TRAVEL: London Calling

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Sometimes I forget how taxing it can be to live in a foreign city where the main language isn’t English.  Almost everyone we encounter in our city understands and can speak English, but Brussels is officially bi-lingual which means everything in Brussels must be posted in Flemish and French.  You can imagine that having two mandatory languages doesn’t leave much room for something optional like English.  I get it, and I don’t judge the city for it.  It is what it is and we’re getting used to it.  All the same, there is something refreshing about being in a city that speaks your language.

We had just 48 hours in London.  Most of our time in London was spent exploring the city, reveling in the glorious weather, and wishing our flip flops and shorts had made it into our hastily packed bags.  It was an easy going weekend and that suited us just fine.  We spent our nights grabbing dinner and drinks with friends.  Our days were spent visiting some historic landmarks (Tower of London, Westminster Abbey) and strolling through the gardens.

It could be the charming pubs where we spent a good portion of our time enjoying pint (after pint).  It could be the sprawling green parks we took long strolls through with sleeves rolled up basking in the unusually warm weather.  Or, it could be the friends – some new, some going way back – we were able to connect with while in town sharing drinks, dinner, and brunch.  But 48 hours was all it took for us to decide that we quite like this city—48 hours to decide that this will be the first of many weekends to come.

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Outside the Tower of London
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Entry to the Tower of London
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Unfortunately, window-shopping only. In my next life, I’m coming back as English Royalty.
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Apparently the Kings and Queens of England kept wild animals as pets and let them wander the Tower grounds. Baboons must have LOVED the English weather.

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The is the famous Tower of London.

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One of the areas of the Tower grounds where prisoners would be held… and tortured.
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Our Yeoman (also called Beefeaters) guide.

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The spot where the famous Henri VIII divorces and “divorces” occurred.

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This seems practical.

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The famous “Eye of London” ferris wheel.

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Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
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One awesome looking pub, The Churchill Arms.
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Kensington Palace where Prince William and Princess Kate live.
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More Kensington Palace grounds.

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The infamous Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park. Did you know we have our own replica in Brussels? It’s true!
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Ridiculously huge and awesome monument to Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

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