London was my first solo trip. And although I was alone for most of the time, I enjoyed my time there. Being alone on a trip allows you to do the things that you want to do without worry about whether or not the rest of the group will want to.
The plane ride there was very bumpy. We had a lot of turbulence and London was having a snow storm that was unexpected. Before we landed the tarmac froze over and our landing was terrifying. I thought we were going to die, but I felt as thought I was the only one who thought that because everyone else seemed calm. It wasn’t until we landed, and everyone started clapping, that I realized we all thought we were going to die. But we landed, and we were alive.
I had a reservation for Afternoon Tea at the Chesterfield Hotel, and let me tell you. I love afternoon tea. I do not know why America does not have this. Essentially, it is a meal between lunch and dinner. I got served as many finger sandwiches, scones, and muffins as I wanted. I want scones for breakfast, lunch, and dinner now. They were delicious. After afternoon tea my phone died and I had no way of getting back to my hostel, and being as stubborn as I am, I refused to ask for help. I wandered the streets of London, often weaving in and out of cafes every now and then to keep warm. I eventually found my way back.
The next day I was up bright and early because I scheduled for a tour of the Harry Potter set. It felt like I was back in Florida at Harry Potter World. It was so incredible to be able to see the actual sets and try to imagine how these actors can create something so realistic and beautiful from such small rooms in front of cameras. And yet at the same time it grew my passion in becoming an actress, haha. Butterbeer is also very good. It is such a difficult flavor to explain. It was both salty and sweet, and unfortunately nonalcoholic, BUT nonetheless delicious. Such a nice consistency, and I would most definitely order more than one if I were y’all. As I was waiting in a cafe for my bus to take us back to downtown London, two strangers came and sat down next to me. After eavesdropping for a few seconds, I heard them say the words “whataburger” and realized that I must have been talking to two other Texans. Sure enough, I was and we conversed about our travels abroad and how they currently live in Italy (I have a friend living in Italy, what a small world). The time came for me to leave and I was a little sad that we departed ways. I do know that they will probably be two people I will never forget, and I wish I had the guts to ask their names. Oh well.
Shortly after the Harry Potter Studio Tour I realized that I was alone. And I did not like being alone. My lovely sister convinced me to go on a few tinder dates, because it is a good way to meet locals, and she was right! I had curry with one man, but he quickly turned out to be someone I just could not converse with well, which is fine. I got free dinner. So tips to those who are broke while travelling. Get free dinner by going on tinder dates. But yeah, so after a while I just could not keep the convo flowing with him and had to dip (sorry bud). There was another guy I matched with who was an American studying in London and we met up and had a good date. He showed me around London. But I preferred to be alone or in the company of people I knew, so I therefore remained alone for the rest of the trip.
The next day I explored London by my lonesome and had such an incredible time. It was not as cold and not as rainy. I took hardly ANY pictures of this London trip, which I am ashamed about, but oh well. I travelled through China Town. This little part of London is so magical. Every store had duck and even though I only ate in TWO Dim Sum places, I am sure each place was just as delicious. I continued to walk the streets of London, taking in the view of the areas around me. And it wasn’t that I forgot to take pictures of my surroundings, it was simply that I did not know your phone can become so cold to the point that it shuts down. I am only used to my phone overheating. Yet there I was, with a dead phone, in the middle of all the glorious buildings of London. And so my night concluded and I went to sleep early to catch a good early English breakfast.
Let me tell YOU. The Brits know how to do breakfast. Their bacon was fully cooked, unlike everywhere else in Spain. Their sausage? To die for. The bread was lovely. The tea. UFFF. The TEA. My goodness I hadn’t had a good breakfast like that in a good while. I cherished every moment of it, before I sadly made my way to the airport.
And so. London. Checked off my list of places to visit before I die. Will I return? Yes, but it is not at the top of my list. It was quite pricey to stay in London, and they pay rent weekly there. I would not be able to do that. I would be in so much debt by now. But alas. I have left London with a beautiful painted poster that I will hang in my room back home, a slightly empty pocket, a sore throat, and very few pictures of the total experience.
But enjoy them.