for our final hoorah here in europe, cade and i decided that we needed to see london before we journeyed on home to utah. let me tell you- i am sooo glad we did. i loved it! i know i say that about all the places we go but mostly i just do that so i don't sound ungrateful. but london, oh london! i am already plotting out how cade and i will live there someday. (disclaimer: this extreme love of london may, in part, be a result of a serious lack of english throughout the past 4 months. we loved asking for directions, ordering food and reading advertisements.)
we put off going to london for so long mostly because it is SUPER pricey to get there from belgium. we were looking up train tickets and then calculating how little money we could survive on once we purchased them. they were like 400 bucks each for a 2 hour train ride! luckily, our good friend william found an overnight bus route for us at a much better price. plus, you can't beat a good night's sleep on a ferry with a scarf over your eyes, your coat on because it is freezing and your bags strapped to your legs so nobody can steal them from you.
overnight bus? ok!
we shuffled onto the bus at about 11:00 at night, got off the bus to get on the ferry, and got on the final bus which rolled into london around 6 am. i'll be the first to tell you that there isn't much to do at 6 am in london except gape at all the extreme ravers who have stumbled out of the clubs and onto the streets. we managed to find a local mcdonalds and planned out the details of our trip.
after we dropped our luggage off where we were staying (a friend of a friend let us stay with them in the city. thanks hanna and dan!) we set off to see the sights.
note: if at any time you are tempted to judge me, please keep in mind i am on 2 day hair, 2 day makeup and i had slept like 3 hours total on the bus ride. this may explain our glazed looks and my hermoine hair.
first, big ben and the parliament building
the london eye
double decker buses
the day was packed with adventures, but we had to hurry on to my very favorite part of the trip. to mark 7 months of marriage (we look for any excuse to justify our splurges) cade got 2 great tickets to see wicked on london's west end.
the show honestly brought me to tears- but the 11 year old girl sitting behind us was crying too, so i don't feel that dumb. i loved it sooo much. cade ended up liking it too and we had a great time at the show.
after wicked, we headed off to see all the christmas bustle at harrods. it was packed with people and pricey products. for those of you who may be hoping i got your christmas present here, hope is all you've got. they had a great christmas floor that we wandered through and for the first time this year, i really had that christmassy feeling.
we spent the rest of the night wandering through hyde park where there was a giant christmas market and carnival going on. i love this time of year!
the next morning we headed off to the hyde park chapel for church. we had heard so much about this historical church building and it was really interesting to see it. the members were very kind and although we only stayed for sacrament meeting, we loved seeing this church landmark.
the sightseeing continued full force on sunday...
the changing of the guard at buckingham palace
trafalgar square (where we really struggled to get a nice photo)
the tower of london, which was a very cool history lesson
and many other fun things in london.
this was us all smiles before getting back on the overnight bus for a long journey back to brussels. don't worry, those smiles quickly faded when the guy in front of me found out his seat was broken so it leaned back even further than the other seats do. i also forgot to thank him for draping his long hair over the seat so it would wisp across me as i tried to sleep. what's not to love about the midnight express?
we are all smiles again as we prepare to come home tomorrow morning. we are busily packing (aka i am on the internet and cade is taking a nap) but we hope to have everything squared away by tomorrow. we are excited to get home and see our families for christmas!