I have always had a fascination with London… every time you envison travel to the great cities of the world, you can picture Big Ben sitting on the banks of the Thames River. So when the opportunity presented itself to head over to London for the weekend… I jumped on it.
My plane left Friday evening, putting us at Gatwick airport the next morning around 10 am. It was just my sister and I, and this being our second trip to London together, we were pretty flexible on what we wanted to see. From Gatwick, we took the train to Victoria Station, then the Tube to our hostel, which was just outside of London in Hammersmith, named the Globetrotters.
Checked in, dropped our stuff off, then headed out. We refused to spend money to see something that day, so we walked around with no plan… just to see what would happen. For some reason, that always works out the best. Roaming the streets of London allows you to see different areas that you would have might overlooked if you stayed on the tourist trail. We eventually made it to the banks of the Thames River and was able to see Big Ben at sunset. Something about Big Ben just puts a smile on my face… the image I dream of when I think of travel. Couldn’t have asked for a better view.
The next day, we were back in the city around 10 am. The only thing I really wanted to do this trip was check out the British Museum, so this was our first stop. Although I went here on my first trip to London, which was about 7 years ago, I was not old or mature enough to appreciate what I was seeing. This time around was completely different. It was phenomenal to be able to walk through and see artifacts from history you have studied your whole life. Some things that truly stood out were the Rosetta Stone, the HSBC Money Gallery (which was a history of money and how it came to be), and the mummies from Egypt. We were there for almost 2 hours, but I could have easily spent all day there. I have never been a huge museum fan (get bored easily), but this is something that is a must if you are ever in London.
We headed over to Caydmens market for the afternoon, an extremely retro and out of the ordinary market. It is common to see people walking around with purple hair and covered in tattoos. The shops were interesting, but we stumbled on some great Malaysian food. Cheap and very tasty… that’s what I’m looking for.
That night, we kicked it at the bar once again in our hostel. It was “Snakebite Sunday,” which is a drink that is made for people who were already extremely hungover. Snakebite consists of half beer, half cider, and then usually some type of simple syrup. Although it was a little to sweet for my tastes, I still enjoyed it and gave me some great ideas on how to make something of similar nature back in the states.
20 hours worth of flying for two days in London… definitely worth it.