Saturday, July 18, 2009

European Adventure, Part 5: London, England

I opted to put the pictures from my time in London in a separate post below.

I've traveled extensively through England before and have been to London twice, so it wasn't really important to do a ton of tourist stuff during this week of the trip.

On Tuesday, we flew from Dublin to London on Ryan Air.  It was seriously cheap at $23 a person. Wow.  Once we got into town, we took a train to Mortlake (kind of still London, but not like downtown) where we were staying all week at a friend's place.

Traveling took up most of that day, but we did go into downtown London to meet some of B's friends for dinner and drinks.

Wednesday we opted to hang out in the Mortlake area because I was having some serious sinus issues.  We managed to run about 6 miles through the park and saw massive reindeer.  That's certainly not something I see on most runs!  We walked to the Richmond area and explored a bit, but we headed back home and cooked dinner in and watched a movie on tv.  I really felt terrible this day, and it sucks to not feel well on vacation.

On Thursday, we spent a lot of time at the British Museum.  I'm not really a museum person, but B wanted to hit it up and I'd never been before.  We checked things out before moving on to the Tate Museum of Modern Art.  I'm REALLY not into art museums, so we split up and I walked along the river for a while.  It was a beautiful day, and I got to see St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge while I strolled along.  I'd been to all of these before, but it was still nice to see them again.

We met up with some of B's friends that evening, and they took us to this really cool bar called Vertigo42.  It's at the top of London's tallest building at 42 stories.  (They're not known for tall buildings.)  We had a drink and then headed back out for dinner.  It was really nice meeting new people and hanging out with locals.  We never would have known about this bar had we not been hanging out with them.

Friday was spent hitting up some of the famous London sights to get some pictures.  You can't go to London without stopping by to see Parliament and Big Ben.  We spent some time shopping, and we ended the day with dinner with some of B's other friends.  Seriously, our time in London was so laid back.  

Saturday we were up bright and early for our race, but I'm going to write about that in a separate race report. After the race, we took the train to Cambridge to go to my cousin's 4th of July garden party.  It was a super relaxing afternoon drinking and snacking in their garden, but it was so great to get to see her and her husband.  I usually only see them when they come home once a year for the holidays.

Sunday led us to visit another of B's friends in the Sussex area.  She took us down to Brighton and we got to see the ocean and the Brighton Pier.  It was really pretty, but the beach is covered in rocks.  It's not really a beach I'd want to go to if I wanted to spend time at the beach, but it certainly was nice to walk along the pier and enjoy the ocean breeze for a bit.

We were up bright and early on Monday morning to get to the airport and head home.  I had been feeling better than I did on Wednesday, but I'd still been having sinus issues during the remainder of the trip.  By this point, I was tired and kind of ready to come back home.  I watched movies on the 8-hour flight back to the states and tried to dose a bit.  I can't express how nice it was to only have a 35 minute flight from Cincinnati back to Nashville.  The parents picked me up and took me to dinner before I went home, showered and crashed!

It certainly was a fantastic two weeks, and I'm SO glad I had the opportunity to travel somewhere new (Ireland) and visit a favorite city (London) for the third time.  We certainly saw a lot, did a lot of really cool things and had a blast.  Traveling in Europe is always wonderful, but I have to admit that it's always good to come home.


Sharneysrun said...

Just finished reading all your recaps - sounds like a fantastic time!! Welcome home and I can't wait to read your London race report :-)

Wendy said...

Wow, That looks like such a great experience!

Nicole said...

What an amazing opportunity! I hope i get to do something like that!! Can't wait to read your race report! xoxo