So, You're Going to London: Part 2
Friday was spent exploring Kensington Palace and the famous gardens. The palace was dripping with Baroque elegance; from the stairs to the wallpaper, you are just immersed in finery from by gone eras. Also on display are items used by past kings and queens, like a court dress from the 1700's and items from the daily life of Queen Victoria and her family. I finished my self-guided tour and headed to the gift shop downstairs (okay I have a thing for gift shops, I can't help it). I had a reservation for tea at Fortnum & Mason, but decided to go to the much closer Orangery, which was nothing short of delightful, oh, and delicious.
I have this thing with wrought iron...
If only my selfies were this epic...
Excuse me while daydream about this tea
SUGAR. FOR. DAYS.
Afterwards I took a walk through the Kensington Gardens and made it to the other side of the park. I wanted to visit the V&A Museum since I heard that they had a fashion exhibit, which I couldn't turn down. During my walk there, I saw the Albert Memorial and the Royal Albert Hall, which was where The Killers filmed and recorded their set and you know I just had to go see it in person.
*Live from the Royal Albert Hall plays in background*
One of the things I love the most about London is that most of their museums are free, and who can pass up a free museum? Across the way from the V&A is the Natural History Museum, which stupid me did not think to check out because I thought I wouldn't like the exhibits there. Oh well, more things to do for next time right? At the time, some exhibits were going under refurb or they were installing new ones so I checked out as much as I could. At least there was no shortage of beautiful things to see.
I'm going to be real mature here and not make a joke, like I'm trying really hard not to
Saturday was one of the days I was looking forward to the most on this trip. It wasn't exactly the day that I was excited for but more about where I was going to. I took the tube to Kings Cross, and took a little stroll which took me here:
I tried to contain my excitement, but I just couldn't!
Did you really think I would go to London and not visit the world's most famous high-functioning sociopath? Well, at least visit where they filmed one of my favorite shows. It was so strange to see the street where they filmed Sherlock and see it in a different light. Lucky for me there were other tourists/fans who graciously took my picture in front of 221B Baker Street.
Elementary, of course.
I came, I saw and took pics, then went on my merry way. Since I was in the area, I also wanted to visit a landmark famous for their books. Ever heard of Daunt Books? If you're like me, you've probably never heard of this place, but you've definitely seen pictures of this place somewhere. I found out about it through Pinterest, and since I saw Hamlet earlier in the week, I thought a copy of the play from a London bookstore would make for the perfect souvenir. I picked that up, along with a small book of love poems. Yes, I'm a sucker for romance.
Sunday was my last full day in London, so I had to make the most of it. Now, where do you think I went on my last day? Westminster of course! I couldn't leave this beautiful place without seeing Big Ben in all its glory. I don't know why I waited for Sunday to go because this meant that the adjacent Westminster Abbey, which I wanted to see, wasn't open to the public. Again, more things to see next time. Anyway I got off the tube, got on an escalator, and walked onto the street. I looked to my right, not being too impressed, when I looked to my left and my jaw dropped. There it was, this famous building that I've seen a billion times in movies and photos, was right in front of my eyes. That was the moment when it really hit me; all the hardships I went through all led up to that moment where I felt like I finally made it. It just felt amazing to be there, and I was just thinking, "Wow, if only those people who doubted me could see me now and see how far I've come." It just felt like things came full circle.
I guess this look says "local" because I got asked for directions! Doing the style thing right!
I made it!
I tried taking a few selfies, but my arm's reach wasn't all that great when someone spotted me, asking if I would take pictures of her if she took some of me. We chatted a little and found that she was from the O.C. too, which made me feel not so alone in such a big place as London. It really is a small world after all (I had to throw in a Disney reference somewhere.)
Yup, definitely made it.
I took my pictures, and headed to where else but Oxford Street, where some of the best shopping takes place. I wanted to buy some more souvenirs for my family and friends, so I checked out a toy store, a Forever 21, a knick knack store, and Primark. I only heard about Primark through Pinterest, which said some of the best and cheapest souvenirs could be found there. This place was so unlike the stores I knew back in the states, it was a mix of a Target, a Forever 21 and a 99 cent store. I checked around and found tons of London-themed tote bags to bring back home (when most of your friends are crafters, a tote bag reaallly comes in handy.) I did a little more shopping from there, and headed to my hotel room.
A little taste of home...
Monday morning, I got ready, had my last delicious hotel breakfast, and headed to the airport. Funny enough, I left London on my actual birthday. Well, at least I got home on my birthday too.
This trip taught me so much about myself; it taught me patience, endurance, and most of all, independence. I highly recommend that you take at least one trip by yourself, you won't regret it. I also recommend that you do months and months of research. Sure I bought tons of travel books but what I found also helped were websites like Pinterest and social media. I used these to find little hidden gems that I didn't even think of checking out, as well as other trips and trick from other travelers. Oh and do not make these two mistakes I did: 1. eat, and do alot of it. I was so afraid of getting food poisoning or just getting sick from eating something different than my normal diet that I missed out on so much delicious food. I would only eat sandwiches with chips, I mean crisps for lunch and dinner. I mean I did eat a traditional English breakfast every day, as well as the occasional pasty and not to mention tea at the Orangery, but I was just so paranoid that I missed out on some yummy traditional London food. 2. Stay out til dark. Again me being extra cautious, I would always come back to my hotel room around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. This prevented me from seeing alot more of London and eating a really good dinner. I would just bring my sandwiches and some snacks back to my room and finish the night watching t.v. or Netflix. As nice as this sounds, and it kind of was, I could have done and seen so much more in those few hours. So I beg you, please stay out longer and enjoy the city by night, but not too late, of course.
If you gave me the chance, I would without a doubt travel again, no hesitation. I know there is much more of the world to see, I would definitely visit London again, but maybe with more people. Where would you like to travel to, and would you travel by yourself? And for those who have, how did it go? Let me know, I'm curious!
And that's a wrap! Make sure to check the blog for more fun posts! Till next time! ♡ - Daniela & Premier Amour Follow Premier Amour through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and make sure to join our mailing list!