little snack and some rest we made our way to St. Paul’s Cathedral and happened to get on a working vintage bus. Again, it was perfect timing!

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Hello, St. Paul’s!

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From there we walked to the Millenium Bridge. The sun was almost setting at this time, providing a lovely backdrop to the already beautiful city.

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The riverside is home to various street performers and artists. It’s always entertaining to just walk from one point to another and see what you can find. We weren’t able to go into Tate Modern and I remember vaguely the last time I was there, so that only means I’ll have to come back again.

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A poem in exchange for what you’re willing to give

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Interesting installation on the  River Thames

The bridges that run over the Thames are not to be missed. The setting sun just makes them look all the more beautiful.

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Image may contain: sky and outdoorThe following day was our last full one. We got on the city bus tour again and got off at our first stop – Buckingham Palace. The guards are always fascinating to watch. Just be ready for the throng of tourists when you get here.

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Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky and outdoorSince we didn’t want the parents to get too tired, we stayed on the bus for the next hour or so to give them an overview of London. I’m glad we did because I was able to see areas of London which I’ve never seen before.

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National Gallery

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Westminster Abbey
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At the financial district
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Picadilly circus

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We happened to pass by Hamley’s where I scored an awesome photo opportunity with Paddington Bear! 😀 Late lunch at Wahaca was amazing as well.

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Met Paddington Bear!
That cornbread with honey and goat’s cheese dip is a dream
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Steak slices underneath the melted cheese
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That cornbread with feta and syrup is pure gold!

Ah, London…It’s vibrant and pulsing energy is always magnetic. There’s always something happening, something new, something wonderful to discover. We’ll be back for more in a few years hopefully. For now this marks the end of our London exploration but don’t worry…a story on the next destination, Sevilla, is already up. Have fun exploring!

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