Oh how so quickly I can fall behind again on the blog. I guess 3 weeks of vacation will do that! I have so many pictures to go through, but I have some other summer adventures to write about in the meantime.
Making quick progress on my quest to visit all the cities with direct flights from Trondheim, at the end of June I hopped over to London to see my parents who were finishing up a vacation in Ireland. And my mother was oh so kind enough to lug all this stuff all through Ireland for me! Thanks mom!
London was actually the first place I visited in Europe, way back in 2000 with one of my closest college friends (RT tickets from Philly to London for $375!!). I can’t believe this was 13 years ago!
2 days is not enough time to see London properly. We didn’t even try (last time I spent a full week in London, which I felt was the perfect amount of time to explore the city and take some day trips too). We did however get to spend a lovely afternoon with a grad school friend, Maura – who is living in London for the summer as she transitions from a year abroad in Sweden to a 6 month sailing adventure from England to Brazil! to South Africa! to Australia! – crazy cool!
Together we did a tour around Westminster, ate lunch at an English pub, visited the Tower of London (where we ran into people we knew from my hometown in NY!), and enjoyed a yummy Pimm’s.
The next day, as part of a belated Christmas present to my parents, we took a trip ’round the London Eye. Before I suggested it, I spent some time trying to decide if this was a fun must-do or just a (expensive) tourist trap…
Final verdict? I’m still not entirely sure, it was pretty expensive for a ferris wheel ride but my parents enjoyed it and we did have nice views without having to walk up a million stairs so I’ll call it a win. As Maura pointed out, it is exciting at first, but 30 minutes (the length of the trip) is a bit of overkill for taking in a view. One big tip is to get there early (and make reservations online). We were there as it opened and only had to wait a few minutes, but the line grew substantially as the morning wore on.
After an afternoon of the British Museum and strolling through Camden Market, a delicious Italian dinner, and an evening walk through Hyde Park, it was time to head home. But it was great to see my parents, if only for a few days, and revisit a favorite travel destination. I’d definitely like to head back to the UK again someday soon and explore the rest of the country. Scotland anyone??