Looking back on my time in London, and rereading my journal entries, some of the days just make me tired. This is one of those days. I think that every trip has a day where nothing goes exactly as planned, and this was definitely that day for us.
“Today was a little bit of a hot mess. We started off having to go to the tube station and replace an oyster card, so we didn’t get to make it out to the flower market today like we wanted to.”
This was an interesting moment in the trip. Mistakes happen, and that’s something that is unavoidable and often very frustrating, especially while traveling. Sometimes important documents fall out of your pocket, and sometimes you end up lost, or missing a bus or a connecting flight. The only thing that you can really do is take a deep breath, and get on the next train. There were multiple moments during this day of the trip, starting early in the morning with this particular incident, where I found myself getting upset and had to remind myself that I was in London and enjoying a trip overseas. Looking back, it was a great learning experience, and isn’t that what traveling is all about?
“We then proceeded to miss our bus, and walk an hour to the zoo. The whole reason that we wanted to see the zoo was because we wanted to see the pandas. There aren’t any pandas at the zoo back home, and it was a very weird moment when we realized that none of us had actually seen a panda in real life before. You can imagine our reactions when we found out that the London Zoo doesn’t actually have a panda exhibit… The other animal exhibits were fine but it was hard not to be a little disappointed.
After our harrowing trip to the zoo, we meandered our way to Kings Cross Station (getting mildly lost on our way there). Our intention was to take photos at the 9 ¾ platform from Harry Potter. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, but my patience was tested once again once inside the station. The line to take a picture with the sign (not the one from the movie, I might add) was unreasonably long and you had to pay for the photo. I may be criticized for this decision later on, and my true fan status may be challenged, but I opted for a selfie with the sign in the background and decided to spend my time in London elsewhere. At this point our group split up, as most of the group decided spend the afternoon in line.
One of the things that was on my London ‘Bucket List’ so to speak, was the ‘Word on the Water’ bookshop, located inside a boat floating on a canal. I’d stumbled across it while researching things to do and had fallen in love with the photos I saw online. While planning the trip with the group, this was the one thing that I really wanted to do and wouldn’t budge on, and today was my one chance to see it.
It took a little exploring and talking to locals to decode our map’s directions, but we found it. It was exactly like I’d pictured. I found an amazing hard-covered vintage copy of Tale of Two Cities (which is a story very close to my heart) for an incredibly reasonable price, as well as a couple C.S. Lewis books in great condition. I was incredibly happy and re-energized by this, and if you’re a book lover like me, I recommend making this stop a priority on your next trip to London.”
“We found that we had some extra time and made our way to the Charles Dickens museum, which was located inside the house where he lived. It was amazing, and I got to see the actual desk where he would’ve written the Tale of Two Cities, which I’d bought earlier in the day (See the photo below). As I mentioned before, the story is very important to me, and it was an incredibly memorable experience for me.”
“After the museum, we found ourselves incredibly back on schedule and headed toward the British Museum to reunite with our group for afternoon tea. Along the way, we stumbled across the show Black Mirror being filmed live, which was unexpected for sure, and very interesting, especially from a theatrical point of view.”
“Tea at the museum was everything we could have hoped for (except for the fact that we had to climb multiple sets of stairs and our legs were already burning). I got peppermint tea, and the finger foods were delectable. It was all very posh, and we were satisfied.”
“We continued to fulfill our posh dreams, and went shopping on Oxford Street. We went to Zara and I bought some scarves,” I find it important to note that these scarves were some of the only things that I bought on the trip that weren’t books, which I realized while trying to repack my suitcase, “Then we went to Uniqlo and looked around. We don’t have those stores back home, so it was pretty cool. We also went to the biggest Lush in the world, and i’ve decided that I need to shop at Lush more when I get home.
We decided to call it an early night and stay at the flat with some mac and cheese. Today was exhausting.”
Until next time,