Three Days in London
Touristing can be great. There’s usually a reason tourist attractions garner the attention (and crowds) that they do. But sometimes you want to explore a city in a more organic way. One that’ll give you a little taste of what it’d be like to live there. That’s how Ben and I decided to spend our time in London. This is partially due to the fact that we’d just come off a nine day cruise and were touristed out. I’ve also been to London a few times and have done all the things you’d normally associate with it. But above all, that’s just how we like to travel.
Since I already wrote about visiting all of my favorite chef’s restaurants in London, this post won’t focus on food. I suppose it’s more a photo diary of how we spent our time there!
Our first day in London was actually a half day. We arrived around 1pm, dropped our bags off at my friend’s flat, and set out for a quick lunch before walking over to Hyde Park. Hyde Park is a huge royal park nestled in central London. It’s reminiscent of New York’s Central Park, though to me it felt a bit wilder.
The weather that day was absolutely perfect. Unlike literally every other day of our trip, it wasn’t stiflingly hot out, which was a huge relief. And as you can see in the pictures below, the sky really put on a show. We stopped at the Serpentine Gallery, a modern art gallery inside Hyde Park, where we were able to catch Christo and Jeanne-ClaudeL Barrels and The Mastaba. It’ll be up until September 23rd, if you’re interested. The exhibit was cool and served as a great companion to The London Mastaba, which was floating in the lake right outside the gallery. This Mastaba is constructed out of 7,506 brightly colored barrels, and is quite a sight to see.After Hyde Park, we found ourselves near the Paddington train station, and obviously had to visit their statue of Paddington Bear. I looked like an actual rat that day, so please enjoy this picture of Ben and Paddington looking cute as hell.We’d planned to take the train home to meet our friends for dinner, but the self-serve kiosks were down, so we walked instead. London is massive, but a great city to explore on foot if you’ve got the time and energy. Our walk to dinner wound up being a much longer trek than we’d anticipated, but it afforded us the opportunity to check out the Little Venice canal and witness two kids enjoying a stick and scooter fight, so I’m glad we got to take it. Not posting photos of those kids for the sake of their privacy, but you can trust me that it was an epic duel we felt lucky to bear witness to. I may have dropped my camera’s lens cap into the canal while trying to get this National Geographic worthy duck photo. It was a real sadness and I’m sincerely sorry for unintentionally littering.Last pic of the day is a skate park that we walked by. I liked the colors and thought it looked cool.
I should mention that by this point in our trip, I was dying. Ok, fine, I had a cold. But it was a really rude one!!!! Anyway, because of this we took tried not to overexert ourselves on day two. I mean, we still walked upwards of ten miles, checked out the Tate Modern, went to the Borough Market (which is a dream if you’re into food and/or cooking), got dinner with friends and caught a production of Young Frankenstein the Musical. But it felt light.Our favorite exhibit at the Tate was this horrifying sculpture of a puppet hanging from chains by Jordan Wolfson. These little girls liked it, too. Their moms tried to leave but they refused to go until the demonic demonstration was complete.On the tenth floor of the Tate, there’s an observation deck, which offers a great view of the city! It’s funny how ten floors can make you feel like you’re above absolutely everything in an older city.This is the Borough Market. It’s an open air market with vendors that sell anything from obscure spices and produce to prepared dishes. We bought some ridiculously good truffle honey there. WOULD RECOMMEND.For extra credit, we actually did stroll past some of the crowd pleasers! Here’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.Also the London Eye. We’d heard that this bridge had a great view of Buckingham Palace, but that was a bald-faced lie.
On our final day in London, we truly chilled. Yes, we walked another ten miles, but in a far more aimless fashion. Our final day was mostly dedicated to friendship and shopping. We grabbed brunch with an old friend and her husband (they were also our hosts!), then headed to Leake Street, where we explored the graffiti tunnel and popped into some small shops.
After that we ventured over to Shoreditch, one of the hippest neighborhoods in London. We particularly liked Boxpark, a collection of shops and restaurants set up in stacked shipping containers! We also dug Brick Lane, a street full of vintage shops, bakeries, and Indian food. The night ended at our favorite chef’s newest restaurant, where we overate and overdrank with another old friend. It was a great end to the trip, and left us feeling like we’d really made the most of our time in town.And that’s all, folks! I’m out of pictures, which I’m sure is a relief, since unlike our brief jaunt to London, this post has been LONG. Thanks for tagging along on my journey!
Do you have any favorite spots in London? Leave ’em in the comments!