Sunday, March 31, 2013

London & Paris 2013

My extremely old readers from 2 years ago might remember me going to London and Paris 2 years back and I think I made a few posts about my trip but I never actually showed you my personal pictures from the trip.  I said I would try to do OOTDs and OOTNs but that did not go as planned it completely slipped my mind to do so but I will try to do a haul post however I did not buy a lot for me it was more souvenirs for my family and friends that I have already given out.

The reason I'm combining day one and two is because day one consists of going to the airport for 4 hours and crying while saying goodbye to my parents.  Then I went on the plane and fell asleep and watched approximately 15 minutes of Silver Linings Playbook on the plane.  Day 2 is when we got to London and we got to our hotel then we went on a Rock n Roll tour of the city.

We drove by Chelsea which I was super happy about because Chelsea is my dream town to live in.  Obviously it was rainy.  If I ever live in London I hope I get the opportunity to live in Chelsea.  We drove down King's Road and passed by many famous people's houses and the tour guide told us about all the infamous stories and it was quite interesting.

We then got to Worlds End which is the area where the high class and lively Chelsea ends and develops into a more grungy and more beaten down city.  If you do ever go to Worlds End, the pub down there is frequented by Prince William and Harry I believe. The cool thing about this clock is it spins the wrong way.

This was by far the coolest thing on the tour.  This is a picture of XL Recordings and on the back is a picture of the xx album cover of Coexist.  This is the studio many famous people record in obviously the xx and also Adele and Vampire Weekend record here and it was super rad to see.

Then we got to go to Abbey Road and yes we did the classic Beatles picture.  Also we went to see the actual studios but because of time restraints couldn't go inside.  Yes, I did write on the wall... again.

Then we went to Paul McCartney of the Beatles' house.  He is home since the foyer light is on!  That was pretty exciting as well.

Then we drove by the famous Harrod's department store.  After that we went to the hotel to freshen up and regroup with the other tour bus and then we went out to dinner.  After we just got back to the hotel and slept!

Day Tree starts off normal, we get up get ready and have a cute English breakfast 

So this was our first time riding "the Tube" or the London Underground and our station was called High Street Kensington.  We had to make a few transfers but we made it to Westminister station all in one piece.

We came out of Westminister station and saw the beautiful skyline of London.  I am so ridiculously mesmerized by this city.  It's so beautiful to me, even though it was foggy and cold it's still amazing!

Here's a panorama of the London skyline, it's so beautiful omg it's actually bringing tears to my eyes I need to stop and move on.  

So we just took pictures here for a bit.  This is me and my friend Rachel!  Oh look a cute little double decker bus in the background how very British!

Then we went to Buckingham Palace, also known as my family friends, the Windsor's home.  I'm not kidding read my 50 Facts About Me post they are my family friends.  The queen was in the palace since the flag was up.

We got to watch the changing of the guards and it was quite interesting.  Can you tell I'm getting lazy of writing giant paragraphs to explain the pictures?

Then we went to Picadilly circus!  This is a shot of it.  It's so cool and I wish I came here at night like I went last time as the night life here is electric.  It's basically a mini Times Square in London.  Or a bigger Dundas Street if you live in Toronto.

This is boring but we went to the National Gallery.  I literally looked at 3 pictures and then we decided to leave and explore (we are such rebels) since it was across the street from Trafalgar Square.  And we had a mini phonebooth photoshoot so here are some pictures from that....

Me and a phonebooth ou this is awkward hi.

Me and my friends taking some selfies at the phonebooth aren't we adorbz?  Let's move on now, I feel awkward knowing people are going to look at our mini photoshoot.  We also had a little photoshoot at Trafalgar Square but I'll spare you those embarrassing pictures!  We almost attempted climbing the lions but they're huge.  After the National Gallery I honestly have no idea what we did this whole trip is turning to a blur.  I'm pretty sure we just went to Baker Street to go to the Beatles Store and had dinner somewhere near by.  After a long day we went back to the hotel and I remember going to McDonald's with some friends and getting McFlurries and Chicken McNuggets.


So on this day we boarded the Tube and I have we took some long train ride and made fun of some weirdly shaped buildings to get to the Tower of London or as we called it the Queen's closet.  In one of these buildings inside Queen Elizabeth keeps her crown jewels and in another building there is a bunch of armour.

