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Friday, January 09, 2015

Five Things I Love About London

I’m going to try something new today: the Friday Five Link up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney. I’ve been lurking on the Friday Five posts for a few weeks (mainly via Courtney’s blog, Run Away with Me, We Run Disney, and John via Twitter.) and thought I’d give it a go. Organizers, let me know if I’m messing up. ;)

I love a lot of places (like Molokai, Hawaii or most of Colorado), but my favorite city is London, England. I’ve been there twice: in 2004 I lived there as part of a study abroad program and again in 2010 with my mom. The second visit was much too short, but it was enough for my mom to fall in love with London, too. So, without further ado, Five Things I Love About London 

Tate Britain in 2010
1. Museums: My study abroad program was through the Art History Department. (I was an unofficial AH major. The trip gave me enough credit hours to graduate an entire year early, so I never finished my entire AH program. Officially, it’s my “specialization.”) Included in our tuition were museum entry fees for those that required them, but most museums in London take donations. I gave what I could (a pound here and there), but for all intents and purposes the main museums were free. My absolute favorite museum is the Tate Britain. It has a distinct smell. And seeing my mom excitedly standing in front of the ’The Lady of Shalott’ was pretty awesome.

I don't have a photo of public transit... so here's the Millennium Bridge.
2. Public Transportation: You can get anywhere with your weekly / monthly Oyster Card. I only road a bus once (along Oxford Street and it was absolutely insane), but used the tube every day. I became very familiar with the central lines. It’s the best underground system I’ve used. Amsterdam has nicer trains (above ground), but London is less confusing. Probably because Dutch is ridiculous, but that’s another story…

I was really proud of this photo at the time.
3. London Eye: Both times I’ve been on the London Eye I’ve gotten lucky. The first time was with my school group. There were at least two dozen of us so we had the car to ourselves and the sky was clear. The second time, I was with my mom’s high school group (mainly teachers and their spouses) and somehow a group of 6 of us got a car completely to ourselves! I would recommend the Eye to anyone visiting London for the first time. I would also recommend riding it on your first day. You will learn how to use the tube to get there and get a valuable lesson on the spacial relationships between famous landmarks.

View from the Tate to Tate boat
Another travel tip: take the boat between the Tate Modern and Tate Britain. It was £6 last time I went, but it is worth it. Kind of like the London Eye, it gives you another perspective on spacial relationships! And you get an amazing view of Parliament.

Arch-y building probably has an official name... 
4. This arch-y building: I have no idea why, but I love love love walking under this building. Maybe because it’s between Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. Plus, it’s super cool looking.

Me in London in 2010.
5. Odds and Ends: I love the feeling I get when I’m in London. Anything is possible (!). I love the history. I love seeing extremely famous works of art close up. I love the mash up of different cultures. I love Pret a Mange (which is also in New York City these days). I love Marble Arch. I loved the University of London dorm, even though my room was ridiculously small and we had one shared shower that could not fit a large person. I love tea. I love the squares (parks). I love the H&M sale section. I love the omnibus editions of soap operas on Sunday (they play all of the episodes in a row).

I love London. What's your favorite city? Check out the other link up participants here.


  1. I've never been to London but it is on my bucket list!!

  2. I live in Paris and go to London several times a year. I LOVE it. Every time I go. Your pictures are great !

  3. public transportation is one of the things my friend from london misses most. even though we have pretty good public transport in DC it's nothing like london's!


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