International Travel / UK

Weekend in London (traveling solo)

Sadly had to part ways with my friends, as I make my way to London, where I need to catch a flight to Singapore.

Hostel staying at is the Astor Museum Inn.  A bit pricier than what I’d been paying, but it was a nice area, and conveniently located just steps away from the British Museum.

Before getting into particular about the British Museum, do you know what is so extra great about London museums?  They are all FREE! They have some law there requiring museums to be free to encourage more families to participate and to encourage more frequent visits, etc. Perfect for my dwindling budget!

So what did I think about the British Museum?  It was certainly impressive.  As a matter of fact, it’s probably the ultimate symbol of Britain as a world power. Here, they house all these great artifacts that they stole from other places around the world during their empire, keke.

One of their major pieces is the rosetta stone (bottom right).  I always imagined it to be huge, but it’s actually fairly small.  Another highlight of the museum is the sculptures from the Parthenon. I don’t have much to say about them, but of course they were pretty cool to look at.

Anyhow, I already blogged about the Louvre (see my post here), which was also amazing. These are the two museums that I really wanted to check out and both lived up to their hype. I think you can spend hours in both, but I did them in under a couple, haha. If I had more time, I would have gone back though.

I hopped on the tube to go check out Buckingham Palace, which opens during part of the summer for tourists.  After exiting the tube (which is SO clean btw), I walked like a mile through Green Park, but when I arrived, to my dismay, there were a ton of police at the Royal Gates surrounding the palace! What the heck. I thought maybe they were just always there because of tourists, but actually it was because the Queen was hosting a Tea Party, lol.

This pic features Big Ben, the houses of parliment and the london eye.  I can’t say anything really riviting, as I didn’t go inside any of these buildings due to limited funding and general lack of interest (about $25 usd to enter each).

London Bridge is pretty neat looking.  During the daytime, it kind of blends with the rest of the concrete in the city; however, at night, the bridge lights up brilliantly!   There are a bunch of bars and eateries around the Thames River (which runs under the bridge).  The area is a little sketchy, so I’m glad I was there with a friend and her family, but it was a nice way to unwind in the evening. I even saw a couple in their tux and wedding dress having thier photos taken by the bridge. ❤

At Thames River, my friend’s family bought us some Pimm’s Lemonade, which is apparently a typical London picnic drink. I asked them what was in it, but they said nobody really knows. It’s just a mix and you add alcohol and some chopped up fruit. It’s basically like a fizzy lemon ice tea with fruit. It’s really good and refreshing, I actually want to learn to make that. It was pleassant 🙂

Speaking of, let’s talk about some of the other nosh I enjoyed in London (did I use that correctly?)

1.  Fish & Chips

My last meal in London was FISH AND CHIPS! It was good, I must say. I was kind of avoiding getting it because i’m just usually not a fan, but near the end of the trip I decided I had to have it at least once.  I just randomly popped into a mediterranian place that sold falafel, fish and chips, and other random foods. I’m glad they gave me that slaw with it because it was really, really good. I actually think I got lucky because the fish and chips here was REALLY solid. The batter was super crispy and light, the fish was moist, even the fries were great?!  I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it. I’m kind of craving one right now..

2.  Meat Pie

So besides the cliche fish and chips, what other “typical” london foods did I eat? Well for one, Londoners have “Meat Pies”– think Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, *Shudder. Obviously I opted for a veggie one- Feta and Spinach, with a side of mash (mashed potatoes with skins mashed in), beans (baked beans) and gravy over everything.  You can’t see the contents of the Square Pie box because it was too ugly (thanks to the gravy).  It was actually pretty good, and I’d eat it again.  Probably very caloric though.

3.  Chicken Legend at McD’s.

Well as you know, people in Europe use metrics, so a burger called the “quarter pounder” might not really have much meaning to Londoners– just as a 113.38g burger might not mean much to us. In the US, I’d heard rumors that in the UK they called “Quarter Pounders” by the name “Burger Royal (with Cheese)”. When I was in France, it actually went by that name!  However, in London, they just call it a plain ol’ quarter pounder…BORING. Instead, I opted for a “Chicken Legend” which is just like a fried chicken patty with salsa and lettuce. It was pretty good nonetheless.

4. Mr. Whippy’s – Not for me.  I know some people like soft serve that tastes like literal cream, but I do not.  It’s similar to the Kohr’s Brother’s Icecream, but even MORE decadent.  Way too rich for my taste… and kind of flavorless.  Your mouth just feels coated afterwards.  Bleh.  Sorry London, I’ll stick to gelato.


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