This is one of the pieces of armour the Tower of London had.  It's a blurry picture but you get the idea. It gets boring to a group of teenagers to walk around this.  Also the spiral stairs they make you go down are endless, they killed my legs.  Fun fact: while walking into a building we decided to try to make a British guard laugh and we succeeded unfortunately I only have the video of it and no pictures.

Another cool thing was we got to see the tower bridge do the lift thingy as a boat came under it.  As you can tell the weather was quite glum but it was London, we were not expecting great weather to be honest.  We hoped for it but alas it never happened.

Then we went to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and that was actually really fun.  We went inside and got to see a rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet and the actors were joking around with us and it was such a fun time.  When Romeo says something about finding a girl as fair as Rosaline to Benvolio my friend Julia stood up and it was the funniest thing ever.  After we went to the Tate Museum which is abstract art and abstract modern art is the worst kind of art in my opinion so we fell asleep on the couch. 

We walked by St. Paul's Cathedral and we ate some caramelized peanuts from street vendors.  Those are the most delicious things on the planet and they smell heavenly!

After that we went to the British museum.  The building is huge and it was very beautiful.  For the record, all the artifacts start looking the same after awhile.

This is the inside of the British museum.  So me and my friends did a section of the museum and felt tired so we went on the -2 floor to use the restrooms and we found couches so we slept on them... again.  Then these guys came to sleep on the couches but they were being obnoxious so a lady came and kicked us out of the couches.  We went upstairs to find our other friends who were reenacting some of the sculptures and we decided to go to the Starbucks across the street for the remainder of the time.  At the Starbucks the barista was so funny and gave some of us free drinks.  He was amazing and he was for sure hitting on my friend.  We also saw our tour guide in Starbucks while she was supposed to be in the museum tisk tisk.  After we went back to the hotel because we wanted to go to the shops on High Street but they were closed since it was a Sunday so me and my friends ended up eating at Pizza Hut and going to our other friends' rooms for awhile.


I'm combining day five and six because nothing exciting happens.  On day five we went to the National Portrait Gallery but once again me and my friends left to go find a Nando's we could eat lunch at.  I don't recall what we did in the morning though.  After the National Portrait Gallery we were given a bunch of time at Oxford Street to shop.  I didn't buy a lot but I can recommend some great stores to go to.  Some stores would be Primark (I didn't buy anything but it's super cheap if you have the patience to look through it all), New Look, TopShop, Selfridges (grab a pair of Millie Mackintosh Lashes, they are the best), Pull & Bear and Zara.  We had a great fish and chips dinner for our last day in London!  We got on the tube and went to the hotel and once again we just all hung out with each other.

On day six we got up early to go down to St. Pancras Station to find out our train to Paris had been cancelled due to a "snowstorm".  I put snowstorm in quotations because we saw pictures and there was literally 2 centimetres of snow on the ground and people were sleeping in their cars.  Maybe I'm insensitive to this issue because I'm Canadian and we get snowstorms a lot.

So to kill time we went across to King's Cross Station and took pictures at Platform 9 and 3/4 for all your Harry Potter fans.  We then spent a good 6 hours in St. Pancras shopping and then we had to lug our luggage down various flights of stairs and do many tube transfers to get to our old hotel.  By the way, we don't have a hotel at this point our old hotel just offered to store our luggage until we could find one.  So we went to Oxford Street again to set up the meeting place but then me and my friend were taken to Chelsea by our lovely teachers because they wanted to go to an art gallery and we wanted to shop.  After we met up with the rest of the group at the hotel and we had time to eat dinner and shop at the shops near our hotel.  After dinner we had to embark on a "15 minute " (it was really 35) walk to the new hotel with all our luggage and new shopping bags.  Our tour guide actually missed the hotel and we had to walk back for another 5 minutes.  Finally we got to the hotel and then we went out to the convience store to buy some snacks for our train ride tomorrow.


We wake up super early to board the Tube and we get to St. Pancras station and our train is there this time.  We shop around for a bit there's a great store I found called Cath Kidston, it's super cute! Then we finally went in line to pass customs and what not however, this girl was not let through the border because of her Visa so the best teacher/ supervisor we had stayed behind until she could pass.  Our train was headed to Disneyland in Paris which was super cool but it sucks we couldn't go to Disneyland.

