Thursday, August 30, 2012

London to Rome // Just the beginning

 So, at last I am able to sit down and share with you all what I have been up to for the past few days! I'll try to share with you the really good stuff so that I don't bore you to death. So much happened though! I won't be offended if you get bored and stop reading. In fact, I'll never know!


Arriving in London in the morning we had all day to explore! We didn't know where to start but somehow found our way to Hyde Park. What an amazing place. It was so green and colorful! The flowers, bikers, people picnicking, strolling and just soaking in the perfect weather made it a picture perfect day! Londoners love their parks!
All of the flowers were this beautiful!

Again, beautiful.
I love how this mom and her son are playing right next to the Peter Pan statue. They were so cute to watch. Oh to be a kid again...
Jenny, Becca and I next to the Italian fountains (precursor to the real thing)
Later that day we had dinner at The Swan, a busy and fun place to be right next to the park. I ordered the fish and chips (it was on every menu we saw!). I love fish and chips, but the one new British thing was the mashed peas (pictured below) that came with it... So strange. At first I thought it was guacamole. I was a little disappointed. But, I made myself eat them (aren't you proud, Mom?!) because I wanted to know why they are so popular. I'm still trying to figure this one out.

1st English meal.
(13 hours of sleep later...)


It was another perfect day in London. The weather was cool but still sunny. First, random thought: The people in London dress so classy. I just love to people watch and see how stylish people are. I honestly think there is no such thing as hipster in London because they are all so cool and unique in their style. Ok, thank you for being patient with me. Now back on subject... We had the intention of going to Hyde Park to meet up with the Sandeman's Free London tour. It was fantastic! If you ever go to a city with Sandeman's use them. They are great. Our tour guide, Mark, was hilarious but so knowledgeable. Here are some of the places we saw:

Classic Phone Booth Pic. I just had to.

Awesome door to an Anglican Church.

Buckingham Palace. 

Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben (did you know that Big Ben is not the name of the tower itself, but rather the name of the huge bell inside? Crazy right?)

Westminster Abbey

Mark out fantastic guide with a crazy hair cut, telling us all about Guy Forks and the event that could have changed England's history forever. 
I feel like part of the experience in traveling is meeting new people from all over. On our tour we met two nice Australians and enjoyed lunch together. Mia and Jimmy were both traveling by on their own (a new idea for the three of us) and were exploring all of Europe for 3 months. Apparently this is a really popular thing for young adults in Australia. I thought that was so cool. I loved talking to them and hearing their accent. Quite fun. Food note: I ordered the traditional Steak and Ale pie and mash. It was delicious, though not what I expected. Sorry no picture to show.

After we went on another tour with Mark (yes, he was that good, we even payed for the next tour with him). It was called the Grimm Reaper tour and took place in East London and visited a lot of the not so pretty but quite interesting places in London: Tower of London, public square where beheadings took place, sites of Jack the Ripper killings, Old London wall, and more that I am forgetting. To end the night we headed to High Holborn Street for a beer at Cittie of Yorke pub, a recommendation by a experienced London traveler. So good.

Tour of London. Pretty Creepy stuff happened in their. 
Here's one for the Queen! 

Our main goal was to see a play at the Globe theater today. We decided to get the tickets and spend the rest of the day on the south bank of the Thames river (pronounced "Tems" by some and "Tims" by others...confusing). We saw the "Taming of the Shrew" and it was incredibly hilarious! It was so cool to be right next to the stage, standing so close to all the action. I don't think my feet thought it was that cool, but they complied with my demands.

Eating a Brat at the Borough Market... Yum.
Tate Modern Art Exhibit

The "New" Globe Theater.
Such a fun night! We made "10 things I hate about you" comparisons all night.
London at night

Overall, London was a fabulous experience! The weather, the people, the sites, it was a perfect way to begin this adventure. (And my new favorite word is rubbish. Can refer to ideas, material trash, people, or things that are a bunch of bologna)
I won the award for best use of map and most obvious tourist! 
Arriving in Rome today was not so comfortable, but an adventure in its own way. In short, I arrived in a busy airport where everyone was speaking a different language, I found my way to the train and then to the metro with a purse, backpack and suitcase (I sympathize with the handicap. Every station should have a lift (aka elevator)), I felt completely out of place and alone in a new huge city by myself, I almost got run over by a car, I got lost on the street where the hotel is supposed to be and walked around asking random Italians who knew little English where this place was, and then after finally finding it I realized I really should have tried harder to learn Italian this summer, seeing as almost everyone I have met really doesn't know English. Oh and we accidentally ordered 4 pizzas for 4 people for dinner because the lady didn't know English and we knew so little Italian. Lunch tomorrow! 

Yeah, today was stressful in some ways, but I'm so glad that it all happened. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to, that I have enough street savy to find my way around a new, large, and intimidating city, and also, I was constantly comforted remembering that I have nothing to fear, because God is at my side. He must have given me an extra dose of courage today :)

In spite of it all, it was a great day for learning and I am so glad to be with some familiar BC faces!

Tomorrow is a new day!

God bless you all! Ciao!



  1. Michela, great to see you're doing so well. I know exactly how you felt in Rome... it's a common feeling when you are in a new, unknown place. But oddly, I find that uncomfortable feeling to be an amazing part of the traveler experience. Glad you're enjoying it all so far. FYI - In all my trips to London, I've never had those mashed peas. Cittie of Yorke though... now that sounds like you got good advice from someone!

    1. Thanks JJ! It is great to be completely outside of my comfort zone. You would be proud of me, I purposefully chose to take the metro because I wanted the challenge and to save money! I'm doing a good job of being the savvy traveler. Hope all is well at B&B!

  2. first, i love the picture of me and jenny at the door, and the rest of them as well. second, omg your jouurney to Rome, I'm sorry you had to do that by yourself! Glad you got there ok though

    1. To door pics are lookin good =] I especially like the one of you two. We will have to do more in Italia! Don't even worry about Rome. I oddly enough enjoyed the triumph of doing it by myself =] Can't wait to see you tonight!