We are Juliette and Franka, two international volunteers in Normandy and since we figured that Normandy is the closest, we could be to London (Juliette is from Spain and Franka from the south of Germany) we took the opportunity and went on an adventurous trip to London.
Why adventurous? Well, our journey really began on Thursday in Rouen where we ate a very French breakfast (two pains au chocolat and hot chocolate) to prepare ourselves for the days ahead. We knew it would be amazing. Amazing and tiring. It’s still unbelievable how much one can experience in only three days' time.
We arrived in Paris at noon and had 7 hours. So, we decided to discover the city. We walked down artistic streets, ate fries and chichis and took lots of pictures. In the evening we walked to la tour Eiffel and eventually took the metro back to the bus station where the long journey was about to begin.
At 11 pm we arrived at the bus station. One of the security guards asked us for our passport, vaccination certificate and the passenger locator form. It turned out that we had filled it out with a wrong arrival station in the UK so we had to do it all over again, which admittedly was very stressful. On the bus I (Franka) fell asleep directly and only woke up for the 3 passport controls that felt ages.
Travelling between England and the EU has become so much more difficult and stressful due to Brexit. This made me especially appreciate the European Union and the freedom of mobility we have within the EU.
At last, on the ferry, we had a poke bowl for breakfast and saw the white cliffs of Dover appear at the crack of dawn on the horizon.
We arrived in London at the Victoria Coach station and quickly went to collect our Covid tests. After that, we ate fish and chips as the “touristic tourists” we were. We visited Kings Cross Station where I had the amazing chance to take a photo with Harry’s trolly and actually bought a chocolate frog. Sadly, my card wasn’t of Dumbledore but of the also very impressive Ollivander so I cherish it anyway! I haven’t finished the chocolate frog yet for it was massive!
Afterwards, we went to piccadilly circus to admire the big screens and the beautiful lanterns and decorations of the nearby China town. We even went to the cinema to watch the French dispatch, which we both found image wise beautiful but very confusing, however it was good to have a break from walking.
When we left the cinema, it had already become dark outside which made us feel very Christmassy thanks to the astonishing Christmas angel lights and a little Christmas market only minutes from piccadilly circus. It was almost magical and became even more so when we went to see the London eye covered in purple lights and the Big Ben in the back standing on a bridge and taking an incredible number of pictures.
Our hostel however, brought us back to reality because those who want to travel cheap, have to travel stressed. It’s worth it anyway! We found ourself in a tiny 15 beds dormitory that we were supposed to sleep in but in the end, we were so tired that we both fell asleep very easily.
The next day was just as exciting, maybe even a little more! We met our friend form England who gave us an exclusive London tour. – To be honest if you just keep walking along the Thames, you will eventually see all the sites – so that’s what we did and indeed we saw a lot! And ate a lot! Juliette was very engaged in taking pictures which she afterwards edited, and that convey perfectly the autumnal ambience London had the whole time we visited the city.
On our tour we went by Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, a skate parc, Millenium bridge where we stopped to listen to a concert, we saw London from the top of a building, went past the tower of London and finally finished our tour at the tower bridge as the grand final looking majestic in the dusk.
It was an adventurous and amazing trip and I’m glad that Juliette and I went together for we’re an amazing travel team!
In the evening we went through the Eurotunnel back to Paris where we had a French breakfast (Croissants et chocolat chaud, c’est la vie!) and hopped on the Bus back home.