a few months ago, i fulfilled one of my lifelong goals. i went to london
. and it was bloody fabulous! i was there for three full days, which is plenty for sightseeing. i spent two days in the city and one day traveling a couple hours away to wiltshire county and oxford. i would have loved to stay for a few weeks to soak up the culture. i was just starting to get the hang of the language. i know what you're thinking - they speak english! but the accent combined with the slang
made things a bit...well...interesting.
i could go on and on about my trip but i'll leave you with some highlights. besides walking around and checking out trafalgar square, westminster abbey
, parliament, big ben
, and buckingham palace (all within walking distance from each other), if you only have a few days in london, here's what i recommend dishing out the dough for:london eye
also known as the millennium wheel, this largest wheel in the world stands just under 450 feet high on the bank of the river thames. it takes about 30 mins to complete one revolution and doesn't stop for loading and unloading passengers. each capsule can hold about 25 passengers. this is the best way to see the city at night.tower of london
the tower used to function as a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison (mainly for high status and royal prisoners like queen elizabeth I before she was crowned). although it is no longer a royal residence, it remains a royal palace and is therefore maintained by a guard (similar to the ones protecting buckingham palace
). it now serves as a tourist attraction and home of the crown jewels. i was lucky enough to go on a rainy, gloomy day which only added to the dark and creepy feel of the dungeons.windsor castle
this castle is one of the official residences of queen elizabeth II
. it is the largest castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. this castle is just how you would imagine it - complete with grand ballrooms, extravagant furnishings, and ornate decorations. but it will still leave you in awe. this is a must see for anyone who has even the slightest interest in royalty.stonehenge
this monument located in wiltshire county is thought to be created over 5,000 years ago! there are many theories about what stonehenge was used for ranging from scientific (was it used to determine the calendar year?) to religious (a place of worship?). it is simply one of the most fascinating things i have ever seen and it should be considered the 8th wonder of the world.university of oxford
this is one of the oldest universities in the world and has produced some notable alumni including lawrence of arabia, sir walter raleigh, actors hugh grant and kate beckinsale, and writers c.s. lewis and j.r.r tolkien. walking around the beautiful campus is sure to make you feel smarter. if nothing else, you can see where they filmed scenes from harry potter
of course i highly recommend hanging out in a traditional british pub and what better way to get there then by hopping on a red double decker bus. or if you prefer, ride the underground
(and discover why they call it "the tube"). but keep in mind, london is quite $$. it's pretty much what you would spend in the states - times two. a sandwich - $10. a ticket to the movies - $24. a ride on the underground - $6. a trip of a lifetime - priceless. did i just go there? yes, i think i did.
next stop...down under!
Labels: london, vacation