I always saw posting from the local travel agencies on Facebook advertising trips to London, and I was always upset that I didn’t ever go on one. It was one of those where, after having lived in Germany for over a year and a half, I asked myself why had I never gone to London of all places?
Well, one of my friends brought up the idea, so we decided that no matter what, we were going to make this trip happen!
It started at work when a few of the people in my shop were talking about places they want to see. Well, one of my buddies who hadn’t really gotten the chance to travel mentioned that he really wanted to see London, but accepted that it probably wasn’t going to happen by the time he left.
Well, another friend and I asked if he would go if we all went. He was still hesitant, but we ended up persuading him to go, as we both wanted to go as well.
We managed to snag some cheap Ryanair tickets to London, as Frankfurt Hahn had consistent hops to London Stansted for cheap.
With flights out of the way, we needed to find lodging. We were all trying to save money and keep our budget low, so we decided on a one room Airbnb that had a shared shower. It was around $38 a night total, split between the three of us meant it was around $15 each for the one night we were there.
After we landed in London, we went through the customs process and were on our way to the Airbnb. We just caught a few buses and trains, and then walked the rest of the way.
While we were walking, for some reason I opened my little satchel to get something. However, I noticed that my passport was gone. I always keep it in the same spot on every trip, so I knew if it wasn’t there, then it was gone.
My first thought was that I left it in the seat pocket on the plane, as I put it there temporarily and forgot it. So we stopped what we were doing and had to find the Embassy.
We decided to check into the Airbnb first, just to drop our stuff off. When we dropped everything off, I looked through every nook and cranny of my carry-on and personal item one last time just to make sure. Turns out, it was buried in an unused pocket of my carry-on. How it got there, I have no idea, but at least I had it.
After that whole fiasco, we started our vacation. We wanted to see Big Ben, the London Bridge, and other landmarks downtown, so we headed that way.
We eventually made it to the River Thames, the longest river entirely in England. We followed that for a while which eventually led us to the London Bridge. It was a bit smaller than I expected, but it was such a beautiful bridge. It was quite busy, and unfortunately we didn’t see it open up to any boats.
After we passed by the London Bridge, we passed by the Tower of London. It was at this point we realized that Big Ben and Westminster Bridge is quite a ways away, we were going to need a taxi. See, this whole time up to this point, we had seen those black London taxis everywhere. I had seen them in many movies over my life, and if we were going to take a taxi to Big Ben, it was going to be one of these bad boys.
They are pretty weird honestly, the back seat is just an open area with two rows of seats facing each other. Definitely a unique experience to say the least.
After the ride, we finally arrived at Big Ben, my personal favorite building in the world, even prior to this trip. To say I was incredibly excited to see it in person was an understatement. We actually waited around for a while and explored the surrounding landmarks for over an hour just to hear Big Ben play its bells as 5pm.
It wasn’t very loud, but it was a dream come true. I have a video of it, and I’m glad I can go back to it whenever I feel like.
After hearing the bells, we stopped by Westminster Abbey, a Gothic abbey church downtown near Westminster Palace. It was one of the most insanely designed buildings I had ever seen, with incredibly complex stonework and window layout. It’s really hard to describe, but look up a picture and you’ll see what I mean.
After this, we watched John Wick 2 in a movie theater before calling it a night.
We had a short day two, as we were flying back in the evening, so we just stopped by the Royal Palace. The whole thing was made out of gold it seemed like, and we got as close as we could without actually trespassing. The Royal Guards were like statues like normal, it was pretty sweet to see that in person as well.
Finally, last but certainly not least, we headed for Abbey Road, the famous Beatles crosswalk. I was surprised at how normal it was. I thought it was going to be on a back street or blocked off for tourists, but nope it was a normal street with stop lights and everything.
Not many people were there surprisingly, but it was very hard to get a picture. It was hard to get a picture as the street was very busy, so people were going back and forth, back and forth until they got the perfect one.
Oh, and a bird pooped all over one of the guys I went with. Like, all over. I have never laughed that hard in my life.
After an action packed couple days in London, it was about that time to head home. We caught our Ryanair flight out of there, and settled back into normal life.
The one friend that we had to convince to go with us, this ended up being our one and only trip together, as he would move away just a couple months later.
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