london

For this trip I started in London…well actually I started in Chicago and flew into London. I was quite nervous as I have never traveled internationally on on my own and had never flown into Heathrow.

Surprisingly the flight was better than I thought it would be. It was an overnight flight and even though I didn’t really sleep it went by fast. Somehow managed to find my friends at our hostel in bumble fu*k London and started out to see the city.

What I found most interesting was that in the same way returning home after studying abroad felt like I’d never left, that’s how it felt being in London again, like I’d never left. So this time was a little different…rather than having to worry about seeing everything in the city, I just got to enjoy being in the city.

And, I got to show my friends around town and changed some negative opinions of the city into positive ones.

This time instead of photographing the sites, which you can see here and here. I focused more the urban aspects like street art and the animals. It’s definitely a different take, but I didn’t want to do something expected this time…enjoy!

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The people and birds as one…

This bird has some major rbf…we must be kindred spirits

I call this one “urban bird”

Take note of the adorable puppy by the flowers ^^
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Sand art in London, who would have thought?!

cheers.

~meesh

touring with the fam

A couple of weeks ago my family was able to come a visit me. After a having a proper cry upon seeing them for the first time in months I was excited to show them around my stomping grounds. We had a pretty jam packed schedule so like Italy, I’ll just summarize each place.

PARIS

We started with a weekend in Paris and boy what a weekend it was. We enjoyed crepes next to the Eiffel Tower and even got to go to the top, took a boat cruise along the river Seine, went inside the Notre Dame and just enjoyed the life in city. Were we shocked at how full of life the city was after dark, people grabbing dinner around 10pm and just casually out strolling the streets. If only we could take a weekend getaway to Paris whenever we wanted…


            

   LONDON

Our first day in London happen to be VE Day (Victory Europe) so after I showed the fam around Oxford and Piccadilly Circus, China Town, Covent Garden, Trafalgar and Leicester Square we headed towards parliament and ran right into the parade. And we stay to watch because we were stuck and were told the Queen would be coming round and duh, we wanted to see her. She didn’t end up coming :(, but we got to see lots of cute Veterans, which I enjoyed. Other than that we pretty much hit all the major stuff, Big Ben, the Eye, Tower of London, Westminster, Harrods, Hyde Park….the list goes on and on. But instead of going to see a show at Piccadilly we decided to do a Jack the Ripper Tour instead…and it was well worth it. Our guide Barney, a Beefeater, was engaging and knowledgeable and it was nice intimate group. I think my family would agree with me when I say that was one of our favorite things we did in London. If you ever go to London I’ll gladly give you the info for the tour.


                           STRATFORD UPON AVON

Stratford was a typical quaint English village and happens to also be the home of Shakespeare. We got to tour his house and gardens and it’s crazy how well preserved his house is today. They also gave us free scones and sparkling wine, so that obviously made the experience better. I think we all enjoyed the visit and it was really the first time my family got to see a true English town.


       BATH

Bath blew me away with it’s beauty. I almost wish I had considered studying abroad in Bath becasue it really was that beautiful. All the buildings are made with stone from bath and it’s set on a hill so the views are incredible. While there we got to tour the Roman Baths and enjoy some true Cornish Pasties. I think we all wished we got to spend a bit more time there and agreed we would when we come back.


            

STONEHENGE

Stonehenge was interesting. To be honest it was kind of creepy. They are just the big and tall stones set up in a specific way but no one really knows why…and then in all the land surrounding the stones there are these human burial grounds that form little hills, so you basically know you are surrounded by dead people. I’m really glad I got to experience it and looking back I still don’t really know how I feel about it.


         EDINBURGH

I might dare to say that I liked Scotland better than Ireland…Edinburgh was so beautiful, the views were incredible from every angle. We got to check out Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Crown Jewels, walk the royal mile and taste about every free sample of whiskey there was. We also took a hike up a cliff, but didn’t got too far as we weren’t properly equipped and we are old and out of shape. It’d seemed there were bagpipes being played everywhere and I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely day in Scotland with my family.


