London calling

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Last weekend I went on my final major trip of the semester – essentially 36 hours in London. I did a crazy thing and flew there at 7am after a night out, so I didn’t sleep at all until that night. Then we took the overnight Megabus back, so another sleepless night made for a tricky day on Monday! Overall, it was a whirlwind experience, but definitely well worth it. I went with one of my flatmates and three other North American friends of ours, and we got perfect weather yet again!

I should mention that I have been to London once before, with my lovely family in the summer of 2013 (just before I started at UBC) – we did a bunch of tourist-y stuff, so between the two trips I feel like I’ve seen a lot of the big sights. Of course, if I had a couple of weeks, there are more things I’d love to do, but we packed a lot into 36 hours!

From the last time we were in London:

Tower of London 2013



This trip in pictures:

Globe Theatre
Ah, the Globe. What more could a Shakespeare-loving girl want?! We didn’t go in this time, but next time I go to London I want to actually see a show here. The thatched roof was cool, as always, and the Christmas decorations weren’t bad either. But the only actual Shakespeare play they were showing was Othello, and I don’t know if I’d pay an extortionate amount of money for something that leaves me feeling that sad. (Hamlet? Absolutely. Macbeth? You bet. Or any of the comedies, really. But maybe not Othello.)


Hannah outside Westminster Abbey
My phone chose the wrong time to die, so I had my friend take a picture of me outside Westminster Abbey. Still one of the most striking pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen!


Natural History Museum - interior
We hit up the Natural History museum (briefly) – free entry – and I hadn’t realized how cool the main room is. Really echoey, full of people, kind of Hogwarts-y somehow … but the staircases don’t move.


As the sun was setting, we walked down the Shard … it was beautiful, but I can’t see myself ever living in London. It’s like New York, but somehow a little less friendly with just as much bustle. My flatmate, however, didn’t want to leave and is certain that she will end up living there one day. When she makes it big, I will be paying her a visit!


Harrods at Christmastime is just as magical as I imagined – the lights outside are beautiful, and ‘Christmasland’ inside makes me wish Christmas could last all year.


London Christmas Lights
The streets of London were filled with decorations. These angels’ wings lit up and, paired with the chilly air outside and the general holiday feeling, it made for a festive time!


Skating outside in London
Outdoor skating was ridiculously expensive, or we’d have gone for it – but the view was still gorgeous.


St. Paul's
On Sunday we went to St. Paul’s and stepped inside briefly – the bells were ringing outside, which was another one of those out-of-body travel experiences. You’re not supposed to take pictures inside, so I didn’t bother trying to be sneaky but instead put my phone away and appreciated the height of the ceilings and incredibly beautiful aesthetic of the church’s interior.


London Ladies!
We finally got someone else to take our picture on the Millennium Bridge. Note how tired we all look – but these girls make great travel companions and I will miss them dearly.


View from Tate Modern
The view of the Shard (and London in general) from the 10th floor viewing platform at the Tate Modern. The museum itself was a little odd, but entry is free and the view was incredible.

I’ll definitely be back to London to visit – not only do I want to catch that Shakespeare play, but I’d also love to see a show on the UK’s version of Broadway! Speaking of Broadway, maybe I’ll have to check out New York again when I’m back across the pond…

It’s also hitting me that I really only have three weeks left here … and they’re going to be mostly consumed by studying, stressing, and eating in a vicious cycle that (hopefully) will also include a little bit of sleep.

Wish me luck!