Monday, January 28, 2013

The Big London Post

I apologise for being so tardy in my reports of the honeymoon trip! Things went back into full swing as soon as we returned, and now that I'm back into my every day rhythm, I can finally take the time to give this post what it needs. I've spent the past 3 weeks showing every single one of my classes a slide show of my pictures, so it's hard for me not to rattle off the exact speech I gave 19 times.

We were in London for 6 days, and took a day trip to Paris. Every day was packed full and very busy, and every night I fell asleep around 8 because of it. Maybe a more leisurely honeymoon would have been nice, but I'm glad we made our time count there and saw all that we did.

London was how I expected it to be. I fell in love with the architecture of old Europe along with all the history it contains. The city was easy to navigate by the tube and walking around, and merely wandering around we found endless interesting places: shopping, markets, beautiful buildings. The parks give the city a lovely green space to stop and catch your breath. The pubs serve up their famous food and ales.

Even though the weather was dreary it wasn't freezing, and I appreciated that, since I tend to overheat walking around in a thick coat.

Although Highclere Castle (the famed Downton Abbey estate) was closed to visitors, we traveled to other places around London, like Greenwich, Windsor, and Bath. One of my favorite things was afternoon tea time. I wish we could instate that here. Tea with a scone and some sandwiches is the perfect way to break and re-energize yourself. I had a nice Regency era-themed tea time at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, complete with a portrait of the dreamy Colin Firth as Mister Darcy looking on.

The Roman Baths were interesting to see, and all my students were interested in the picture because of onsens (hot spring baths) being popular here in Japan. They all asked if you could use the baths. Would you want to use a bath that was such a green color?!

Windsor Castle is one of the Queen's many homes, and if you ever get a chance to go, please do! I couldn't take pictures inside the castle, but it is grand and full of the many treasures the royal family has accumulated over the centuries.

We couldn't get tickets to the Harry Potter Studio tour (which my husband was probably relieved to not be doing on our honeymoon), but I still had the chance to visit Platform 9 3/4 in King's Cross Station.

Another place I'd recommend is the Tower of London, famed for the Royal Jewels but is chock full of interesting history otherwise. One of the biggest lines was to see replicas of torture devices used on prisoners, like the rack.

Abbey Road was another place on my to-do list, although it being a busy road with no signal, I had no interest in trying to recreate the famed Beatles cover. Enough people were trying anyway.

Our trip to Paris was via the Eurostar, and it was a nice treat that reminded me of riding the shinkansen bullet trains here. My expectations for the romantic city was probably a bit too high, because it ended up being packed with tourists. We spent the day walking and snapping pictures of the famous sights, since most had lines too long to enter. 

Stores were also closed because of what I'm guessing was the upcoming New Year holiday, so it was a bit disappointing to only window shop.

I'd love to go again and see more of the England countryside, including the Lake District in the north. In case you missed it in my last post, here's the album of the trip.

Another 3-day weekend is coming up in two weeks, and we're already looking to get back on track with our "visit every prefecture" goal by taking a trip to Aichi prefecture to see Nagoya. The Toyota museum is there along with a neat train museum I'm looking forward to seeing. Until then!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had an amazing trip! Have fun in Aichi, too!


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