When I first looked at the Summer Europe study abroad itinerary, I saw the cities of Paris, Innsbruck, Dijon, Geneva, Venice, and Verona— all these fantastic places that I had read about and saw travel shows on. How exciting! Then I saw London and wondered what was I really going to do in this old city that was gray and gloomy.
All of the cities were great adventures in culture and entertainment. The end of the tour was approaching and I entered the Eurostar in Paris and excited at the Kings Cross/St. Pancras stop in London. The weather was pretty cold and the sun wasn’t out. London seemed as gloomy as I thought it would be. The only thing I wanted to do was go to the hotel and sleep until it was time to leave Europe.
We took the tube and went to Lloyds of London. From the top of Lloyd’s, the view of London piqued my interest. I pulled out my phone and “googled” London’s attractions.
221B Baker Street
221B Baker Street is the address of the fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes. I grew up watching Basil Rathbone play the well-known detective so it was only right I visit his address. The inside was lovely and the rooms reflected different periods. I purchased a few souvenirs to remember the brilliant detective.
The London Eye
I had heard tales of the London Dungeon from my psychology professor. I was able to find a discount ticket for the London Dungeon/Eye combination. I learned a great deal about London’s gory history and then I got to see a great view of the city on the eye, which lasted about 30 minutes.
Of all the stations I have been through, the London Underground was by far the easiest to navigate. Each station was so different, some modern and some aged with history. A few stations had the names of honorable war veterans; some were outdoors near old hospitals. There is so much to be seen on the Underground.
The Tower of London/Tower Bridge
Using my student ID, I received a discount for the Tower of London. I was able to see the crown jewels, armor through the centuries and climb all of what seemed like 1,000,000 steps within the tower. When I exited the Tower, there was the Tower Bridge on the River Thames.
Give every city a fair chance! A little time searching for attractions can lead to a great time to be had and great pictures to be taken. London ended up being one of my favorite cities and I truly wish I could’ve stayed a few more days.