                

SCARBOROUGH

Scarborough is on the East coast of the country and it’s a place that definitely comes to life in the summer. With it’s long stretch of beach, and arcades full of carnival games it is pretty much a child’s paradise. Nonetheless it was still lovely to walk along the beach and enjoy the seaside smell. It was quite refreshing actually. It was the perfect way to spend our second to last mornign together.


       YORK

York is your typical medieval English town. The city walls are almost still fully in tact and the shambles are so picturesque. We got to enjoy a proper high tea at Betty’s, the best in Yorkshire, and then enjoyed walking down all the pedestrian streets looking through the windows into the cute little shops. It was also race day in York so while relaxing for a bit before out tour we encountered many people in really good ‘moods’ and all had a laugh at that.


                 Writing this post makes me miss my time with my family but it’s a good thing I return home in about 2 days.

Cheers.

~meesh

P.S. I’ve got about 3 more travel posts to go

getting lost

400 plus pictures and a 3 hour train ride later I’m back from my weekend trip to London. Cheers to the photos but definitely not to the long ride. After a good night sleep it’s safe to say I’m ready to share the inside scoop about my weekend in the big city.

After arriving on Friday afternoon and taking the tube over to the hotel motel (a little Pitbill reference for ya… 😉 ) I was an eager beaver to get things started, mainly because for dinner that night we’d be dining at Pizza Express which is a super popular pizza chain in the UK and I’d been dying to try it and also craving pizza. It was pretty much everything I’d imagined it plus 5 glorious plates of dough balls….

IMG_4569Photo: my pizza

From there we headed to the theater to see ‘The 39 Steps’ and proceeded to be seated in the 2nd row, needless to say we had an up close and personal experience with the actors. Not quite sure what the play was about but at the end they had these foam bubbles fall from the ceiling to look like snow and so we got snowed on, best part by far.

IMG_5012Photo: theater entrance

Since the show was at the Piccadilly Circus once it let out we were in the heart of the city. Even though it was around 10ish the circus was full of people straight relaxing all cool. Since we weren’t dressed for the swanky SoHo clubs we found a pub and enjoyed a cider before taking the tube back from the night.

IMG_5025 IMG_5027 IMG_5028 IMG_5020 IMG_5014Photos: Piccadilly at night

After grabbing some food Saturday morning we began our coach tour with our guide Suz. And, like me tell you Suz, was fing amazing, as many things in London were…. I’m actually so obsessed with the name Suz that I now need to give the name Suz to something in my life, maybe I’ll buy a plant or something.

IMG_4924 IMG_4917Photos: crossing bridges 

Anyways Suz and Philip (our bus driver) took us all around the city we even got to hop off a few places…including the market where Diagon Alley was filmed in Harry P, the Prince Albert memorial and to see the tail end of the changing of guard where some B, almost ruined my view…. IMG_4937 IMG_4930 IMG_4927 IMG_4935 IMG_4914  IMG_5004 IMG_4997 IMG_4960 IMG_4979 IMG_4982 IMG_4975 Photos: Diagon Alley market, Prince Albert and changing of the guards

From there we went to lunch in Chinatown, Suz even joined. If you can’t tell this lady was the sh*t. Lunch though, was highly disappointing…like we didn’t even get fortune cookies, enough said. After that we headed up to the British Museum to be really intellectual and stuff, needless to say we didn’t stay long.

IMG_4906 IMG_4904 IMG_4901 IMG_4899Photos: Chinatown

From there we headed down to Trafalgars Square and then to Parliamentary Square. Now, this is where things get interesting. London is a crowded place and people do not know how to walk….can some please tell me which side is the correct side of the sidewalk to walk on?!?!?!!?!?!

IMG_4867 IMG_4859 IMG_4865 IMG_4862 IMG_4858 IMG_4856 IMG_4854Photos: Trafalgars

Soooo I lost the group, leaving yours truly alone in the city. But, no worries it was totally fine. I proceeded to act like I knew what I was doing so it was chill. I snapped a bunch of pics and picked up a few postcards and totally blended in. Some lady even came up to me asking for directions so clearly I looked like I belonged….

