Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Month: February, 2016

Portobello Road

IMG_3030 IMG_3035 IMG_3042 IMG_3047 IMG_3054 IMG_3105 IMG_3112 IMG_3117 IMG_3123 IMG_3125 IMG_3144 IMG_3147

Earlier this month, I had a few hours to spare between Monday morning meetings in Shoreditch and class at LSE. I was in London and with my camera, and it was an unseasonably warm day – naturally, I wanted to be out and about and not simply reading in a cafe somewhere. Not today.

I had seen beautiful pictures of the Notting Hill area of London and heard equally beautiful things, but had never been myself. Twenty minutes on the tube later, that changed. Though I am admittedly still learning to use my camera (ie not yet very good, especially in challenging lighting situations like cloudy London), I had fun wandering aimlessly, no destination. This street was the perfect place to do exactly that. This is definitely my new favorite part of the city. 

Victoria & Albert

IMG_1936 IMG_1937 IMG_1933 IMG_1952 IMG_1965 IMG_1969 IMG_1972

One more collection of photos from my sister’s visit in early December – our excursion to the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. I had heard wonderful things about the museum before, but hadn’t yet had the opportunity to visit, so this was my first time there too. I loved it.

London has so many unique museums and galleries to explore. Of all that I have visited, this is by far my favorite. It’s quirky. It’s stylish. It’s modern and historic at the same time. An amalgamation of all the brightest, best things a museum can offer. The courtyard was beautiful, romantic. The design was breathtaking. There were jewels, dresses, Sistine Chapel drafts, ancient sculptures two stories high. I feel like I could lose myself there for a weekend, months, years.

I had so much fun exploring with my sister and her boyfriend, and I cannot wait to come back, wander, and allow myself to get lost all over again. Again and again. I’m so lucky to have classes nearby.  

 

Bath

IMG_1875 IMG_1880 IMG_1889IMG_1879IMG_1874 IMG_1913

By the time we reached the final destination of our tour, Bath, the sun had already set, and we only had one hour to spend in the city before the bus returned to London. Admittedly, I was not happy (ie, furious) about this – I thought the entire point of the trip was to spend the day in Bath, and at the end of it all, we wouldn’t even have time to sit in a local cafe or wander the Christmas markets. 

Regardless, Bath was *stunning,* really there is no other word for it. The lights, the architecture, the charm. It was incredible, hence my sadness at not being able to spend more time here. We used our one hour to quickly walk through the iconic Roman Baths, for which the city is most known, and to quickly grab mulled wines to warm us while briskly walking back to the bus through the Christmas market.

This small taste of the city was such a tease. I can’t wait to return. 

Lacock

IMG_1869IMG_1860 IMG_1861 IMG_1862 IMG_1866

A quaint, classic English village. Stop 3 on our bus tour aka our lunch break. I admit, I had never heard of the village of Lacock before this trip. HOWEVER, apparently, a lot of filming for the Harry Potter movies took place here. Again, with the bus tour, we really didn’t have any time at all to do much here beyond eat at the local pub, walk down one street, and take a few pictures. We were searching for Godric’s Hollow – the most recognizable Harry Potter location within walking distance for us – though sadly our maps app wouldn’t update quickly enough (poor service), and by the time we knew where to go, we had to get back on the bus.

At least we were able to enjoy a traditional English pub lunch. The was the last place we visited before our final destination – next stop, Bath.

Stonehenge

IMG_1847IMG_1854IMG_1826 IMG_1839

There’s not too much more to say about this one beyond what you can see in the photographs. Stop 2 on our bus tour was none other than the famous world heritage site, Stonehenge. To be totally honest, it’s a very anticlimactic thing to see – not that we expected anything different, but just to be clear. You arrive, you take a bus, you walk across a giant field, there are sheep, you look at the structure. I believe my sister said it best: “Why did we pay money to look at a pile of rocks?

It’s true; at the end of the day, Stonehenge is really just a pile of rocks. Yet, in the scheme of things, it was very cool to see something so iconic in person. Our verdict: don’t go out of your way for this one, but it’s definitely worth a quick stopover if you are in the area, especially if you are en-route to Bath. 

Windsor

IMG_1786 IMG_1787 IMG_1794 IMG_1796 IMG_1821 IMG_1824

Another excursion with my sister and her boyfriend from December. Since they would only be here for one week, we decided the best way to see the most of England in a short period of time would be to take a day-long bus tour out of London to Bath, with stops at Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. To be clear: I personally HATED the tour – we were rushed from place to place with barely enough time to experience any of the places or do anything significant there. That being said, I am also spoiled enough to live here and have the luxury of spending as much time as I want in Bath, Windsor, etc, on any given day. So for my sister and her boyfriend who only had limited time (and still wanted to see more of London), I concede that this was a good idea for them.

That being said, here are a few of the shots I was able to get during the one hour we spent in the city of Windsor, briefly walking around the castle grounds. The town itself was so charming, and I do hope to go back to explore more soon. I feel like we barely glazed all that it has to offer.

One very cool fact: The Queen of England was staying at the palace during our visit, as indicated by our tour guide and by a certain flag flying from the tower. Apparently, Windsor is her favorite of her many castle’s, and she spends many a weekend on its premises. Yes, I was THAT close to the Queen. 

More pictures of other tour stops to follow in other posts. Stay tuned!

 

%d bloggers like this: