Three days of my life recently were a blur of high tea, fish n’ chips, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, cottage pie, the River Thames, and the crown jewels. Can you guess where I was? London, England!
I've wanted to visit England since I saw my first Harry Potter movie in second grade, mostly because I was fascinated by British accents and dreamed of meeting Daniel Radcliffe on the street. More than ten years later, England is still on my radar, even though I'm now more fascinated by England's vast history and the royal family (although I still wouldn't object to meeting Daniel Radcliffe on the street). My dad happened to be in Europe for business during my study abroad program's mid-semester break, and he gave me an offer I couldn't refuse: a trip to London or Paris. Both cities are on my bucket list, but I figured London was a better place to visit with my dad. So off to London we went!
As soon as I stepped foot out of Paddington Station, every stereotype of London slapped me in the face. Red double-decker buses. Red phone booths. Cars on the wrong side of the road, which actually freaked me out when we rode in a taxi. Signs pointing toward the "lift" (elevator) and warning of a "diversion" (detour). I was glad to note the stereotypical view of London that I've been conjuring in my head for years isn't too far from the truth.
Here's what we saw during my first full day in London:
I can't think of anything more British than this picture.
The Palace of Westminster (Parliament building)
Fish n' chips with mushy peas
My dad helped a clumsy street performer walk across a tight rope. Absolutely hilarious.
The London Eye
A view of the River Thames
Cars drive on the "wrong" side of the road, so London constantly reminds tourists to "look left" for traffic while crossing the street
For dinner, my dad and I wanted Indian food. Indian food in London is like Mexican food in America: cheap, delicious, and easy to find. I actually researched Indian food online and came across Brick Lane, a street full of authentic and popular Indian restaurants. The area reminded me of Little Italy in New York City, but it also had the feel of Chinatown because people outside each restaurant were trying to convince us to eat there. When we finally chose a restaurant, we ordered lamb masala and chicken tandoori. We also had some naan and fancy Indian sauces. I haven't eaten Indian food much in my life, so I can safely say that my Brick Lane meal was the best Indian I've ever had.
Expect the second half of my London post soon! I decided to break the post into two smaller installments that are easier to digest. Thanks for reading!