Once in Paris we were given our hotel rooms and got time to freshen up.  After we went to the Pompidou which is an art gallery.  The exterior reminded me of a hamster cage with all the tunnels.  We had a few hours in there and then we went to dinner where I had escargots (snails) for the first time in my life. 

After dinner we went on a walking tour of our area.  Since we stayed in Les Halles everything was pretty close by, although it was freezing that night.  Here's a panorama of City Hall and the roof actually lights up and there are a bunch of people skating in front.

We also crossed the lock bridge and visited Notre Dame Church for a few minutes just to take picture and pretty much try to keep warm.

If you look on the streets of Paris there are numbers and those numbers refer to how far away you are from Point Zero.  Low and behold here is most of the group standing on point zero for a super artsy shot.  After this we took a bunch of pictures on a bridge and then we walked back to the hotel to go to "bed".


This was by far the busiest day on the trip.  It started off with breakfast at the hotel and while in the lobby we learned that our teacher and the girl we left behind had to go back to Canada which made us all super sad. We went to visit to the Louvre museum.  It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel and it was really warm on this day.   

The Louvre itself was a beautiful building and the amount of detail in each room is simply breathtaking.  If you are into art this is most definitely a place to go to see amazing art.  It is home to La Jaconde or more famously the known as the Mona Lisa and a bunch of other famous art pieces.

In the museum, we saw this painter recreating the art on the wall and it was amazing.  We had 2 and 1/2 hours of free time in the museum and as teenagers we have a short attention span for art so.... we decided to recreate some of the photos and film a music video!

After we went to the Sex District in Paris to see Moulin Rouge and take a group picture.  France is not shy about advertising sex shops on this street so beware if there are any older readers thinking about taking their kids.

After we went to see the famous Moulin Rouge building we went up to Sacre Coeur Church.  There are 3 types of con artists on the way up for the record.  At first there are men with cups and you have to try to find out where the ball in the cup is, the second is at the bottom of the stairs there are men with bracelets who try to wrap them around your wrist and make you pay for it after and finally in the artist district there are sketch artists who sketch you and make you pay without you knowing.   After, we had lunch at the artist district then boarded the Metro and spent way too long in a cemetery.

After we got back to the hotel and ate dinner we also had time to freshen up a bit and I took a nap.  Then after dinner, we went on the Metro to the Eiffel Tower!!!! It was beautiful at night and I have so many pictures.  While in line to go up the eiffel tower the whole group was being super obnoxious and singing but it was the best night ever.

We took a few pictures at the second level of the Eiffel Tower since the top level was closed.  Then we went in line to go down the elevator and of course our group of friends were the last ones down.  It was the best night of my life potentially.


On day nine, we woke up early, ate breakfast and took a train down to Versailles. 

We spent quite sometime in Le Chateau de Versailles and it's a huge house.  We also had some hot chocolates at my favourite cafe Angelina's inside the castle however the last time I had it in Paris it tasted much better and I went to the one near Le Louvre.  

The rooms were massive but as always we got bored after awhile so we decided to film an episode of Cribs where we pretended this was one of my friend's house and we toured it was hilarious.  At the end, I bought some macaroons from Laduree (best macaroons) and then we headed out to eat lunch.

After lunch, we boarded the train and went to two other museums where we did absolutely nothing but sit down.  Above is at a museum where the Thinker is held.  After the museums we went to the Champs D'Elysees for bit and Les Halles to shop.  We went to dinner later on for the last mean in Paris and headed on the Metro to go on our final attraction, the boat ride.

We had a good time on the boat as our last evening together until these creepy Spanish boys started to ask for pictures with us.  Then it got creepy but my group of about 10 friends all had a giant heart to heart where we just chilled and talked while looking at the sites of Paris.  Our tour guide also taught us the sign language alphabet and it was a great night with some of my favorite people.

The last thing we saw is the place above the tunnel where Princess Diana died (you can see the Eiffel Tower in the back).  So we went back to the hotel and facetimed the teacher we had to leave behind and had some fun until 2am then we decided to go to sleep.  On day 10 we woke up (LATE!!) and left the hotel for our trip back home.  It was an amazing experience and although it could be considered the trip from hell I wouldn't have it any other way.

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