Dear 30-yr old Riva,
Age is just a number. Still keep dreaming and doing what you love.
Love, 30-yr old Riva
Never did we imagine that we would go back to Europe again this year. I turned 30 about a month ago. This was truly the best birthday present ever. You should know by now that Kevin and I love Europe so much. The art, history, the richness of culture and the old architecture, those are what we look for when we travel. And Europe is that.
London is a mix of old and new. We all see it in movies. You get that old classic sophistication with a nice touch of modernness to it.
We were in London for three solid days. I say if you're going to another country apart from London, this is a good amount of time to see London unless you want to go to museums (cuz it's free!) then I suggest staying longer.
We arrived in the morning of the 16th and basically knocked some of the touristy sights down along the Thames River. Our Airbnb was literally a block away from Shadwell station so taking the tube is the way to go for us. Plus, it's super easy! Get the Oyster Card, download the CityMapper app and you're good to go. It gets pretty crowded in the morning and afternoon but as if that'd stop us from taking public transportation. Ha!
We were lucky we still heard the bell ringing cuz it's now silent for 3-4 years for renovation.
Straight from the airport, we just dropped off our luggages and went exploring. I thought I could have at least freshen up and change clothes, but no bueno but it's okay. We went to Big Ben, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Circus, Carnaby Road, and Tower London and Tower Bridge. To be honest with you, our first day in London was a blur for me. I remember drinking two espressos to stay awake that day.
Our second day includes Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Notting Hill, Bond Street, Brick Lane and Financial District. We also rode the double decker bus to Notting Hill which I highly recommend!
Notting Hill is everything you'd expect on a beautiful quaint town is. The houses and the shops are too adorable. They have nice antique stores that are a must to go to. I even saw a vintage camera store that I regrettably didn't take a photo of.
On our last day, Kevin and I met up with his cousin, Angela, and her friend Je and explored more of this wonderful city. We went to Covent Garden, Somerset House, Saint James Park, Royal Mews and went back to Tower of London.
The phone booths are so iconic, I cannot not take a photo. They're everywhere too! And boy oh boy, look closely, and you see some unnecessary adverts. If you see it, good job, you actually read this! *I purposely left that untouched*
Our Top 5 Memorable Experiences in London (That You Probably Should Also Try)
1. We saw a fox running in London Eye. I kid you not. We thought it was a dog but no, it was a fox. What I was gonna say is, be mindful of your surroundings. Crossing the street could be trippy if you don't look down to check where to look. LEFT is right.
2. Fish n Chips, English Breakfast, and tea, y'all should try it. Believe the hype, it's good. Once is enough though haha.
3. Shopping at Primark. Yo, they're not joking about this store. We went to the big one on Bond Street and it was crazy packed. They have a lot of good stuff that are really affordable. I highly recommend bringing your patience and endurance. LOL. I bought a pair of jeans for 13 euros. DUDE.
4. Of course, we tried copying their British accents. Just believe in yourself, go with it even if you suck. Can I have some wotah pleaase?
5. I already mentioned this but ride the double decker bus. If you're going to a place that has the option for you to ride the bus, go for it. Saves you money, you see the city, it has some nice views = win! Since we're talking about transportation, ride the Metro too. When Kevin and I travel, we like using their train system to get around the city. You see, learn and observe so many interesting and fascinating stuff when you're around locals. You can read their newspaper for FREE. Just take one and read it.
If we're going back in London, I definitely would love to see Hyde Park, Harrods, The Shard, and have some tea time party.
Can you tell based on Kev's last photo that we got hella dark? And he wore the same shirt too, ha!
Anyway, up next is what I wore in London. I'll keep you posted.
Have you been to London? What's your favorite part?