Day 1 London – April 13/14, 2015 – Big Ben & London Eye

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So a few months ago I convinced my husband that it would be amazing to go to Europe this spring!  It actually took some time to get him onboard since he’s in school completing his MBA right now… but I managed to convince him since it was during school break.

After a whole bunch of research we decided to go to London, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Reykjavik.  All accommodations will be through airbnb as this was much cheaper than booking with hotels, and better reviews than hostels.

For those who do not know what airbnb is, it’s a great website where people all over the world post a spare room or their whole home up for rent for strangers travelling the world!  It’s basically vacation rentals, but the site is controlled by the people of airbnb.  I’ve heard good things about it and we used it when we travelled to new orleans last year.  It was also a lot cheaper than hotels, and a great way to get to know some locals and get great recommendations on places to eat and things to see!

Our first flight would be with iceland air.  Flying out of seattle, the airfare was only $500/person going to London and coming home from stockholm, with a free layover in Reykjavik.  Including travelling down to seattle, gas, and parking fees, we’re still saving $600!  that’s another flight in itself!  If we flew out of Vancouver it would’ve been $700-$800 /person!  So we were more than ok with driving a couple of hours down to Seattle.  So off we went the day after school let out for Kent on Tuesday April 13, 2015.  First stop, London!

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As we were landing into Reykjavik for a short layover, the sun was rising…it was absolutely beautiful and my photo cannot do it justice!

Since we landed in London at noon, we had to grab our bags, go through customs and travel to Hackney/Islington, where we were staying.  I’m not comfortable posting photos of someone else’s home on here, but we stayed with Zoe at Petal House, and it was great!  Here’s her listing on airbnb.ca if you’re interested: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/1799564

The rooms are a bit small for a canadian standard, but you’re in Europe people, make it work!  The bed was a bit soft for my personal liking, but the house is very clean and breakfast provided!  We stayed over on the weekend and Zoe was kind enough to make eggs and bacon for us!  We were there during a tough moment, but we understand life happens and Zoe was still an amazing hostess, with the help of her partner Bus and their dog Buddy.

You’re close to an overground station, and we were about 30mins away from the centre of London, but London is also a really big city, so we didn’t think it was that far away.  Transit is costly though, but unless you want to rent a car and drive around this crazy city constantly looking for paid parking we opted to just pay for the transit and the oyster card makes it super easy for pay as you go travel.

By the time we settled down, took a quick nap, we were off to explore the city of London for the first night, so what better way to see the lights of London than from the London Eye! On our way there, we also stumbled upon Harrods, where I purchased some tea…

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must take photo in a red phone booth!

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Big Ben at sunset and the lights onIMG_3787

View of big ben from the eyeIMG_3788 IMG_3793 IMG_3794 IMG_3800 IMG_3803

This was taken after the eye, on our way back to the underground, we walked across the pedestrian bridge east of the eye and found some other tourists to help take our photo.  It was a windy and cool night, so after the photo we wanted to get back for some sleep for another day tomorrow!

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