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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

January 20, 2016

Day 1 - London

9th December 2015


Leaving!! Ahh :D I am definetely nervous, I keep telling myself, definetely not nerves. Still gets me every time I travel.

Itinerary: Wake up early, get plane to London, spend day traipsing all over the city, spend afternoon taking pictures up The Shard, and then take the night flight to Singapore.

 Driving to the airport at 5:30 am. 

 Harri and I ready to face the day of travelling.

Breakfast at Helsinki airport before saying goodbye to our grandparents.
The snow-flaked windows in the British Airways flight to London. 
After dropping our hand luggage off at the airport, we take the Heathrow train to Paddington Station, and then the underground to Kensington Park. I had planned to go to some Christmas markets, and me being me, I forgot to check whereabouts in the whole entire region of the park the markets are located. Here we are starting our trip with high expectations. 

London!! Kensington Park.
Luckily it’s a lovely day, because I am pretty sure we would not be too happy to trudge through rain, mud or anything besides this weather to find the markets. Onwards we go.

 Autumn Leaves.
As we keep going, it slowing dawns on us that this park is HUGE. If I had just spent a bit longer searching for the area of the markets before starting this trip we could have saved time. Of course, I wanted Harri to think that I was perfectly fine with this additional LONG detour, so I didn't mention that I didn't know where we were going. Luckily, I did have internet on my phone, so I was discretely looking at maps on my phone. By discretely, I mean pretending-to-take-pictures-of-the-scenery discretely.

After finally finding the markets, and having to walk an extra couple of miles to find the only entrance of the whole entire markets, we walked in and straight out again. Seems wierd, I know, but it just was not somewhere we would have liked to stay. Thinking back, it must have looked very suspicious to the police who checked our bags.

 Lake Serpentine.

Here we are after eating in the restaurant right next to the markets (but not in them). We were absolutely starved, and I did not want to walk another step until I had eaten. You do not want to see me when I have not eaten. Let’s just say I get very cranky :)

 Walking to Harrods. Of course, just for a look at the Christmas decorations. A tad too expensive for those of us who are students ….. and the like. 

Department store’s Christmas decorations. They look like a New Year's decoration, rather than Christmas really. However, when you think about it, Christmas is just as much a celebration as New Year's, if not more. So yes, it suits Christmas quite well then. 

As you do in London, we captured the royalty of some country riding to the palace in the carriage. Nothing at all out of the ordinary. This is Britain we are talking about.  Royalty central. 

After following, not at all stalking, the carriage with the supposed royalty, we arrived at Buckingham Palace. We were tempted to follow the carriage further into the courtyards, as the gates were invitingly open to us, but we weren't dressed appropriately. Subsequently, we both agreed that another time would be best :) 
My favourite place to sit in London. The marble fountain outside of Buckingham Palace, looking up at the sun. With my eyes closed, of course :) Perfect image of relaxation right there. 

Trafalgar Square. Christmas style. 

Taking the metro to the Blackfriars stop. Very handy things, those undergrounds.
  
 Millennium Bridge. 

Taking a picture of the building we will be going up in: The Shard.

 Weaving through these narrow alleyways to get to The Shard. It is a part of London we had never explored before, and plan to explore more of. 

 Lovely old ruins. 

After emerging into the light, we looked up and were amazed at how tall The Shard is. Of course, all tall towers look much taller close up then far away, but it was still surprising to see :)

 Up The Shard right on sunset. Timing done correctly, thanks to Harri :)

Having our Snow White Hot Chocolate watching the sun set over the River Thames.
Lights beginning to turn on.


More lights lighting up London City.

It was amazing to see light after light turn on, and turn around to see the entirety of London that could be seen dotted with lights. Memory to never forget right there.

I couldn't help thinking how wonderful it is to be here with Harri, my brother. Sentimentality.

After almost getting divided on the underground, and almost going through the security at the wrong terminal at the airport, we finally planted ourselves down in the cushioned airoplane seats. Now to try to get some sleep on the flight, or perhaps I will watch a marathon of movies instead? :)

Till next post,

Laura

Xoxo

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