My England Adventure

6:40 AM


Guess what? I just took a trip of a lifetime.

For nine days, I was in England. I spent three days in the bustling city of London and the rest in the beautiful vivid green English countryside. It was, to sum it up in a word, incredible.

I was travelling with nine other people, for a total group of ten. Plus our guide and driver. So I must say that it was a little crazy at times, particularly in the airport and on the plane and rushing about from place to place. Nevertheless, it was definitely an amazing experience.

I wasn't always a big traveler. I used to hate it, in fact. My favorite day of vacation used to be the day I got to return home. How have I changed! I have travelled outside of the United States twice (Germany and England) so far in my life of 17 years and hope to do so much more in the future as well. I just love to see the way other people live in other countries--their language, food, culture, cities. It's fascinating. It's also really exciting, and a little weird, to be the foreigner for a couple weeks.

In my rather short trip of nine days I think I fit in as much as was physically possible to do and see. I saw the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, the Cotswolds (aka the countryside), and Windsor Castle, just to name a few.

To share my experience, this blog post is basically going to be an overload of pictures I took while on my trip. All of these pictures were taken by me. Feel free to skip around. I divided them up into four sections: London, the Cotswolds, Food, and Fun Purchases. Enjoy this little taste of England and I hope you get to have your own international adventure someday (if you haven't already)!

London

London is the city of all cities--with a population of 8.3 million. So transportation was absolutely crazy! I was so glad we had a driver to navigate us through the bustle of London!


I just had to take the traditional picture out the window of the airplane. So here it is. I must say, it turned out pretty cool.


My first time seeing the London Eye


London Bridge, taken on the Thames River Cruise


Another picture from the Thames River Cruise. This is the bridge that the dementors destroyed in Harry Potter. It's referred to as the Wibbly Wobbly Bridge by Londoners. It's "proper" name is Millennium Bridge.


Another picture of the London Eye and the Thames River (pronounced 'Tems River' just to be confusing)


London traffic is the worst! But here's a cool picture of a double-decker bus and a London taxi (the black car) driving on the left side of the road (weird--again, so glad we had a driver). Since I'd watched BBC Sherlock before going on this trip, I was overly excited when I saw one of those taxis for the first time.


The Royal Guard in front of Buckingham Palace


This is not just a train station. This is King's Cross Station.


Harrods--an amazing, very fancy tearoom and store


Afternoon tea at Harrods (basically cake for dinner). The bottom tier held the finger sandwiches. The middle tier held jam, lemon curd (my favorite), and cottled cream to go with the scones. The top tier held cute little desserts. Everything was so delicious! You can't go wrong with three courses of dessert for dinner.


My dessert after my dinner of dessert


The Tube!! I got to ride it twice.


The London Eye is seriously such a picturesque tourist attraction. It's impossible to go to London and not leave without at least a dozen photos of it.


London just before sunset

The Cotswolds

This was my favorite part of the trip. The countryside was so much more relaxing than London was. It was so fun to walk around the quaint English villages and get away from the craziness of the city and, for the most part, off the beaten track, which I try to do when going on a trip.


This was my favorite hotel (out of three) that I stayed at while in England. It's called the Old Bell Hotel and it's located in Malmesbury, one of the villages in the Cotswolds. It's the oldest hotel in England and was absolutely charming!


This is a cute window seat in my room.


Stonehenge--so mysterious.


The Roman Baths were fascinating. It's crazy to think that they were built by the Romans thousands of years ago.

This is the fountain from which I drank 10,000-year-old water from the Roman Baths (that's how long it takes to come up to the surface of the Earth). It contained 43 different minerals, which, to put it bluntly, made it taste pretty bad.


Gorgeous side garden I discovered during my meanderings


The flowers in the Cotswolds seemed extra bright and cheery. I mean, look at that purple!


Another traditional picture everyone who travels to England must take--in a telephone booth.


The rain-kissed village of Castle Combe


Beautiful shot of the village of Bibury


Here's a fun fact--in order to be considered a village, there must be 1.) a church and 2.) a pub!


More pretty flowers, I love the ones on the left


More flowers (I'm kind of obsessed)


By the creek


This isn't a random room. This is the infirmary from Harry Potter, located at Oxford. I was going to see the Great Hall as well, but apparently part of the roof fell in and it was temporarily closed. Bummer.


I can't get enough of England's flowers.


The Queen's swans in Windsor. See that one in the back? I think he's photobombing.

Food

Before leaving on this trip, I heard a lot of rumors that English food tastes awful. A friend actually described it as "tasting like dirt". I was expecting days of fish and chips (not my favorite), mushy peas, and kidney pie. I was pleasantly surprised. The food there was actually very good. Maybe I just got lucky?
I really wish I had taken a picture of all my meals. I could have made a sort of food diary. Oh well. Here are the few I did happen to take pictures of.


The breakfasts in England were definitely a highlight. All the hotels I stayed at served amazing breakfasts. This was one of my favorites--smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. And of course, every breakfast came with tea. England loves its tea.


Here's a yummy Croque-Monsieur (yes, I know it's a French sandwich...).


Nutella ice cream!! Europe knows how to eat Nutella, let me tell you.


One of my favorite restaurants--Bel and the Dragon. This is crab linguini.


This was the best lemon tart I've ever tasted--also at Bel and the Dragon.

Fun Purchases

Before going on this trip, my grandparents gave me £20 to spend while in England. I had no idea what to buy, to be honest. It wasn't until the second to last day, when I was feeling the pressure, when I at last found the perfect items to bring home.




When I saw this display in Superdrug, I literally squealed. If you read my favorites post, you'll know I love Zoella's YouTube channel and blog. Her products are not sold in the US or on Amazon, so I was extra excited when I found them. I was so excited, I had my picture made in the middle of an ordinary drugstore next to the display. (Totally worth it.)


Zoella's bath soak/shower cream on the left and body lotion on the right. They smell heavenly--like flowers. I didn't even know what they would smell like when I bought them. I just snatched them up as soon as I laid my eyes on them--which was actually while I was standing in line to buy my mango Snapple. I can't believe I almost missed them!


This was the most adorable keychain ever! I bought it in the cutest shop named Quirky in a village called Bourton-on-the-Water. It's now with my car keys and I love it! I smile every time I have to go somewhere in my car.


I also bought this scarf at Quirky. So pretty.



Okay, the last thing I bought (well, my parents actually bought this one for me) was a 'tea for one' set from Cath Kidston. I thought it was so beautiful and, after seeing it in the store, soon fell in love with it. It's a little teapot that fits inside a teacup (see first picture). It'll be perfect for when I'm doing homework. I can have my own, personal, solo tea party.

Well, that's all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this little retelling of my trip. It was truly so much fun. Thanks for reading! 

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