Back to London

 
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(This is Part One of a three-part series, click on the names to check out Part Two: London Bookstores Review and Part Three: New London Book Haul)

I recently returned from another business trip to London and got to stay there for a few extra days to explore the city some more—there’s so much to do and to see in London Town! And honestly, the more time I spend there, the more I fall in love with it! This post is my first stand-alone venture into travel blogging, so I really hope you enjoy it!

To give you a brief summary of what I did during my first weekend in London—I walked. I walked a lot. Just a little over 40 miles in the first three days according to my phone, to be exact. And I have to say that the weather in London was really kind to me—clear skies every day, super warm and sunny!

 
St. Christopher's Place (London)
 

This time I purposefully tried to stay away from all the usual tourist attractions. I wanted to experience the city in a more meaningful down-to-earth way—to behold its beauty in things big and small, to find my way into those parts of town that may not be well-known or well-advertised but that would give me a glimpse into the daily lives of Londoners of all walks of life. So I spent three days loitering in various neighborhoods and peeping into windows. Just kidding! I just walked as far as my feet would take me and tried to take in as much of everything around as I could.

It would be hard to tell you where exactly I was most of the time but I also made sure to visit a few famous places and districts that I missed out on during my first London trip. Wanna guess which ones?

The first part of town has the most colorful buildings in all of London and a vibrant street food scene. The second one welcomes you with the words ‘COME IN LOVE’ hanging over the road and is probably the only place in London where you can hear the sounds of a steel pan on a regular day. And for the third place you could use three friends to take a picture together and get your point across (this is a major hint right here!). Well, if you ain’t guessed it by now, it won’t make much sense to put off the big reveal any longer!

I spent some time hanging around Notting Hill and Brixton, and I absolutely loved the vibes of both of these places in their own unique way. This is a very different side of London if all you’ve ever heard about before were landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. But these are precisely the places that made me fall in love with the city and realize that it’s a much more diverse and beautiful place than I initially thought.

 
Notting Hill (London)
 
 
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And as for the third location, I finally had my Abbey Road crossing moment—right where John, Paul, George and Ringo walked across the now-famous zebra crossing just outside the Abbey Road Studios almost exactly 50 years ago. The place doesn’t look quite the same really as it did back in 1969, but it still feels as epic as it gets. I’ve been a huge fan of the Fab Four since I was nine, so it truly means a lot!

 
The Beatles Abbey Road Crossing (London)
 

Another interesting thing that I got to witness during my stay was a black cab protest. It had to do with the city’s plans to make certain routes open to only buses and bikes. I’m not going to comment on something I don’t know much about, but what I can say is that the protest itself looked impressive. Just getting around the city you can tell that there are a lot of black cabs on the roads of London. But so many of them in one place is a crazy sight to behold—three lanes packed full and stretching for a few blocks leading up to Parliament Square.

And one last thing in this blog post, I promise! M&M’s World London and a huge LEGO store at Leicester Square gave me so much joy!

It would take a few more dedicated travel blog posts to elaborate on all the feels these places made me feel, so I’ll have to put it aside for now. What I will tell you about though is that no matter where I went I invariably came across all these amazing bookstores—at times tiny little ones selling dog-eared second-hand books, and other times those labyrinthine giants spanning several floors.

Click on the name to read Part Two: London Bookstores Review to find out what bookstores I went to and what I think about them!