IMG_4836 IMG_4834 IMG_4848Photos: wandering alone

Since the weather was beautiful I decided to get some more pics of my love, Ben and then walked into a demonstration going on near there, no I didn’t join in, but looking back I kind of wish I did….

IMG_4828 IMG_4827 IMG_4813 IMG_4805 IMG_4821 IMG_4796 IMG_4789 IMG_4779 IMG_4783 IMG_4780 IMG_4776Photos: mostly of ben, some of Westminster, the river and the eye

But because, I ramble and everyone loves a good cliff hanger I’ll stop here…will I ever be reunited with my baes or will I be forever lost?

Enjoy.

~meesh

P.S. Still working on getting the majority of the pic up on my flickr, stay tuned loves.

london adventure part 1

Only someone as crazy as myself would decide to buy a train ticket into London at 5:05am, why? because I wanted to buy what was cheapest…After managing to get up and get ready at 4 in the morning to make my train I then realized I would be walking through the streets of Leeds alone at this hour. Let’s just say that it wasn’t my best idea, but I was comforted by the fact that when I was getting up and ready to go my flatmates where just getting in from the night out, so I figured how bad could it be?

Don’t worry mom and dad, I clearly made it to the train safe and sound but never again. (insert emoji of the girl making an x with her arms)…So by the time I got into the London the sun had just come up, it had rained all night and there was a ton of moisture in the air, needless to say when I stepped off the train my hair was a mess within minutes, which is why I got no pictures of myself #sorrynotsorry.

IMG_4326 IMG_4324 IMG_4323 IMG_4320 IMG_4304Photos: Taken somewhere near Oxford Circus

I managed to find my way over to Oxford Circus, where I planned to meet meet a friend in front of the H&M there. First, Google maps I don’t know why you took me off the beaten path to get there….but whatever I made it. And, second there just so happened to be 3 different H&M’s within a block from Oxford Circus so I proceeded to check all 3. But like really 3 separate H&M’s within a 3 block radius, I like H&M but not that much…

IMG_4310 IMG_4313 IMG_4300 IMG_4293Photos: Telephone booth and cool lion statue

Whatever…so we finally found each other tg or else we’d have been screwed. And because of course I plan nothing really in advance we decided to just wander in the general direction of where we needed to go. And after walking through some semi-mysterious crushed gravel courtyard, we found ourselves approaching Parliament Square, where a guard proceeded to scare the sh*t of me. But I was totally fine, although it was slightly creepy.

IMG_4288 IMG_4282 IMG_4276 IMG_4285Photos: Creepy guard and odd courtyard

None of that mattered, when I caught my first glimpse of him. Big Ben. I don’t know how many years I have dreamed about getting to see him in real life but it was pretty much just as I imagined it would be x100. I was literally about to cry but I held my tears back for the sake of my friend, Tom. So, I obviously proceed to take about a million pictures, which definitely don’t do Big Ben any justice. Seriously he’s so much more beautiful in person.

IMG_4272 IMG_4269 IMG_4263 IMG_4256 IMG_4248Photos: It was love a first sight…

Once I stopped gushing over Big Ben, we realized we couldn’t feel our fingers so we stopped in a few souvenir shops to pick a few things and of course warm up. Once we felt slightly revitalized we headed towards the river because we need to cross to get to Borough Market where we were meeting our other friend before the football game. And, I honestly have no idea how we got there because neither of us really had a clue.

IMG_4260 IMG_4247 IMG_4240 IMG_4235 IMG_4233Photos: View from waterfront

We finally got there and the smell of food made me realize how hungry I was in seeing I had nothing since I’d woken up at 3:30 that morning. So we found this cheap looking hole in the wall sort of place and figured, ok sure. I have to say when we walked in I was quite intimidated. I was literally like one of 2 girls in the place and it was clear we were tourists because I had my camera around my neck.

IMG_4227 IMG_4226Photos: View from the other side of the river

I think I’ll stop here for now before I start to bore you, but this was only half the day. We hadn’t even been to the football game which was the reason for my trip into London in the first place. So I guess it’s to be continued….

Enjoy.

~meesh

More London city photos here.