London, England. Have you wanted to visit? I know I have – for a good chunk of my life, dating back to high school, I’ve always found the culture interesting. Maybe it’s their music? Their movies and tv shows? I really don’t know. But I finally mustered the courage to get off my ass and go abroad – my first time visiting Europe in fact. I’ve been to North America, obviously, and South America (Peru), but this was a fun, new, exciting adventure as I was going alone.
The approximately 7 hour flight was brutal, not to mention the jet lag that would come from the 5-hour time difference. I didn’t get all that much sleep, maybe about an hour. So it was logical that I’d be exhausted once I landed. Exhaustion and excitement is not a good formula as it had my head spinning! Once I landed and traversed the London Underground, I finally got to my hotel – CitizenM London Bankside. All I have to say is, “Wow!” Although small, all the technology in the room was so futuristic. Everything is synched to the ipad mini – lights, temperature, tv channels, and blinds. The bedding was cozy and all the awesome amenities downstairs were quirky and witty. I highly recommend staying there as it’s fairly close to everything – the underground, River Thames, pubs – a truly good spot.
After a mini rest, maybe about two hours, I got the day started. After venturing the streets for about an hour, I finally found Tower Bridge – London’s bridge. Unfortunately, as I walked along to get to the entrance, I got caught in a severe rainstorm. With soaking socks, shoes, and pants, I ventured up the 6-8 flights of stairs to get to the top. Once at the top, you’ll find information on the bridge’s construction, as well as its history. My favourite part is the glass floor where you can see the street level and as well as some of the water.
After Tower Bridge, I bumped into a fellow Canadian traveller trying to find the entrance to Tower Bridge. After directing her, she informed me that Tower of London was closing in an hour and it would require three hours to get the most of it. Sadly, I never got the chance to check out Tower of London – next time I guess.
After even more walking, I found myself at the Coca Cola London Eye – or the London Eye. A big part of me kept questioning why I even wanted to go there, that it’s kind of tourist-y and lame, but nonetheless, I went. Was I disappointed? Not necessarily. The experience was pretty much just meh. Maybe if the London Eye moved faster or had I gone at night, it would have been a cooler experience. But all in all, it was just okay. I’d recommend going if you needed to kill some time or you wanted to get some unique views of the city at night, only if you don’t plan on getting views of the city from St. Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, or Sky Garden.
I finally ended the day by walking to Big Ben. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure it was Big Ben because of all the construction happening around it. Perhaps they should put a giant sign on top saying, “Yes, it’s Big Ben” just so that tourists aren’t confused. At this point, with the jet lag, weird sleeping patterns, and weird eating patterns, I was shattered and needed to go back to the hotel for a lie down.
What do I get up to on day two? Be sure to check the vlog below and check back in a few to read the next post.