Landing in London for a Second Adventure
Last fall my wonderful older sister invited me to travel with her to London for a quick getaway. And never one to say no to an adventure, I quickly booked my flight and then scrolled through all 2000+ photos I took during my summer abroad there in 2014. If you've been reading this blog from the beginning (thanks for sticking it out!), you'll remember that those posts from London were some of my first! Needless to say, I had a bit of nostalgia landing in London and showing my sister around my old spots.
Because I was already familiar with the area, we stayed in Bloomsbury at The Montague on The Gardens.
This place seriously deserves every single accolade you can bestow upon a hotel. From the second our driver pulled up and we emerged weary with jet lag, everything was perfection. We even couldn't complain that our room wasn't yet ready because they had breakfast waiting for us and quickly took care of our bags.
There's no better way to fight off jet lag than to keep moving. So we hit the streets and headed towards Hyde Park!
In typical English fashion, the rain came out of nowhere. Aaaaand then it stopped after 15 minutes...
My little babushka!
There's just something special about stately British homes. It must be my Downton Abbey obsession!
The last time I was here, my flatmate Chloe and I were running away from our Brit Lit essays to soak up the warm sunshine - read it here
Not so much the case this trip...
We crossed into Kensington Gardens and stopped in front of The Albert Memorial. Queen Victoria had this built to honor her late husband. I've written about his incredible work before, as he and Victoria are fascinating to me. After he died at the age of 42 from typhoid fever, Queen Victoria mourned him by wearing black everyday for the rest of her life. Their love story is incredibly romantic, and if you want to see a Hollywood version, I highly recommend the film The Young Victoria.
*sigh* Kensington Palace - the current home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Hi Will and Kate! They were actually here on this day prepping for an event that evening ahead of their tour of India and Bhutan. Sadly our invitations were lost in the mail.
Back on the busy streets, we continued to meander around Kensington. One of the more affluent areas of London (I mean just look at these town homes), Kensington is also where most of the European embassies are located.
More importantly, however, are the charming "mews" scattered about. These side streets are made up of old stables that have been converted into homes. For the majority of history, only the lower working class would dare live in them. Today, one of these babies sells for around $5 million.
Just doing some house hunting
Upon returning to the hotel, our room was ready, beds were turned down, and bags already waiting for us. They even made the effort of leaving us this warm welcome.
Our trip was off to a great start, and I hope you'll stay tuned to see more of London with us!