We made it to London safely! We flew out on Tuesday afternoon and landed in Heathrow Wednesday morning. Only slept on the plane for around two hours (11pm-1am California time). The jet lag was insane. We pushed through and stayed awake until it was night time. We stayed near London Eye & Big Ben, which was nice to see pretty early on in our trip. Keith and I got some earl grey tea as we all walked along the Thames. Thought about going to Westminster Abbey but decided to return another time (we didn't, but it's okay). We walked around a lot. There were many times we could have taken the tube but we walked instead. Gotta see the sights! & that is not to say we didn't take the tube. We became season pros on the tube, moving just as fast as the locals. There are many beautiful parks throughout London and just walking between buildings and parks was lovely.
The next day we went to St. Paul's Cathedral. You are not allowed to take photos in the cathedral but it is truly breathtaking. The inside is just as grand and the outside. They have an audio tour that gave us all of the important information. I kept on thinking how scared Princess Diana was getting married in such a huge church. I'm sure it was really nerve-racking. (Also, King Arthur's funeral was at St. Paul's Cathedral. 1 million attended! The drawing depicting it was insane.)
After St. Paul's we went to The National Gallery. 3 hours of painting after painting. It was beautiful. It was exhausting. Highlights included Monet & Van Gogh. It was really lovely to see those paintings in person. (The National Gallery has free admittance.) In front of The National Gallery is Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square as many statues and we we're drawn to the lions. :) Across the street from the square & gallery was Cafe Nero. Cafe Nero is an Italian coffee chain that we enjoyed very much (we went there twice). It was great at perking me up. I really enjoyed drinking espresso as I could look out of the window to the square.
(After reflecting on this day, I'm realizing how great it was!) We concluded the night at Mildred's, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in SoHo. This small cozy restaurant has a bit of a wait (because it was so popular & it's rather small) but their bar area was comfortable with delicious cocktails. I had a dark and stormy and a bloody mary. (The bloody mary was too spicy for me!) For dinner I enjoyed an English pie, with smashed peas and chips.
The next day we went to The British Museum (another museum with free admittance). The Egyptian and Greek & Roman wings were very extensive. Keith informed me that the collection of Egyptian artifacts was the largest in the world! This museum had so much that we didn't even see. It was full to the brim with history. & full to the brim of tourists. You could tell that people from all over the world was enjoying this museum. We also went when there was many, many, many, school children there on field trips.
We ended that night at Hummus Bros. I had a delicious bowl of hummus filled with veggies and falafel with pita for dipping. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it. (Sorry my photo of my meal was poor and not worth including in this post.) It wasn't a vegan restaurant but had vegan options.
We enjoyed such great weather while in London. It was around 45 degrees everyday. Not bad for London! We even got blue skys at points. Our last day seemed a little colder than the previous but I think it's because we walked a lot that day. We walked to The Tate Modern & Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (which are near each other and at the South Bank.) (The front The Tate Modern has the view of The Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral. It was nice to see some modern art at The Tate Modern. Highlights included a Salvador Dali and a couple Picasso paintings. There were many thought provoking pieces. I highly suggest visiting the Tate (as they call it).
We concluded the day with a tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. It was so interesting and I didn't realize how new it was (completed in 1997, even though it has been in the works for decades. The original was destroyed & was not in the South Bank.) There were many, many interesting facts that our tour guide, Dom, shared with us about how they strove to create The Globe the same way it was built originally, what Shakespeare's intentions were when creating The Globe and what it was like to be an audience member in Shakespeare's day. It was fascinating. I really enjoyed it (& it was affordable!).
I really wanted to go to Cookies & Scream (a vegan bakery that has a ice cream sandwich) that night but I failed by not realizing that they closed at 6pm. We arrive in Camden Town way after 6pm. We did go to Inspiral a vegan restaurant in Camden Town. We had another English pie with carrots, kale and chips. (Sorry another meal not photographed, but it was REALLY tasty!).
Now we're on our way to Dublin (specifically for St. Patrick's Day & other sights). I can't wait to make more memories there & I will be sure to blog about it! I hope you enjoyed virtually following along. We miiiight make our way back to London at the end of our trip so please feel free to leave suggestions on other things to do. &! If you have any suggestions for Dublin, I'd love to read about it! Thanks for reading!
P.S. Thank you to those who expressed interest in joining Weekly Wishes. I love that series so much, but I’ve decided that I’ll continue it when I return from traveling. I’ve found that it will be difficult for me to post weekly like that. Maybe I will get into a groove out here & it will return sooner than later. We’ll see! & just FYI, I accomplished last week’s goals. ;)