On my solo trip to Europe, London England was my last stop. Feeling season, after my adventures in Venice Italy and Paris France, it was time to conquer this new metropolitan. I took the Eurostar from Gare du Nord in Paris and I would arrive at Kings Cross station. Happy Potter moment anyone.
After admiring platform 9 ¾ , it was time to make my way to my hotel. To my surprise my older cousin was waiting for me. I was solo no more and I really enjoyed her company. I had only spent time with her once before, but to have a guide in a big city was priceless. We made our way to my hotel, which was a quick bus ride away and once there the Harry Potter references came back. The hotel room was the size of a broom closet but it had everything that I needed and the hotel was lovely and primly located.
My cousin left me to settle in; since the room was too small for two people to sit in. A couple hours later she had returned for me to begin my magical tour of London. We first grab the bus to Oxford Circus station to Oxford street and what a street it was. So many stores to visit. We had a wonderful dinner. The evening ended in a more artsy part of London with a great comedy show. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. (British humor is dark). After a quick Uber ride back to my hotel at 2 am, it was time to say goodbye to my guide and get a good nights rest.
The next day, my plans was to go out and seeing the town. Yet again, plans were derailed by another cousin. This time it was my long-lost cousin with whom I grew up with as child in Jamaica. He was like a brother to me, since we grew up in the same house. But we moved to different countries and we didn’t stay in touch. I last saw him at age 7; therefore, I was kind of nervous to be spending the day with him. Courageously, I left my hotel and made my way to the closest Underground station. It was a simple metro ride to his location and he met me at the entrance of the tube station. Once we found each other it was incredible.
He showed me yet another side of London for my eyes to explore. A little more culturally diverse but with so many friendly people to meet. Did a little shopping, pampering and enjoyed another wonderful meal with my long lost (brother). London was not going as planned but it was going great. On my way home, I stopped at a Gelateria (shop that sells gelato) and got my favorite flavor. I walked the evening streets of London looking into small flats and passing smiling strangers. Got back to my hotel and had a good night’s sleep.
On my last full day in London and I woke up determined to explore London on my own. I would’ve almost go my way but alas another set of family members phoned. After agreeing to a late dinner, I spent the morning an afternoon exploring London. Taking multiple bus routes and a boat tour. I visited Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and finally Big Ben. I spoke to many people visiting London for the first time as I was. Had an hour conversation with a flight attendant, who was enjoying the sites before her next voyage. Getting drenched with rain numerous times, I still saw all that I could see in that short span of time.
My last morning in London I spent shopping and doing my final packing to go home. I was not disappointed that I didn’t explore London more, since I knew that I would be visiting that lovely city again one day soon.
Great transport system
London is a big city that’s not very walkable. Therefore, I would suggest picking yourself up an Oyster card for your travels. It works very well but don’t forget t tap in an out when you take the underground or the train. You don’t have to when you’re traveling by bus. The city is also very clean.
*When your trip is over just return your Oyster Card for a full refund.
It will rain
Even if the weather app or man says that it’s going to be sunny, bring your umbrella or rain jacket. Twice in a row I was rained on, then learnt my lesson.
Londoners are polite
This came as a shock to me. Since, I’ve been jaded by the idea that the British were snarky people. Boy was I wrong! I sat on the bus besides this man covered in tattoos and he looked quite scary. When he was about to get off the bus he said, “excuse me miss” I moved a side and he then thanked me. I was completely flabbergasted, immediately I asked him for directions and he took the time to give me the correct direction and wished me well. I encountered this kindness & helpfulness numerous times in London.
Don’t over plan
I may have given this tip before but over planning stifles true adventure. I planned to spend my 3 days in London on a bus tour and I only end up with a half a day. But I still experienced all the facets of London.
Don’t think it’s your last visit London England
Lastly don’t think this is your one and only trip to England, hence forcing yourself to see and do everything. You’ll be back, especially if you fall in love with traveling like I did. London is a travel hub. Must people fly into London to get to other countries. So, if you plan on seeing the rest of Europe most likely you’ll visit London again.
Side Note: *Primark is great for souvenir shopping if you’re on a budget.
In conclusion, I made it home safe and sound with eyes a little more opened to the world. I loved Europe and I’m planning my next trip back. Not sure if I will be traveling solo but I will definitely be traveling.
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