Opening ceremonies for the Olympics began yesterday! I love the Summer Olympics so much and my favorite sport is gymnastics. I am such a girl, but I have always wished I was able to do the skills these girls can do. They have such strength and power and I admire it beyond words.
Anyway, the Olympics this year are in London, so what a perfect time to show you all the last bit of my dad’s and my vacation to Europe! We were there the morning the Olympic rings went up onto the bridge!
Now as I said, Paris was by far my favorite city of my adventure. But London has the history I adore to read about and dream about at night. In another life much earlier in history I believe I may have been Anne Boleyn because I am completely obsessed. Yes she was the wife of Henry VIII that was beheaded for adultery, and yes she manipulated the King into marriage… But boy was she a woman who knew what she wanted and went after it no matter what the consequences! Although she had very little glory, she did give England one of its greatest monarchs, Elizabeth I. And I fully believe Elizabeth would not have been the Queen she was if she had not had Anne for a mother.
If you love making history fun (the way it should be) and you are in London, you must visit Hampton Court Palace. I walked the same halls Henry and Anne walked and they put on a play that plays out throughout the day. So much fun! This was a dream come true and my Dad was awesome to go through the whole day with me and my obsession! Thanks Daddy 🙂
Another must see in London is the infamous Tower of London where the crown jewels are held (I felt they were a little less than extraordinary) and where many were executed. Including Anne Boleyn!!! And the Tower is still an official royal residence. If you go you must go on a Warden’s Tour and make sure you take your time. We did (except for the jewels, like I said I was less than impressed) and it was worth every minute!
We spent the most days and nights in London, so we saw a LOT of history and a little bit of present too. Westminster Abbey was beautiful. I loved how sacred and serene it was on the tour. My dad and I went to see Les Mis one evening! Let me say this: The West End of London is just like NYC’s Broadway except with a lot of English accents. Funny story: We both thought the show started at 8pm so we got to the theater at 7 in order to pick up our tickets and then grab a quick dinner before hand. Welp… the show started at 7:30!!! Good thing we got there early! And don’t worry we ate afterwards. It was not like in Germany. We wouldn’t make that mistake again. But that is all pretty history related so I bet you are asking where is the present??? It is at Warner Bros Studios where Harry Potter was filmed!!! Yes I did write that and you did read that correctly. I have walked the same floors as Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint! Proof, you want proof?
This is THE Hogwarts Castle that is used in the movies. I bet you thought that the castle was made via the computer… NOPE! It is this huge model that takes up a room the size of my house! This was a dream come true!!!
Finally the food of London… It was not my favorite. England cuisine is very fried, a “traditional English breakfast” is fried eggs, bacon, sausage, and boiled beans (to name a few of the items) and that is just not my kind of food. So I tried to find foods that were more to my liking and we really did have a lot of luck. The first night Dad wanted to be traditional and get some quick Fish n’ Chips (fried fish and french fries served on newspaper) but I wasn’t thinking that would be the best for my sensitive stomach. Lucky me, the place also had freshly made falafel! and I love falafel and have always wanted to try it from a real deal place. After that night we branched out and explored the ethnic cuisine in England, which we had heard was the real deal. I officially love Indian food. Lentils and spinach with a little spice? yes please!!! And dad got a great curry dinner our last night that he loved. I did have a Plowman’s Sandwich one night that I really liked. Dad told me it was called a Plowman’s because that was what the workers in the field would pack to eat on their days at work. These workers were smart with their food, because the sandwich was fresh and delicious without being too filling. I will leave you with a few of my favorite foods!
So if you get a chance to travel to London, or if you are there for the Olympics now (LUCKY!) Make sure to really take in some history, be a part of history, and really search for the good food that is good for you and still allows you to eat the country’s cuisine.