happy weekend, friends! how the heck are ya?
we are currently in the midst of our next adventure and to combat some serious jet lag, i wanted to get the rest of our pictures from the UK out into the world! if you've been reading along recently, you know we spent some time checking out dublin, eating and drinking some of ireland's best and visiting some local haunts. and while we had an amazing time in the land of the irish, we were excited to move onto the next leg of our trip - london! i had actually been to london back in 2008 as part of a school trip so i was excited not only to show it to andrew, but to also experience the city as an adult. while the photos below may not be in order of our visiting them, they are all from places we enjoyed/recommend.
it was misty when we arrived in londontown, but that didn't hinder the beauty of our hotel in kensington. like, yes please. inside was an insanely complex labyrinth (gotta maximize the space i guess!), but the outside was goallllls for sure.
strangely enough, the weather after the first night was nothing but perfect. i'm talking sunny and 75 every day which usually does not happen. we ended up walking and/or biking anywhere from nine to ten miles per day around the whole city.
we stayed right down the street from the natural history museum (SUCH long lines always) and the most beautiful white brownstone-like buildings. they would fit right into any rom com ever. they were perfect. on the first day in the city, we made it to hyde park and decided to roam around its huge space. so many things going on: joggers, bikers, people playing soccer, laying in the grass, scootering and more!
there are a handful of landmarks around the world that you seemingly only see in movies or on postcards. the first time i visited london (and honestly, this time too), i totally got that feeling when looking at big ben. it's so iconic and so london. the only thing missing from this shot is a double-decker bus!
while andrew was underwhelmed by the infamous picadilly circus ("this looks nothing like times square!") trafalgar square did not disappoint. there were countless street performers out and people around on their lunch breaks or just basking in the sun. it's one of my personal favorite parts of london.
you'd be hard-pressed to walk around in london and not see at least a glimpse of the london eye. it's absolutely massive and the crowds around the base are a force to be reckoned with. i went on it back in 2008 and while it was pretty incredible, we opted not to wait in line this time. if you have little kids or want to see london from the air, i would recommend it although it is a little pricey. i think everyone should do it once!
past the ferris wheel on steroids, though, there are so many cool little food trucks, restaurants and places to sit down and watch the tour boats go by along the riverbank. one place we had heard about was bleecker street, a pop-up burger and fries shop under the bridge. YOU. GUYS. this food. juicy burgers and angry fries (a mix of hot sauce and melty blue cheese). currently salivating. don't miss this gem. you'll thank me later.
one place i knew i had to go back to was the tower of london right next to what everyone refers to as 'the london bridge' (a common misnomer). this castle turned museum is absolutely fascinating and has countless artifacts dating back to medieval times. the best part of all is that they also house the crown jewels here aka real scepters, jewelry, gold-plated dinnerware and crowns. photos are not allowed inside, but believe me when i tell you that this stuff is incredible!
another can't miss landmark in london is the tower of london bridge. you can go up and walk across the top, but we opted to just walk across. such a beautiful bridge! as with most large bridges, it's super cool to see this one raise once per hour to let some tall boats/yachts through. it's quite the undertaking!
a few other must-visits for us included platform 9 3/4 at the king's cross tube station and buckingham palace. the platform has now gone full commercial and there is a constant queue of people waiting in line to get their photo taken. i just decided to sneak one on the side. just as cool, right?
the palace is also required london viewing in my book even if you just bike or walk past the big black gates. the changing of the guard takes place at 11:30 AM daily and is such a cool, colorful tradition.
one of the last things we did in london was take our bikes through brompton cemetary, one of the royal parks. we usually don't do scary things and i sure as hell wouldn't step foot here after dark, but driving through with our bikes and seeing all of the centuries-old headstones was really serene and peaceful. worth a quick walk through for sure before you head off to the airport.
well that's it for us! our next post takes us out of the city and to another distillery (shock, i know!) and the posts after that will take us to a bit different part of the world. you won't want to miss it!