EUROPE

KIIS Paris 1: London Weekend Trip

When Destini and I decided on studying abroad in Paris, the next step was deciding what we wanted to do on the weekends. The first and last weekend we wanted to stay in Paris. That left 2 weekends of being able to travel to other countries. We both knew we wanted to go to the United Kingdom, particularly London. We went there the 2nd weekend of the trip. We booked the Eurostar train tickets and headed to the train station. We finally found where to go and made it to the train. The ramp leading to the train started at coach 17. Our seats were all the way in coach 1, so we sprinted down the platform, I am sure people were taking bets on if we were going to make it. No worries, we made it! Finally we were off to London.

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We arrived in London an hour and a half later and had no idea where our hotel was. So we found a McDonald’s and got Wi-Fi in order to locate it. We checked in and headed straight towards the Hop On- Hop Off bus. We rode that bus all the way to the London Eye. We rode the London Eye and then had to get legendary fish and chips for lunch. Then we walked across the river to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. We decided to go into Westminster Abbey because we were both obsessed with the Royal Wedding. When we went inside, I just needed to sit down. It was hard to take it all in. The architecture and the detail spent into building this church were unbelievable! We left there and went straight to Buckingham Palace. We took pictures outside and then decided to visit the gift shop. Thank goodness we did! Destini was eavesdropping on a conversation and overheard the lady at the counter say that The Queen’s Birthday Parade was happening tomorrow. She ran over to me and yelled, ”Forget everything we had planned for tomorrow. We are going to see The Queen.” The rest of the day that is all we looked forward to. We headed back to the hotel to recharge our phones, only to realize we didn’t have the right converters. So we went to get some and charged our phones. Then we headed back out to Piccadilly Circus. We stopped in Lilliwhites, which is a soccer stores, and yet another souvenir store. We stopped to eat dinner at the Rainforest Café, and then headed back to the hotel.

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The next day we headed straight to Buckingham Palace. We stood by the fence at 9:30 AM and the Parade started at 10:30 AM. The Royal Family went down The Mall in their open carriages and thousands of horses. Around 1:00 PM they came back to the Palace and went up to the balcony; The Queen, Kate, William, Baby George, Harry, and the rest of the Royal Family. Around 2:00 PM we went to go eat lunch. We decided on fish and chips again. Then we headed to the London Dungeon. This was an interactive play where we learned about London’s murky past. It was so interesting to head about how people were tortured. We went back to the hotel after that to go to sleep.

The morning before we headed back to Paris, we stopped at The Tower of London where the “crown jewels” are kept. We joked and said, “We had to make sure they were taking care of our crowns.” We went back to the hotel and packed up all of our souvenirs then headed to the train station. Our London adventure had come to an end and I will definitely be back to find and marry Prince Harry.

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Photos and writing by Courtney Fadler

Courtney is studying on the KIIS Paris 1 trip this Summer.