2017 London Highlights

This post is the highlights of living in London 2017. It covers everything from the Waitangi Day pub crawl to snow to sketch to Kew Gardens to Wimbledon. Enjoy!

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Ibiza!

One long weekend at the end of September, Sally, Char and I set off for a girls weekend in Ibiza, for Sally’s London Hens! We had a lovely weekend sunning ourselves by the pool, partying and exploring the island, with a few dares for Sally thrown in. And with that I give you, the photo highlights!

The Amalfi Coast

With my lovely friend Kristin visiting the northern Hemisphere, what better a time to spend 5 days frolicking around the Amalfi Coast. Over the 5 days we ate lots of delicious food, swam in the delicious waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and explored the coastal towns. 
We stayed in Positano, in a family owned and run bed and breakfast, high up the coastal hills and with spectacular views of the main town. Views aside, it was quite the sweaty climb which made for a great way to burn off all the calories. Amalfi town we explored by getting a ferry down, admiring the coast as we went. We also took a day trip by boat to explore the island of Capri, where we wandered and explored the island, as well as swimming off the boat. 

Unfortunately, a holiday like that can’t last, but I can highly recommend a relaxing few days on the Amalfi Coast. 


In the ‘Dam

Another weekend, another trip away. This time I was off to Amsterdam with Edin and Katharine. After a bit of a rocky start consisting of a cancelled flight, a night in an the Gatwick Hilton and a new 6am flight, we finally made it to Amsterdam and made a beeline for Anne Franks House museum. 

I was somewhat disappointed with this experience. So many rave about this, and although it was surreal being there and seeing where they lived, the place was absolutely jam packed with tourists and this completely ruined the experience for me. 

After depositing of our bags at our vey funky hotel room, we headed out to see the Rijksmuseum, and of course the I Amsterdam sign. This museum was quite incredible, mostly due to the Dutch Grand master paintings by Vemeer and Rembrandt in its collection. These were very stunning to see in real life, especially as these artists were the first to really explore light and depth and accurately illustrate this. 

After the Rijksmuseum and a drink and a snack, we wandered our way along the canals to the meeting point for our red light district tour. This tour was very interesting and informative, and was great way to see this world famous area and learn about it in an objective way. It is definitely strange to walk down a street and see windows with women pouting and smiling and bouncing in their underwear, trying to attract clientele. 

The next day after a bit of a sleep in, Katharine and I hired bikes and rode to meet my friend Julie who is currently living in Amsterdam. After breakfast in the park, Julie took us on a fab bike tour of Amsterdam including Vondelpark and the Jordaan neighbourhood, before heading to De Hallen for lunch. 

After De Hallen it was time for the Van Gough Museum, followed by a ‘rice table’ where Julie and a number of her friends also joined us for dinner, drinks and laughs. 

Our last day was only a half day really, so after another sleep in it was time for another museum, this time the Stedelijk. I found this museum somewhat underwhelming if I’m honest. Next up we went off on a canal boat tour to see the city from the canals and learn a bit more about the history, architecture and neighborhoods. This was our last activity before having to make our way to the airport after a lovely but full on weekend. 

Milano

Oh Italy, how have I managed to live in London for a year and not make it to Italy. Well, let me say, Milan did not disappoint. 

After a late night flight and creeping into my hotel room in an attempt to not wakemy travel  companion, I was reunited with my fab friend Antonia who was on a wee Eurotrip. 

Saturday morning it was all talking a million miles and an hour as we caught up and made our way to breakfast and then the Duomo. The Duomo and its rooftops were absolutely stunning, and provided a fantastic perspective on not only the famous Cathedral but also the city. Next up we wandered through the teeming Galeria, before setting off in search of lunch. We hit the jackpot with a fabulous Mozarella bar and so began our food heaven experience. Truffle pasta, buffalo mozzarella, delicious salad and Aperil spritz. All my food dreams coming true, much to the dismay of my PT. 

After lunch we explored the Castello Sforzesco and wandered the park, before making our way to the Church housing ‘The Last Supper’ to try our luck. Unfortunately there was nothing available so we opted for gelato and some errands before quiet time before dinner. 

Dinner again was food heaven, complete with more Aperol and of course some Italian red wine. With an early flight the next day, this bought my first Italian foray to a close. Bring on the Amalfi Coast! 


Laaaandaaaaaan

Well I made it to London, and wow, what a city. I know it’s early days but I think I’m going to love it here. I arrived in style thanks to my amazing big bro who was my pilot from LA to London. Pretty special to have Patrick fly me into London for start of this amazing adventure! 

I then had an amazing first weekend in London. Jeremy and Nick picked me up from the airport on Saturday and then acted as tour guides for the rest of the day. Jeremy then completed his 7th tour of London with me on the Sunday. I have to say, I wasn’t quite prepared for walking out of the Westminster underground within the first few hours of arriving to see Big Ben right there, staring me in the face. Incredible!! 

We covered pretty good ground for my first weekend as you can see from the pictures. We were also super lucky with the weather, I even managed to get a bit of a tan! Not today though. I’m sitting in a Starbucks writing this post and it has been bucketing down this afternoon (even though I had my breakfast sitting outside in the sun this morning in West Hampstead).

That’s it for now, enjoy the pictures and I’ll do an observations post soon!


In the cockpit at Heathrow, look out!

First day excitement!

Tower Bridge 


Big Ben and the House of Parliament


Standing outside Westminster Abbey, looking out across Parliamet Sqaure to Big Ben and the London Eye. 

 

Wandering up The Mall to see Lizzie, she wasn’t home unfortunately

The Mall

Buckingham Palace and all the tourists. So many tourists. 


Pub dinner with Patrick on Sunday before he flew out again on Monday. Yes those are mushy peas.