London

After the New York portion of the trip ended, we flew to London. I had never been overseas and was super excited about London, Brussels and Amsterdam. We arrived extremely early in the morning, around 6:30 am. However, I was determined not to sleep my day away, and went out sightseeing. My first stop was Westminster, which is home to many iconic London attractions such as Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. I was able to walk around and see all of them, but the most beautiful sight was on the London Eye overseeing the entire city.

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(An overview of London, more specifically the Westminster sector, from the London Eye)

I just happened to get to the eye when it was starting to get dark, and so I was able to see Parliament and Big Ben lit up; it was gorgeous. It was a magnificent day trip, and I am pleased that I pushed myself to stay up and do it. We flew out on a Friday and got there early Saturday morning, and that entire period of time felt like one day to me because I barely got any sleep because of the time change – London is 5 hours ahead of us.

Later in the trip, the whole group went to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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(View of St. Paul’s Cathedral – That small red thing near the bottom right is a phone booth, it might give some perspective as to how large the cathedral really is.)

I could not be happier that this was an included part of the trip. It was astonishingly beautiful. Unfortunately, photography was prohibited while inside, but I think that it will stay with me forever, it was THAT beautiful. After walking around for a while, it is massive by the way so it took a while to see it all, we took a trip to the top of the cathedral. The cathedral is very, very old, and therefore the only way up is to take the stairs. There were three levels you could climb to, one was inside the cathedral still, near the roof, then you could keep going. I’d say it was about halfway up, there was a viewing area where you could stop and look at the view. Then you could go even further, to the very top of the cathedral and get a view of the whole city. It was a very beautiful view and I highly recommend it. However, go when you are well rested and full of energy, because the trip to the top of the cathedral is a whopping 528 steps. It takes a while to get there, and a lot of willpower to keep going so be ready for that! The London leg of my trip was unbelievable and I loved the city, even though during the one week I went they had the worst tube strike that they have had in the last 20 years; it caused us to do more walking but that’s okay because the city is wonderful.

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