London Adventures and back to Stockholm!

Posted on April 13th, 2013 by

Well another spring break has come and gone. I spent the first four days of my break in London with Erik. We have both always wanted to go to London and this was the perfect opportunity since we are already in Sweden. Travel within Europe is pretty easy and fairly cheap. We jumped on the chance to go and had a wonderful time. Our first task was to get from Stockholm to Arlanda and then make our way through the airport. Since we are in Sweden, getting to the airport was quite simple. We took the pendeltåg (commuter train) right to the airport, made it through security and such without a problem and we even had time to have a little fika before our flight.

It only took a little over two hours until we were in London and I think we spent those two hours freaking out over the fact that we were going to be in ANOTHER country! Neither Erik nor I had been oversees before coming to Sweden so going to England was really exciting. Again, we successfully made it from the Gatwick airport into the city and to our hostel. Just on our walk from the train station to the hostel we passed Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye, basically all of classic London. We also loved the fact that there was green grass there! We spent the rest of our day relaxing and then that evening we went to see Phantom of the Opera which was so good! On our way back from the theater we got to see London at night which was really beautiful as well.

Parliament and the London Eye at night

Parliament and the London Eye at night

On Saturday we noticed on our map (which was our best friend on the trip) that there was a free walking tour so we took advantage of that. The other people on the tour were almost all Americans or Canadians so it was cool to get to talk to them a bit and see why they were in London.  On our tour we went to Buckingham palace, Admiralty Arch, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Westminster Abbey, Parliament and Big Ben. We learned a lot of history of London on this tour which was really interesting such as Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the tower, not the actual tower itself! Maybe a lot of people know that already but it was news to me! After the tour Erik and I went to the National Gallery where we saw famous paintings by Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Renoir and many others. After that we decided to head over to the British museum only to find out it was closing five minutes after we got there. So we left and made our way over to St. Paul’s cathedral, the Millenium Bridge, London Bridge and the Tower Bridge.

View from the top of the London Eye

View from the top of the London Eye

Sunday we got an even earlier start and made our way over to the Tower Bridge and Tower of London again to see it in the daylight and take more pictures. We went by the London Eye and decided to go on it (this was the only thing we actually paid to do). The view from the top was really amazing and we couldn’t have asked for clearer skies. However, literally within ten minutes it was back to cloudy skies. After that we walked through the financial district and then went to the Museum of London, looked around for a while and after that went back to the British museum. Since it was Easter and prime tourist time, the museum was packed full of people. Erik and I were also quite tired after walking everywhere and we ended up just snapping a few pictures and left. We then made our way up to Kings Cross Station pretty much because we are big Harry Potter fans! They actually had a sign that said “Platform 9 ¾” and a Harry Potter store. After we had our fun there, we went back to our hostel and relaxed after three days of walking everywhere.

 

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Overall London was great but very tiring! We had a bit of culture shock since we are so used to Swedish culture. For example, we had a cup of coffee in London and it was basically brown water. Nothing close to the extremely strong Swedish coffee. We also had trouble with the traffic and crossing the streets in London because everything is backwards! We knew this before we got there but it is habit to look the opposite way despite the sidewalks saying “look left” and “look right”. Even though we were only gone for three days we found ourselves missing Stockholm, Swedes and hearing Swedish everywhere. Much to our surprise it is a lot easier understanding a Swede speaking English than a Brit speaking English. So we were ready to return to the country that has been our home for the past three months.

 

Street in Stockholm

Street in Stockholm

I spent the remainder of spring break at my friend Nichole’s house who lives in Täby, a suburb of Stockholm. It was so great being able to spend time with my best friend again. We went to Skansen which is a zoo and open- air museum, did some shopping and went to Junibacken which is a museum focused on Swedish children’s stories including Pippi Longstocking. The museum is filled with replicas of houses from children’s books and places for kids to climb on and such. The best part of the museum was the train ride which takes you into different stories and there are little buildings and props throughout the ride. The train ends at “Villa Villekulla” which features Pippi’s house that you can go into and look around. Even though we were the oldest kids there, it was a lot of fun. But my favorite thing this week was going to many different cafes and just being able to sit and talk to my friend face to face instead of skype, texting or facebook. I think it is safe to say that this has been the best spring break I have ever had!

 


One Comment

  1. Christa Andersen says:

    I enjoyed hearing about your spring break adventure. Cami went the opposite direction:-)
    Enjoy the next 5 weeks. They will go fast.