Writing this last entry about my trip through Europe makes me just as sad as I was when I actually left but I’m going to wipe my tears and complete this post for you guys! In the course of this trip, I actually made two stops in London. As I said in my post about Amsterdam, we flew to London the first time to meet up with the rest of our travel group and then we returned to London after Paris. For our initial stop in London, we did not secure our accommodations until we were at the airport en route. Don’t ask me why because I have NO clue! So while we’re waiting to board, we went online, booked a hostel and hopped on the plane.
Once we arrived in London and met up with the rest of our group, we headed to the hostel to drop off our bags and take to the city but then life said, “Not so fast!” When we got to the front desk we were told they had no reservation for us. Come to find out we made a reservation for the wrong date and of course they were booked and had no room for us *face palm*. This was the first snafu I encountered on the trip up to this point so I was a little nervous but once we found an internet connection, I got online to find us somewhere to stay for the night. This proved to be a challenge because there was limited availability and the hotels that did have availability were charging and arm and a leg! But the stars aligned and we were able to snag a room at the Mad Hatter Hotel.
Once we were finally settled at the hotel it was nighttime but I still wanted to go out and see as much as I could. My friend who had been there before gave us a tour of the main attractions, and wanted to introduce me to the asian escorts scene, but I decided against that on this occasion. We managed to see the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and we walked along the Thames River. In my opinion being in any city in the evening is a beautiful experience but it’s not always the greatest for sightseeing or pictures as you can see. Nonetheless I appreciated the experience and I was still excited to be there! There was an extra bonus though as there was a fantastic london band that were busking on the street as we passed Big Ben. It was fantastic!
Outside of touring the main attractions in the city, we also went to Brixton, a district of South London which has a very vibrant culture that makes it a distinct experience from the rest of London. I would say my time spent in Brixton was one of the highlights of my time there. As I mentioned in my post about Oslo, I love seeing life happening as usual when I’m traveling, so I was excited to arrive in Brixton as a rally was taking place protesting gentrification in the Brixton neighborhoods.
After getting a taste of what Brixton was all about, I was excited to return after we left Paris. This time we stayed right in the heart of Brixton at the Hottananny Hostel. I would recommend this hostel is you’re young, and don’t mind loud music throughout the night because it’s also a bar/club/live music venue. This wasn’t necessarily a negative but for some it may be so I’m just putting it out there. But overall it was fun, social, cool décor and located in a lively part of the city!
With only a day and a half left before heading home and I had to admit my tank was getting close to E. Between the plane rides, bus rides, trains, walking everywhere and trying to see everything I could, I felt like my body was telling me to slow down, to the point where I couldn’t even catch the bus anymore. The other people at the bus stop seemed to be using an app that looked like Moovit to view how far away the bus was, while I was stood there without a clue and exhausted, so I listened to my body and took it easy. Since we arrived back in London later in the evening we grabbed dinner at a Senzala Creperie Bar & Café in Brixton and the food was DELICIOUS!
Still keeping with the theme of taking it easy, I spent my last day in London visiting the ever popular Harry Potter 9 ¾ Platform, took the mandatory red phone booth picture and popped in and out of London’s many bookstores. Up until this point, although I had been enjoying my time in London, I wasn’t crazy about it until I came across all these books stores and for an avid reader such as myself, I was like a kid in a candy store.
Afterwards, we went back to the hostel to relax and later in the evening had a delicious Caribbean meal at Brixton’s own Bamboula Carribean Restaurant. This was a small, intimate restaurant with low lights, soft reggae playing in the background and a very at home feel. It was a perfect, relaxing, and filling way to end a great day.
My last day in London, was also last day in Europe and it was the perfect period at the end of a beautifully written sentence. I left Europe richer for the experience and looking back I would not change a thing! As much as I hated to leave, I came home forever changed knowing that I would undoubtedly be back soon. Until next time Europe!