Yesterday I returned home from a trip to London with my friend Mairi. It was our first experience of travelling without having someone to meet us at the other end, and although we were slightly nervous about getting lost, we both had an amazing time and packed so much into the four days we were there. Thanks to the kindness of Mairi’s uncle, we were able to stay in a beautiful flat in Kensington – for free! It was perfect, and allowed us to have long days out and collapse as soon as we got back.
After a 5am start and the extremely boring train ride down on Monday, we went to Harrods at the first opportunity (it seemed perfect, considering where we were staying). I couldn’t believe that it was a shop so famous it had its own gift shop!
We decided that wasn’t tiring enough, so we went to the Natural History Museum. I really enjoyed the dinosaur exhibition, but I was so exhausted by this point that every skeleton blurred into one rather confusing dinosaur. The displays were very impressive, though. How they managed to get a full size replica of a blue whale and a polar bear into one room I will never know!
The second day was just as manic as the first! The bus tour was worth the price and the early start, because we took photographs of just about every famous area in London. We got off at Trafalgar Square (Bizarrely, it’s now illegal to feed the pigeons there) and walked to Foyles, which supposedly has the largest collection of books of any bookshop in Britain. We both spent more money than we intended to! The bus journey took us across Tower bridge, which, although it’s a cliche, was great in a very touristy way.
We then took a boat ride from Westminster to Bankside Pier – I actually thought it was better than the bus tour, but it’s because South Bank is my favourite part of London! The commentary on the boat tour was just hilarious, in that truly British cynical and sarcastic way, and for the entertainment value, I just can’t recommend it enough.
That evening, though, was the highlight of the entire holiday. For the British Summer Time Hyde Park free film festival, we were sitting on the grass inside a large fenced-off area, and with headphones which connected to the screen, alongside an insane number of people. I don’t know how to begin to describe what it was like to watch “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in Hyde Park, in the evening sunshine, with free popcorn! It was relaxing but, at the same time, one of the most exciting parts of the holiday.