London Calling

London – The Land of All Things Harry Potter…

(For more photos, click through the slideshow at the bottom of this post)

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Holy whirlwind of emotions batman. It was so weird when I finally left my apartment for this trip with nothing but my backpack, knowing I wouldn’t be back for a month and a half. I fell asleep on the flight over, and woke up just as we landed… and then I had a mental freak out.

It just hit me that I was on my own. No one was meeting me at the airport. I had nothing scheduled for the next MONTH AND A HALF and no one to keep me company. I don’t know why this anxiety decided to kick in when I landed, but it did. To get through this initial freak out, I had to focus on what I needed to do to get to my hostel.

  • Step 1: get British pounds out.
  • Step 2: buy Oyster card.
  • Step 3: find hostel without getting lost.

I was pretty happy when I successfully completed these steps, but then you’re like – now what? Again, you’re ON YOUR OWN and you have all this time to fill. So I made the obvious choice of heading to King’s Cross Station to have my picture taken at Platform 9 3/4. An excellent way to start my visit to London.

But for the first two days my emotions were all over the place. One minute I was having the time of my life, and the next I’d be sad that I had no one to share it with. As I met  people and started to visit some amazing places, I settled into things. I spent an awesome night at a bar/cafe where myself and another person from my hostel drank Pimm’s (some type of British alcohol) and played an ancient version of Scrabble with two locals. I spent an entire afternoon wandering the Tower of London because I found the history so mind-blowing. I met my second cousins who live, literally, on a barge on the Thames. And I visited Leavesden Studios where all eight of the Harry Potter movies were filmed, and nearly passed out from excitement.

The London Eye

The London Eye

I find the best thing to do is to plan my days. For example, one day I planned to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral in the morning and do a walking tour in the afternoon. I’m happier when I’m busy, because I get a little lonely when I have large stretches of time and I don’t know what to do (this often happens at night, when attractions and museums close).

It’s funny the places you meet people. I met a couple from New York when I was eating in Covent Garden. On the London Eye, a family of four asked me to take their picture, and it turned out they were from Ottawa.

One downside to London: it really does rain a lot here. It’s rained every day, although never for the whole day, just on-and-off. I got really excited when I got to walk around and take pictures in the sun one morning.

London Favourites

THE TOWER OF LONDON: give yourself LOTS of time. Do a beefeater tour (free with admission) and don’t forget to marvel at the Crown jewels.

COVENT GARDEN: Ended up here twice. Great area to wander around as there’s always live music in the courtyards. Buy some delicious food from one of the many stalls or open-air restaurants.

ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL: Go on a sunny day and climb all 528 steps to the uppermost dome for a breathtaking view of the city

HARRY POTTER WARNER BROS STUDIO TOUR: A must. See the sets and costumes from the Harry Potter movies. Take 100+ pictures.

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NEXT STOP: Paris, France!

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9 thoughts on “London Calling

  1. So glad to hear you managed to get in touch with Geoff’s family and have a visit with them. Sorry we did not see you but perhaps next time! Have a wonderful trip. We’ll be following your posts! Lesley ox

  2. SHERRY! I felt the same way when I was there on my own last year, but I just busied myself like you are doing, and I loved every second of my time in London. St Paul’s and Tower of London are my top faves too 🙂 I’m going to be following every second of your adventure, so always update! Love you, miss you!

  3. Sherry! It’s really too bad that our paths did not cross in London. I, too, loved the Tower of London and was there just 2 days before you!
    Cherish every moment of your wonderful adventure!! Xoxo

  4. hi sherry! I’m so happy you did this. what a great adventure. I also loved covent garden and hyde park and Trafalgar square. it’s been 18 years since I was there but it was magic and I have always kept a soft spot in my heart for London. I’m going back in 2015.

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