london, part one.

Around noon on the 21st of January, my time in Leeds as an exchange student at the University of Leeds officially came to an end.  It was a sad, sad morning that day, having to say our farewells to the friends that we met during our time on exchange.  Lots of tears were shed, and I mean lots, especially from me.  I was fine the previous day when Cynthia and I had dropped off Jac at the coach station, probably because I still had a little more time in Leeds.  Totally different story the morning after.  Linh had to leave around 10AM so her flatmates and I all helped her with her heaps of luggage.  After her cab came, we began to say our goodbyes and my goodness, I just burst into tears when I was hugging her.  Linh left and I had to go back to finish up the few things that I still needed to pack.  Once I finished packing, I said my goodbyes to Cynthia and the girls at my honourary residence (tears were flowing, of course), and I also said goodbyes to two of the most awesome flatmates in the world, Michelle and Houssine.  Safe to say, a lot of tears were shed.

The 4.5-hour drive down to London wasn’t the most exciting but it was nice not to have to worry about much since my parents had flew in to help me pack and to spend some time in London with me.  How nice of them, eh?  We made it to the Glenlyn in the early evening without much trouble and we had dinner at some place called MediGrill, which was mediocre at best but alright considering we were tired and hungry.

With Houssine and Michelle in front of the entrance to our block.  Block D, flat 2 holla!

Nice blue sky whilst driving down to London

My first full day in London started off with a traditional British breakfast at the hotel, complete with beans, tomatoes, sausages, and bacon.  We took the tube to Victoria station and walked to Buckingham Palace, which was super busy.  We didn’t actually plan on seeing the changing of the guard so it was a nice surprise for our timing to work out like that.  But I’m not going to lie, the whole changing of the guard thing is a little overrated but I guess it’s just one of those things that you’ve got to do as a tourist in London.  

We took a leisurely walk through St. James Park and then, we saw Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.  We also saw the London Eye and some of the nearby London scenery.  Next, we continued our sightseeing in Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.  My mom and I popped inside the National Gallery for a bit and I can now say that I have seen Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, albeit a copy.  We walked to Leicester Square and had lunch at Four Seasons in Chinatown.  My goodness, the food was expensive and for such small portions!  You’d get a lot more for those prices in Vancouver but it hit the spot and it was nice to put an end to the drought.

Piccadilly Circus

Trafalgar Square

After our late lunch, we took the tube to Knightsbridge and went to the heaven that is Harrods.  Where do I begin…  I practically died in there and I’m not just talking about the collection of accessories, handbags, and clothing.  It was actually really busy, probably because it was the last day of sales, and a little on the overwhelming side because there was so much in-store.  It is HUGE inside!  H-U-G-E.  My goodness.    I was a little let-down by the remainder of the sale stuff but I lucked out when I got to the shoe department.  When I was looking through the racks, I didn’t really find anything so I moved onto the tables and out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the right shoe of a gorgeous pair of electric blue Balenciaga pumps.  Lucky for me, they were in my size so I tried the shoe on and debated for the longest time on whether I should get them or not.  But let’s be real, when you find Balenciaga’s on sale for 50% off, you buy them.  Plus, making that purchase totally made me forget about not getting the Céline nano luggage bag that I wanted to get but unfortunately, they only had it in navy blue, which I wasn’t a fan of.  After staying in Harrods till closing time, we all went back to Chinatown for dinner and we ate at Dumplings’ Legend.  I was really disappointed that they made their xiao long bao with eggs because I was looking forward to having some.  Oh well…

See you next time!