Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hello, London!

On Wednesday, April 30th, we arrived in LONDON!! My very first time to the UK. There was way too much excitement in me as I exited the plane and entered London-Heathrow airport.

Another stamp for my passport! Another land to explore!

I had 24 short hours to adventure through this beautiful and exotic city.

I had several things I wanted to check off my list - some realistic, others unrealistic; but what's the fun in a life without dreams? 

What was on my list, you ask?

1) see Big Ben
2) see where Parliament meets
3) Get a picture with one of the queen's guards (you know, the ones that can't move... Or smile)
4) Meet Ed Sheeran
5) Have tea with the Queen
6) Eat fish & chips

What? I told you some of them were unrealistic

Well I didn't get to check any of these things off my list; BUT I still had the best time in London! And I definitely want to go back sometime and see all the sites and do all of the awesome activities London has to offer.

Instead, after getting through customs and receiving my new passport stamp, I hopped on the bus to my hotel with my team. We got checked in and settled and tried to find a way to downtown London.

If you don't know much about London public transportation, that's okay - neither do I. But the little knowledge I have, I picked up from this trip. 

Anyways, London uses a bus system as well as an underground transportation system called "The Tube." While we were in London, certain routes of The Tube were on strike, making it very difficult for us to get where we wanted to go. But we were determined tourists!

So we hopped on a bus outside our hotel that took us to The Tube station. After each of us bought a day pass for The Tube and asked a man who worked there how to get to central London (and he laughed and gave us a very detailed description and wished us luck - knowing it was a difficult route with the strike going on) we hopped on The Tube! What seemed like hours later (and a couple detours due to incorrect routes on our part) we finally arrived in central London!

Here is a shot of The Tube... Waiting for our train to arrive.

We got outside and I was mesmerized. It was a whole new world. I fell in love with a new city in seconds. It was impossible to soak it all in so quickly - it seemed like time stood still as I was captivated by the beauty of it all.

One of the cutest streets in central London

Beautiful London architecture

Yep, I'd totally live here. So cute!

When I finally came to my senses again, I exchanged my US dollars to pounds and we were on our way to see Big Ben! (I am not contradicting myself here - we never made it to Big Ben).

As we walked the streets, I noticed everyone so sharply dressed. The accent so beautiful and the people -- not so friendly.

We finally gave up on seeing Big Ben because we were tired, hungry, cold and it was getting dark. Also, we had to be back on The Tube by 9pm and it was getting late.

We asked some locals where a good place to eat was and they led us to a small Italian spot. We quickly ordered pizzas and Calzones to go and were on our way back to The Tube!

Taking our food to go

Late night waiting for The Tube

We made it back to The Tube with 12 minutes to spare. After a very long ride, several times getting off and back on, talking to a sweet Irish man who asked me if I was from Spain, we made it back to the hotel. It was so nice to finally shower and sleep in a bed!

Exhaustion took its toll on some while we were still on The Tube

The next morning we woke up and checked out of the hotel. We hopped on the bus to the airport and breezed past London-Heathrow airport security.

Bus life

I got my last Starbucks for 7 weeks! And finally we were off to Uganda! 

Last Starbucks! And it's foreign!

A dream come true.

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