June 13, 2014 by
I recently made my inaugural trek to Europe. It was an unbelievable experience I knew I had to share with y’all. Europe is perfect. There’s a reason that millions of tourists travel there every year. My highlights, below:
I found London to be a bustling large city with great public transportation, much like New York City. My mom and I bought our Oyster cards for the week and took the tube several times a day. I highly recommend the week-long Oyster card if you’re focused on not missing anything London has to offer.
London Eye: While the London Eye was £20 for an adult, I found the experience unforgettable. The views of the city are spectacular. Don’t miss that.
St. Paul’s Cathedral: Make your way to the echo room! It is 200+ stairs, but completely worth it. Sit across the room from your travel buddy and whisper into the wall. You’ll hear what they have to say. Creepy, but awesome.
Borough Market: Get the almond croissants! I tried two, from two different bakeries. Don’t miss this bustling market with some of the best food in central London.
Houses of Parliament: FREE! You just have to go through an intense, airport-like security. We listened to the House of Commons debate each other and throw snide remarks. Amazing! The House of Lords is less exciting, but still not to miss. One Lord was so bored, he fell asleep!
Tower of London: Get there EARLY! While £22 for an adult, this is one of the most celebrated tourist places in London. The Queen’s Crown Jewels are unlike any jewelry you’ll come across, unless you’re a Queen yourself. In that case, you should consider charging money to see your jewels! Go on the Beefeater tower. This tour is “free” with the price of a ticket and gives an insider look into the Tower. The most interesting aspect: two Princes were killed in the tower… and it’s still a mystery as to whom killed them hundreds of years ago. Conspiracy theories are the best.
British Museum: While I wouldn’t call myself a museum person, this one is excellent. Go find the Rosetta Stone; it’s amazing.
Westminster Abbey: Surprisingly, this was not my favorite attraction. While it was cool to see where Will and Kate got married, I found the Abbey to be a nicely decorated church with a great price (£16). The Abbey is full of tombs. I am not a tomb person. Well, who is?
British Library: At first, I was disappointed in this place. You cannot go into the reading rooms unless you’re a research student with three forms of ID (who even has that?). But there is a small museum tucked away on the second floor that is a must-see. Here you’ll find everything from Shakespeare’s early works to Beatle’s lyrics to my favorite, screenplays and manuscripts. It is a place anyone obsessed with the literary world should visit.
Cellarium Cafe at Westminster Abbey: Go for the Cream tea, £7, delicious and unpretentious.
While on an Evan Evans tour, we visited the city of Bath. It is what I envisioned the English countryside to be like. The residents are friendly and helpful, and the scenery is unlike anything else. The Roman Baths are a must-see. Take the self-guided tour and see the baths where the Europeans flocked hundreds of years ago to cure themselves. And don’t forget to taste the filtered, bath water. It is warm and rather nutty, but something you just have to experience.
While some say this is just “a bunch of rocks,” I beg to differ. Stonehenge was fascinating. The history behind it, and the mystery that consumes us over what these rocks really signified, is beyond amazing. There is nothing like it in the world. Plus, there are sheep in the field next to Stonehenge. I wonder if they know they’re at such a sacred site?
This is a definitely day trip. About an hour outside of central London, this castle explains the great history behind the Windsor family. There is an unassuming Abbey within the grounds. The day I visited, Prince William threw a charity event and all the famous British celebrities attended. Where was my invite? Maybe next time.
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