I’d had about as much romance as I could handle, so it was finally time to say goodbye to France and move onto the next destination. I hopped on the high-speed train from Paris to London, under the English Channel.
It was a really cool experience, and apparently super efficient, which made me question why we don’t have these high-speed trains in the United States. Commuting around California would be so much easier!
My time in London was going to be primarily spent writing and researching, but I did manage to get out and see a few things. The first night I spent with my cousin, then joined my friend in Waterloo for the week. It was go time!
Naturally, I checked out the London Eye and Big Ben because they were so close by!
Here’s a segment of the World War II memorial. I couldn’t possibly capture it all.
And Big Ben!
This is a Marriot hotel now, but for 64 years, this building was the London County Hall!Mary Jane Seacole was a Jamaican businesswoman known for setting up the “British Hotel,” a pseudo-hospital for sick and convalescent soldiers during the Crimean War. In 2004, she was voted the greatest black Briton.
I ran into a friend in a tiny bar (small world right?) and she invited us to join her and her friends for their Fourth of July festivities, on the lawn by Tower Bridge. We may have been on the other side of the pond, but we held it down for ‘Murca. Shotgun!
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment… naturally.
One of my favorite little gems in London is The Graffiti Cave and The Vaults Theatre, by Waterloo Station. If you’re into street art, this is the place to check out! The entrance is relatively unassuming, reeking of danger and “Do Not Enter,” but we all know that’s where the best stuff is normally hiding…
It’s an entire tunnel covered in graffiti, top to bottom. It’s unbelievable! So colorful!
This is a shot of the ceiling! Anybody know the artist?
… if so, let’s get on a conference call! (That was a joke about the four phone booths.)
It turns out, a friend of mine from my days in Australia lived just outside London in Rochester, so I took a day to go see her and explore Rochester. It’s a really cool city! And look, another awesome castle!
The Rochester Castle was built in 1087 to protect England’s south–east coast from invasion.
And this beautiful church!
Charles Dickens lived in Rochester, and is said to haunt the moat on Christmas Eve.
As a first-time American traveler in Europe, I was enamored at the age (old) and resilience of the buildings and castles. There’s so much history in Europe, it’s like America is brand new!
I took the train back to London late on Thursday night, because we had to be up and out early on Friday. The sole reason for my trip, the research, the history, was the next destination on my trip… Northern Ireland.
Did you see the other photo sets? Photo Set: Love in the South of France, Photo Set: Saint-Malo, The Walled City, Photo Set: Mont Saint-Michel, Photo Set: Normandy and Cancale, and Photo Set: Dinan and Paris