London: Home Away from Home? #DuffleBaggingEurope

Earlier in the semester I was bragging to a fellow exchange student (who happened to be from London) how I’ve been to London many times and it’s like my home away from home and blah blah blah (in retrospect I probably sounded really foolish to him). I felt this way because I’ve always had the blessing of getting picked up from Heathrow Airport and driven to a nice apartment/hotel. 20140311-222134.jpg

Boy, did I get a rude awakening this time! We took the bus from Brussels to London. If you’re good with geography you’ve already figured out that we had to go “across the pond”. It was the strangest thing ever. For about 45mins we were on a bus that was in this compact bus ferry.

So we arrive at about 6 am and hangout in MacDonald’s until the hostel opens up. The pub-turned-hostel was the worst by far of all the hostels. The downstairs was homey but the upstairs was cold and stark. I’m almost positive we got the worst room in the tiny building. Communal bathrooms #NotWinning. Sleeping with 10,000 layers on. #NotWinning

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But anyways I started my day planning all the places I wanted to go. The girls and I decided to split up *in a snotty voice* since I have already been to London. I didn’t really care to go to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben for the 5th time.

Instead, I went to Baker Street 😀 like the nerd I am that’s right 221b Baker Street – the home of Sherlock Homes. I was so geeked to get there that when I finally did I was kinda disappointed. It was “just a house” but I must admit they set it up so well I was second guessing if Sherlock was real or fiction. But as the Yoruba day “ara ti ba le; oju ti wa le” – my curiosity has been quenched. 20140311-222422.jpg

Then I attempted to go to Abbey Road but once I got to St. John Wood station I realized that I didn’t have someone to take an iconic cliché pic for me so I went to Starbucks instead lol

After that, I decided to meet up with the girls since it was Sunday and dark, so most everything I wanted to see was closed or too dark to take adequate photos (on my DSLR). We meet behind the London Eye and then embarked on a journey to Tower Bridge & London Bridge.

London Eye

London Eye

Since my last visit, Underground has made major improvements. DC metro seriously needs to STEP IT UP.

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I came ready with my umbrella!

In typical England style, it was raining, so we didn’t get many photos. But Tower Bridge is quite beautiful. 20140311-220530.jpgUnder Tower Bridge

The next day I got my eyebrows done, got more Starbucks and headed to Westfield London. I love Westfield malls in the States but this was on another level! I didn’t do any shopping but I finally got some Nando’s and charged my Fuelband at the Nike store. Apparently, there’s also a women’s 10k run sponsored by Nike in London.

Last but not least I found this random booth that had “discount” tickets to the theater. I approached it just for the heck of it but I left thrilled because I got tickets to see WICKED! And for £20 (should have been 15, but service charges).

Because I got my ticket so last-minute I arrived at the Apollo Victoria a little late. But once I was inside, literally could not stop smiling! The show was AMAZING. I’ve wanted to see Wicked forever. I was kinda disappointed that they didn’t have Playbills so I left souvenir-less ;-( But that didn’t stop me from smiling all the way back to the hostel. Icing on the cake: I ran into some American girls (I seem to do that uh) that were studying in Regent U for the semester. 20140311-222404.jpg

This trip taught me that I can’t quite call London my “home away from home” (yet). It’s a great city regardless of how many times you have visited, there will always be something new to discover.
Next time I’m in England I def want to check out Manchester, Liverpool & Nottingham.

Next (& last) stop: Barcelona, Spain

– LondonGirl #DuffleBaggingEurope

Underground Selfie

Underground Selfie

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Geeked to see 221b Baker Street

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I was sitting kinda far. these where cool, I used them for like 10mins during Wicked

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@ topshop