Sunday, December 21, 2014

London Round Two

We finished our Europe extravaganza in London. We took the Eurostar from Brussels back to London and had about a 2 hour layover in Brussels which we took full advantage of! We stored our bags at the train station (another advantage to packing minimally) and headed to the main square to grab a waffle and see the statue of the peeing boy!

Manneken Pis
We stayed in our old stomping grounds from studying abroad this time around. We enjoyed all that South Kensington has to offer including my favorite (free!) museum the V&A and a treat from Hummingbird Bakery (The UK's version of Sprinkles)! We went to the Churchill War Rooms which are so fascinating and something I highly recommend seeing, but make sure to allow at least 3 or 4 hours because there is so much to see! 

I love the tube!

We also enjoyed dinner at Jamie Oliver's Italian Restaurant. It is one of many restaurants he has in London and it was really good. We went late on a Sunday night and STILL had to wait to definitely give yourself plenty of time.

The next day we got up and went to see Downton Abbey! (AKA Highclere Castle). This was such a neat experience to see where they film the show and actually walk through the rooms they use. I will admit that it's a pain to get there and it's also not quite what I expected. You have to get your tickets in advance (as much in advance as possible). You have to take the train from London Paddington to Newbury (which is a pretty pricey ride). Once you arrive in Newbury, you can take a bus or a taxi to the castle (taxi takes about 15 minutes). Touring the castle takes less than an hour as it's smaller than expected. There are a few restaurants at the castle so we enjoyed a morning snack and lunch there. There are some pretty gardens you can walk around in and a cute gift shop.  Overall it was worth it just make sure and plan ahead!

We wrapped up our trip by seeing War Horse which was fabulous! And if you go buy tickets the day of the show you can usually get really good seats for a fraction of the cost like we did.

And that's a wrap of our 5 week trip! I was so sad to leave but I know we will be back someday. I am so beyond thankful for the resources we had to take this trip, the precious alone time with my husband, and the way travel changes me & my perspective of the world for good.

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