After the weekend in Norway, I was exhausted. Hiking and being outdoors is amazing, but I was looking forward to a weekend in the city – basically the opposite of what I had been doing. Cue London! My alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. on Friday, and I was immediately up and ready to go!! I couldn’t contain my excitement for this trip.

At 5:10 a.m. we made our way over to the metro station – still dark outside, my favorite – to get on the train to the airport. The train was supposed to come at 5:28 a.m. By 5:35 a.m. there was still no sign of the train. We were so relieved when finally the train arrived ten minutes later. We were off to the airport! We hustled through security and got in line for our flight. When we got to the front of the line, the RyanAir people scolded us for not getting our tickets stamped at the check in counter. But because it was RyanAir, they didn’t really care all too much and just hurried us along.

When we landed in London, this was the first thing we saw!!! Off to a great start.

When we landed in London, this was the first thing we saw!!! Off to a great start.

At customs, the guy did not hesitate to make fun of us for being American and for not knowing the address of our hotel, but we figured it out; shout out to airport wifi! We got on a bus from the airport to London which cost just 11 pounds, and got off at Baker street because I vaguely remembered that from the instructions from the google mapping I had done the previous night. As you can see, I am a really great planner. Turns out I was right about Baker street, though, because we were just a few blocks away from our hotel!

First glimpse of London! All the buildings were so beautiful. I never got used to the cars driving on the wrong side of the road.

First glimpse of London! All the buildings were so beautiful. I never got used to the cars driving on the wrong side of the road.

We got to the hotel, dropped off our bags, and then went to check out Hyde Park which was right by our hotel!

We got to the hotel, dropped off our bags, and then went to check out Hyde Park which was right by our hotel!

It was an absolutely beautiful day in London. We were pleasantly surprised by the lack of rain and clouds! We walked around the park for a couple hours and then headed back to the hotel to meet up with my friend Rachel! She is studying in Prague this semester and came along to London with us! We had decided to meet at Portman Square, which is close to our hotel, but of course disaster had to strike again – made worse by lack of wifi – and her bus driver just decided not to stop at Portman Square! So after waiting at Portman Square for a while, we went back to the hotel and then to Hyde Park and basically circled around a bunch until we happened to run into Rachel on the street outside the hotel! We had Chipotle for lunch (it was not as good as American Chipotle) and then headed into town to meet up with my Dad and his girlfriend, Susan!

It does not get much more London than this picture!

It does not get much more London than this picture!

We were headed to the London Dungeon, which was right by the London Eye. So after being about an hour late to meeting them, we found Dad and Susan by the dungeon! We did the dungeon tour, which was pretty cheesy but also really funny and fun, and then we were going to do the Eye afterwards, but it was 45 pounds a person so we refrained.

The dungeon people yelled at me for taking this picture. It was a lot funnier in person.

The dungeon people yelled at me for taking this picture. It was a lot funnier in person.

Big Ben! Which is, in fact, the bell inside the clock tower, and not the clock itself. (Thanks, Dad)

Big Ben! Which is, in fact, the bell inside the clock tower, and not the clock itself. (Thanks, Dad)

We then went back to our hotel and got dinner at the little restaurant across the street – the Portman – which was an awesome place. We hung out there for a couple of hours, enjoying the music, drinks, and people watching, and then headed home for a much needed sleep. In the morning we were supposed to have brunch with Dad and Suz and we could NOT be late. We left an hour before we had to be there and arrived just in time!

Here’s Rachel on the tube! We learned the tube pretty well for first time Londoners!

Here’s Rachel on the tube! We learned the tube pretty well for first time Londoners!

We got brunch at a place called Princess of Wales, and it was delicious! Dad and I told everyone about Milwaukee’s famous bloody mary’s at Sobelman’s and sipped on the great bloodys at the restaurant! Afterwards we made our way to Camden market, which was a really cool collection of shops and stalls with all sorts of neat items.

This was the ceiling of a little coffee and tea shop there.

This was the ceiling of a little coffee and tea shop there.

I’m trying to take a mirror selfie in every country I go to - I feel like that’s very American of me.

I’m trying to take a mirror selfie in every country I go to – I feel like that’s very American of me.

We then went to a little English pub with excellent Mojitos and then to a pub famous for its over 100 beers on tap – naturally, Dad had done some research before arriving.

Here’s all of us outside Euston Tap. Don’t worry, Dad’s drink is behind my back.

Here’s all of us outside Euston Tap. Don’t worry, Dad’s drink is behind my back.

This random guy I met in London!

This random guy I met in London!

After sitting here for a while and soaking in how much we loved London, we all headed our separate ways. See you in December, daddy!

We got dinner at this excellent Indian place (I don’t know if I have ever been that full in my life) and then made our way back to the hotel to get ready to go out. We decided to just explore the Notting Hill area and head into bars that looked cool! We found a bunch of cool places including a bar covered in flowers:

We met a bunch of random people that night – including a few people who went to Wisconsin years ago, a kid from Indiana, and an Irish woman named Deirdre, who abbreviated every word she said and took this picture for us! It was an interesting night to say the least! Very fun.

Maggie and I outside Buckingham Palace

Maggie and I outside Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

On Sunday, we explored the city more and went to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Harrods! All very cool. I decided I will definitely come back to London at some point in my life. (Hopefully soon!)

I had this cool moment where I saw a sign my friend Abbey had taken a picture with when she was abroad, and I kind of realized how small the world is while also being really big. After exploring a bit more, we got on another bus back to the airport and then to our hotel by the airport. It was great – clean, a shower that didn’t get water all over the whole bathroom and a TV! We passed out and then woke up early to get the free breakfast and then head to the airport. We got on the plane, which took off an hour later than promised, and finally made it back to Copenhagen. It was relieving to be back- I felt like I was coming home which was comforting.

London was incredible!! Definitely the kind of place I could see myself living someday. There’s so much more of the city I want to see so hopefully I can go back soon! Seeing Dad and Susan was also great. It really made me realize how no matter where you are, who you are with is the most important part! 🙂

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I am headed to Copenhagen, Denmark for the semester! I am excited to try new foods and attempt to learn a little Danish! When I get back to Madison I'll continue studying communication arts and gender and women's studies as well as attend as many basketball and hockey games as I can.

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