May 2009 the last time I was in London. I fell in love with the city, even though I can’t exactly pinpoint why. It’s so similar to a big city here in the US, but…better. (Maybe? There’s quite a few big cities here I haven’t been to so I can’t fully compare.) Either way, I was super excited when we decided London would be a destination for our vacation. I looked forward to sharing memories, tidbits and parts of town with Tim.
We left Cambridge and got into the city early afternoon. We stayed in this AirBnB in the South Kensington area, which worked out really great for our time there. The flat was set up a bit different than shown in the pictures, but still similar enough. (Last time I had stayed near the Pimlico Tube stop.) It was nice to be right off a main Underground line and have quick access to places, but also be staying in a more residential area of town.
We got into London early afternoon, dropped our stuff off and took the Tube down to the Westminster stop so we could walk through the South Bank area. Even with rainy weather, there was still a ton of people! Visiting London before, I was told the best views of Big Bend and Parliament is across the river…so that’s where we headed! From there we walked from the London Eye area (which we never rode) down to the Tate Modern. It’s only about a mile, so it’s really not far and there’s plenty to stop and see along the way. We weren’t originally planning on stopping in to the Tate but did because of the rain. Had I been by myself, I probably would have paid to see the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit. She’s a favorite artist of mine. But instead, I walked through the museum questioning modern art as I’m sure most people do. I certainly try to appreciate modern art (especially with having a graphic design degree and taking lots of art history classes), but sometimes I just have to shake my head and wonder what drug the artist was on.
We walked across the Millennium pedestrian bridge over to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The One New Change mall across the street that has a free rooftop viewing area plus a restaurant/bar. I actually felt underdressed when we arrived on the rooftop–the bar was a bit more swanky than I thought it would be. So we checked out the views, took a couple pictures and then headed down to the Cathedral. We got lucky with our timing to the Cathedral. The choir was performing so we were able to go in and walk around without having to pay. I didn’t get to do that last time I was in London! Pictures aren’t allow instead of the Cathedral, but I will say that it’s a beautiful church.
We headed to Covent Garden, which had been a favorite spot on my previous trip. We walked around the area, stopped and had a couple drinks at Punch and Judy’s and then got food from Shake Shack. First timers! Neither one of us had had Shake Shack before, so hey…why not? I will say that while it was good, it wasn’t the most amazing burger I’ve tried. The shakes at Steak ‘n Shake are better, too. We also got gelato from Venchi there at Covent Garden. The strawberry gelato was ah-mazing! So, so good.
We called it an early night and headed back to our flat. We had two more full days in London to plan out and prep for.