At the Ballet!
On the road to Buckingham Palace!
Cutest Cupcake shop!
At the Royal Ballet
We woke up after our last night in Paris and walked to Gare du Nord which was right by our hotel. Since we were going to London we didn't realize till a little bit later that they have a whole customs area set up on the 2nd level and we had to go get our bags checked and go through passport control like in an airport! That was the first time I had ever dealt with that but luckily mom and I had allotted a lot of extra time.
The EuroStar train goes through the Chunnel (Channel Tunnel) and was almost a half mile long because so many people take these trains everyday. It was about 2 hours to get from Paris to London which was basically no time at all after our 6 hour train ride from Munich to Paris.
When we got to London we walked to our hotel in Camden, but they weren't ready for check in so we went to have lunch. I obviously had to get fish and chips and when it came out my mom and I were wishing we had shared because it was the biggest fish I had ever seen.
When we could finally check in we got settled and changed then went to plan out what we wanted to do. While we were planning I got a call from the woman I have been in contact with at the American Embassy in Rome for a potential internship in the Spring so before we went anywhere I had a long and lovely conversation with her and we will see what comes from it later!
Our first activity was to go see the tower bridge. I have never worked the London metro before so I was a little confused but after one trip I figured it out and luckily my mom was happy enough with their metro that we only took one bus tour!
At the bridge we popped around the corned and there it was! What we were surprised about was that the poles are all painted a very strange blue and white color that sort of made it look like a play toy. That was not what I imagined but the bridge itself was. Very big and pretty.
After we got back on the metro and went to see about getting tickets to Mama Mia. They were sold out but we got some good advise to go to a half price ticket shop the next day. So we took the 2 hour bus tour (of course) and saw all of the sights going super fast on the bus. I will have to say this was the best bus tour because we had a live funny guide in front of us and we enjoyed talking to him.
The next morning we woke up and had a huge English breakfast at the hotel. Then we got back on the metro and went to Buckingham Palace where we toured the inside and gardens. This took about half a day and was really cool and I would say comparable to the White House.
Mom was getting tired at this point so we stopped in a traditional English pub and had cokes and potato skins for an hour while we rested then went to Westminster Abbey. It was beautiful but closed once we got there, which was fine because we had to get across town to the Royal Ballet!
I booked this several months in advance but did not realize that it was the opening night of Don Quixote. It was completely sold out and I booked a private table for my mom and I with our meals prepared so it was really nice to show up with our food and wine ready, then dessert at the first interval, then cokes during the second! The whole area was packed and people tried to steal our table a few times but our waitress was sweet and kept people out of it the whole night.
The ballet was AMAZING! I've never seen such gorgeous dancing in my whole life and the seats I booked were perfect. Sitting next to my mom was a huge ballet enthusiast, named Paul, who had gone to every show and showed us where to go get autographs after the performance. He was such a hoot and we enjoyed chatting with him for awhile after the show. Apparently it was a big deal because the ballet normally never gets a standing ovation and there were probably 5 encores so it was a good night at the Royal Ballet!
The next morning my mom and I had a smaller breakfast (because we decided that baked beans and some sort of tomato weren't necessary in the morning) and headed out to buy tickets to a show for that evening. There were so many choices but we finally narrowed it down and chose Chicago. We were able to buy some great tickets for a much lower price for the evening show.
We walked to the theatre so that we would know where it was and found the most adorable cupcake shop I have ever seen on the way. They had muffins that were delicious and even though we had already eaten a lot we could not pass them up. On the way to our next stop the metro was closed so we got off early and ended up running into the changing of that guards.
This was cool for about 10 minutes till I started to feel very claustrophobic and needed to get out! We basically had to go 5 blocks out of the way to avoid the crowds but I was glad that we at least got to experience it! We went to Big Ben and Parliament area after this but didn't go in since it was Sunday.
Next we hopped back on the metro to Notting Hill where we walked down Portobello market past the residential areas from the movie and past some very cute shops. We had lunch at a great local restaurant then about passed out from exhaustion around 4pm. Since we were so tired we went back and napped (for the first time of the whole trip) then got ready and went to see Chicago.
Chicago was an absolute blast!! I love that show so much and know basically every word. My mom enjoyed it a lot too and we met some sweet British people at the show. Now the songs and dances have been stuck in my head everyday since.
Since my mom is flying back out of Rome, we have to get back to Italy so our next stop is Naples and Sorrento for our last relaxing part of our holiday!