Last week, Sebastian and I were in London.
Due to an unfortunate banking situation involving my account information being stolen and thousands of Euros being withdrawn in South Africa, I was left with almost no money to enjoy the summer holidays with. Yes, the bank says that I will get the money back; but no, this happened over a month ago and I still haven’t been reimbursed. Anyways, because of the lack of funding, I had next to no money to work with. Not letting financial burden get in the way, Sebastian and I booked a flight using “blind booking” from German Wings airline. Basically, we agreed to pay 20 Euros for a flight, chose a category of travel destinations, and were assigned a holiday destination- London.
I was initially disappointed about the city which was selected because I was just in London last December to visit a friend.
But knowing that this was Sebastian’s first time, I quickly became excited to see the city again with him.
Now, London isn’t the most affordable city to vacation in, especially when you are honestly and truly broke, but with a little help from a friend, we were able to save money by renting the most adorable apartment from another traveling teacher.
We also saved money by being very picky about where to spend admission costs. One of the places we couldn’t leave without seeing was the London Tower.
The entrance cost entitled us to a guided tour.
We also saw the Crown Jewels, but no photos were allowed inside. The line was long when we joined it, but by later in the afternoon, it was at least 3 times longer. Here is a photo of the snaking line. I can’t even tell where the end is.
Each year, the Beefeaters come to my school to talk to the kids about the Tower of London. You may not know, but the school I work for used to be the British Embassy Preparatory School. I find it really interesting that each Beefeater lives with his family in the Tower of London behind the blue doors.
Although Sebastian and I chose to skip out on the dungeon and torture museum, we did get a glimpse of what life was like as a prisoner at the Tower of London. For some, it was almost luxury.
Unsurprisingly, the best views of Tower Bridge were had from the Tower of London.
Our fun didn’t stop there. If you ever visit London and want to spend as little money as possible, I would recommend buying the weekly public transport ticket. A single ride will cost you £4 where as a 7 day ticket will cost £25.
By using the public busses, you can see the entire city at no extra cost as opposed to buying a tour bus ticket which will take you to the same places. See, tour bus looking one direction, public bus looking the other.
You must be sure to see Westminster Abbey. I believe that churches belong to the people who worship there. By the open nature of churches, that would mean that all people have a right to worship in any church and therefore the church should be open to all people. I have always had a problem paying to see a church or other place of worship. I am happy to give a free-will offering to help with upkeep and maintenance, but don’t believe it is right to charge admission like one would for a circus. Because of this, we chose not to pay the £15 to see the inside of the church.
Just for clarity, £15 = $ 26
Also, I don’t believe that visiting a church should be a luxury only available to the rich. God sent his son for the equal salvation of of us, not jut those with deep pockets. Ok, I’m done now. Moving on.
Oh, we saw this dreamy-looking sweet shoppe from the bus!
And I got to hand out with this handsome guy.
Our self-guided walking tour took us all over the main sights of London, but my favorite place was St. James Park. Not only because of the beautiful nature in the middle of such a big and bustling city, I liked it because of the squirrels mostly.
Salad greens anyone?
Ready for my favorite photo from the entire week?
Although London is lovely during the day, it is captivating by night.
Looking back, I only regret not taking more pictures. So much of what we did went unphotographed; like when we had to bargain for our Indian dinner on Brick Lane, visited Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, went the the Tate museum of modern art, and simply walked aimlessly enjoying being together and goofing around. At least I have those memories firmly in my mind.
And to the rest of you out there- if you can, visit London!