27 October 2013

Rainy Ol' London Town Recap

  • FLIGHT -- RYANAIR :: We flew out of Memmingen Airport, just west of Munich. Road construction & detours turned it into a 4 hour drive. Blah, but RyanAir was running an unbelievable deal. So cheap!!
  • TRANSPORTATION :: With RyanAir you fly into London Stansted, approximately 1.5 hours from London's city center. There are numerous ways to make the trip into London, but I recommend NATIONAL EXPRESS. It was only £30 for both of us round trip. But the best part was they had '2 for 1 vouchers' at a number of tourist attractions. With these vouchers we more than paid for our transportation into the city. We also took the tube/underground everywhere. No taxis for us. I recommend buying an Oyster Card. You'll receive cheaper rates- something like £7 a day. Make sure you go back to a customer service desk in the underground because you can get a refund for your deposit (£5) and what ever money you have left on your card. I'm so glad we overheard someone talking about it! On our last day we got money back for breakfast at a local cafe AND ended up only spending around £30 for three days of transportation for two people. 
  • HOTEL: PREMIER INN- OLD CITY :: Since we saved so much money on our flight with RyanAir I had a little more wiggle room with our hotel. You also get to the point where you just have to bite the bullet- London's pricey (but so worth it!). Close proximity to public transportation is always number 1 for me. Well right after good reviews and safety. ;) There was an underground station less than 2 blocks away. Also, the NATIONAL EXPRESS (how we go TO and FROM the airport) had a bus stop less than 15 minutes away on Shoreditch. Easy walk! Friday was a long day of traveling so once we finally got to our hotel we didn't exactly feel like going back out for food. So we decided to eat at the hotel's restaurant. Really good food, beer, & wine! They had a good spread for breakfast as well. 

26 October 2013

Tower Bridge

After walking Tower Bridge and touring the Tour of London we decided to find a bench along the Thames River to sit and people watch. We also had the good fortune of watching Tower Bridge open. Apparently watching the bridge open brings good luck because it's such a rare occurance.

Isn't Tower Bridge beautiful? So beautiful that it is often mistakenly recognized as London Bridge. London Bridge is actually a kind of un-impressive bridge located about a mile further down the Thames. It was pretty cute to hear a little girl walk past us singing "London Bridge is falling down..." though.

25 October 2013

Tower of London

“If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the crown will fall and Britain with it…”

The first time I went to London was my junior year of college for an International Law class. We were in London for 2 days and I instantly fell in love with the city. I was so excited to come back to London and since my college visit had to be filled with "educational visits" to the UN, etc. there were still a number of touristy things I hadn't done. One of those things was the Tower of London.

The Tower of London was so impressive- in size and the number of things to do. We were able to use the NATIONAL EXPRESS 2 for 1 vouchers and saved £20. Wahoo! We spent hours walking through the grounds and looking through the different exhibits. We went through the history of torture at the Lower Wakefield Tower, viewed the Royal Armories collection in the White Tower, and saw THE Crown Jewels located in the Jewel House. One of my favorite things about the Tower of London though was the view of Tower Bridge.

02 October 2013

Catching the Sea Breeze

While back in the States my mom and I decided to be tourists in our own town. We walked along the battery and toured the Edmonston-Alston House & the Russell House. My only regret from the day was that there was no photography inside these historic homes. Highlight from the day? The fat orange cat we found basking in the warm Charleston sun.