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Week Seven in the Royal City

Before the craziness of the Corona Virus hit, my friends and I headed to London for a school trip. This was my first time in London, like it was many of the other cities I visited this year, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a lot more modern than I expected with a wide array of stores, diverse eateries and lively nightlife venues yet it was still very traditional in aesthetic and culture. We received a tour of the Palace of Westminster, where the government in the UK meets, and it was clear that some of the rooms were extremely ancient, holding many relics of the past. We noticed that Westminster Hall, where many of the debates between Members of Parliament take place, is so cramped that it doesn’t even have enough space for all the MPs to sit. So much for representation! And no, I did not see Boris Johnson.
And then there was Buckingham Palace where we witnessed the Changing of the Guard, the ceremony in which the Queen’s soldiers hand over the responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the next soldiers. The reverence and admiration people still held for the royal family was very apparent, or maybe it was just all the tourists (including me) that were fascinated by all these British traditions.

We also visited the Churchill War Rooms, a museum that portrays Winston Churchill’s life and displays replicas of Cabinet War Rooms in which the planning for World War II took place. Even if you’re only a tad bit interested in the history behind WWII, I would definitely recommend paying a visit to the CWR! The following quote is one of my favorite quotes by him:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

-Winston Churchill

This quote has always resonated with me and has always encouraged me to keep going. Inching forward and making some type of progress is better than sitting in fear or gloating in success and remaining stagnant. I hope to continue to remember that even as we go through the despair that is this pandemic.

No trip to London is complete without a visit to Abbey Road. I think my friends and I did a pretty good job of accurately depicting the Beatles – my friend (you can call her Paul McCartney) even has her shoes off!
Also, one of my favorite things about London were the parks. They were all so vast and beautiful, I mean look at those swans :’) They currently inhabit the lake in the Kensington Palace Gardens (unless they migrated elsewhere).

Another one of my favorite parts about London was the food. There was an abundance of food courts and markets with so many diverse cuisines to choose from. The one featured above is the Borough Market, located right by the London Bridge. I definitely recommend visiting because there’s everything from seafood paella, to homemade pasta, to Indonesian dishes to almost any kind of food you can dream of! For lunch, I had a traditional Scotch egg which consisted of a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and coated in bread crumbs. It was pretty interesting and while I’m glad I tried it, I probably won’t buy that again haha. And for dessert, we devoured the infamous Bread Ahead donuts which aren’t just your average donuts. These ones are filled with various types of cream flavors such as vanilla (original), chocolate, hazelnut, salted caramel and more!

I had no idea prior to visiting but London is huge and consists of so many different pockets to explore. On the left-hand side, is Shoreditch, an incredibly hipster area with vintage thrift, cool street art and food markets like Boxpark. On the right-hand side is one of the coolest and prettiest Chinatowns I’ve ever been to with so many dim sum options.

St. James Park is like straight outta a Pixar movie :’)

And then right back to being modern again.
There’s so much to London that I’ll definitely have to visit again. Cheerio!


Published by travel.rin

Hi hello! I'm Airin, otherwise known as @travel.rin :) As you can tell, I love traveling and documenting my adventures, as well as drinking coffee and raising my plants! I relish in the fact that there's always something new to learn every day and you're welcome to join this journey that is my life!

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