Our only full day in London was jam-packed! It turns out it's really hard to see a city in only about 24 hours. We did our best, but there were some plans we had to abandon due to time.
We left the hostel a little after 8 and reloaded our Oyster cards at the Rotherhithe station near our hostel (about a ten minute walk) before crossing the street and getting on a double decker bus!
Getting used to cars driving on the opposite sides of the street was very difficult, and more than once I looked the wrong way and tried to cross at the wrong time!
And this is Tower Bridge (but no fun song for it!)
We grabbed sandwiches for breakfast at Pret and then headed over to the Tower of London. We decided before the trip that this was going to be the thing we spent an admission fee to see. We watched a documentary on Netflix (but it's also right here on YouTube) - Secrets of Great British Castles: Tower of London and decided that this was probably an excursion that was worth the hefty admission price. We're glad we spent the money on this! The Tower of London was begun in 1066 by none other than William the Conqueror, the first Norman King of England (every time the documentary said "The Normans", I giggled. It was my maiden name, so I kept picturing my uncles and aunts in whatever context was mentioned).
We visited the royal mint, where coins used to be made
This is the White Tower, the part William built in 1066.
Wait... people LIVE at the Tower? How?
A Beefeater. They give free tours, but we walked around by ourselves because the time of the tour didn't match our timeline.
We watched a reenactment
Just outside, Carson got his desired fish and chips.
We hopped on the tube heading toward St Paul's.
The admission price is 16 pounds, so we opted to just look at the old church instead of going inside.
This statue reminded me of my brother.
We took the Tube to Notting Hill next, where we browsed in little stores and admired the adorable houses. We (I) decided that "when we move here", we'll live here. I'm sure it's super affordable, right?
We bought a laminated map of London before we left to plot out our trip and it was SO HELPFUL!
Entrance to Kensington Palace. We had it on the list, but for time's sake didn't get to see it. I wasn't 100% sure you COULD see it either so we didn't detour to find out.
We took a bus to Oxford Circus and walked around and ended up at Piccadilly Circus. So many people and so much shopping! They were putting up Christmas decorations while we were there and I imagine this is just beautiful at night.
I took my picture in a smelly phone booth.
We visited the iconic Liberty of London store. It's bigger than I realized (four stories) and it's absolutely adorable! I kept thinking of my mom!