As excited as I was to get to London, leaving Scotland and, more importantly, the people there was a lot harder than I had expected. The people I stayed with were so unbelievably kind and welcoming and after spending so much time with them, it made saying goodbye really hard. I am so grateful to both them for everything that they did for me and for making the first leg of this incredible trip that much more incredible.
Day 18: My last day full with the wonderful people I was staying with was spent walking and exploring. We started in Dunblane, the little town where Andy Murray (the tennis dude) grew up in. Then we did a big walk around Bridge of Allan. We ended the day with the Falkirk Wheel, a casual dinner, and some Orphan Black.
Day 19: I spent my last day in Scotland wandering around Glasgow on my own. I basically just hopped from one coffee shop to the next and it was a great time. I played peek a boo with the baby in the photo below while I was sat at my table above the rest of the restaurant and I loved it. I adore kids so playing with one on my last day in Scotland while enjoying waffles and tea was a great send off.
Day 20: Hello LONDON! After hours and hours spent on multiple trains dragging my 93 kajillion pound suitcase around, I made it to London. As I sat exhausted and sweating on my last train of the day, we pulled out of Waterloo and I caught a glimpse of the London Eye and Big Ben. I didn't even try to contain the grin that spread across my face.
Day 21: My first full day in England was a chilled one. After a lazy start to the day I went to Hampton Court with the people I'm staying with. While we didn't go in and tour around, we did walk along the river and went for lunch in a little cafe in the area. The rest of the day was spent lazing around the house.
Day 22: Such a great day! The tubes were on strike for 24 hours so, after saying a little thank you to the sun gods, I set out for a big day of walking. I had a cooking class at the Jamie Oliver restaurant in Knotting Hill that night (!!!!) so I decided I'd spend my day in the area around there. I wandered around Portobello Road for the majority of the day in a constant state of awe as I looked up at all of the pastel coloured buildings. It is such a beautiful area! That night, I met up with some friends from home who also happened to be in London and we did the cooking class. I'm not much of a cook (baking is more my thing) so I was quite nervous. Not all that surprisingly it was actually a really great experience! We made stuffed pasta and I was blown away by how simple it is! I will definitely be investing in a pasta roller thing when I get home.
Day 23: Yesterday was another fabulous day! It started with a walk around Wimbledon Commons and was followed by an afternoon spent in Brick Lane and Shoreditch where we had delicious chicken burgers, admired all of the funky street art and spent some time messing around in vintage shops. It was a great place to spend time off the beaten tourist track. For dinner we went to the Jamie Oliver restaurant in Kingston (Jamie and I are going to be pretty tight by the end of this trip) to celebrate a birthday then I went home and crashed.
The trip is more than half way over and I have really mixed feelings about that! I would be lying if I said I'm not missing home but at the same time London feels like my place in the world. I love it here. I just have this feeling that I can't really explain but that just feels like this is where I'm supposed to be.
This past week I slacked on the picture taking, but fear not - my camera and I will be attached at the neck for the remaining 16 days! Until next week!