So, it was a family trip and we went on a tour to I guess, make the most of Europe- you know, like while you're there, why don't we just squish in 10 different countries? It was what my sister described as a tasting plate of Europe, what people order when it's their first time but the next time we go back, it's for sure we'll just go for a 3-course to 3 favourite countries which of course would consist of France, right? It was a 14 day tour but the first and last were spent on the plane and maybe a total of 24 hours on the coach. But don't worry, you get so used to travelling on coach that by the end of the trip you are a master in the game of making-yourself-comfortable-enough-to-nap-with-2-seats game. You'd even start having tactics like taking off your big puffy jacket as your pillow and using scarves to cover up the bumpy seatbelt holder things in between seats so to put simply, we each built our own little comfy "nests".
We started off at London. Even after a 15 hour plane trip, there was no going back to the hotel and taking a shower first. We arrived at dawn and the tour went straight to it- the Big Ben, a glimpse of London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussaud's and Oxford St. We've been warned by the our tour leader that pickpockets are really common around Europe like more than enough times to get everyone really on guard but unfortunately despite that, someone in the tour got their wallet stolen along with their passports. Poof. Just horrible, on the first day too... He was taking photos with the wax figures in Madame Tussaud's and slung his man-slingbags to the back and it was gone, and there was a zipper too! So yeah, a lot of trouble had to be gone through- going to the embassy to get new ones etc. they managed to join back with us after 3 days or so which was good.
On thing we did alot was getting off the coach to see an attraction for a mere some 10 minutes for photos and going back on the coach. But that's what travelling is I guess. You can find so many nice pictures of the Big Ben on google with perfect skies, or at night time or at sunset when the skies a million different colours, but seeing it for yourself, that's the satisfaction you can only get by travelling.
Oxford Street was also one of the nicest shopping district I've been to. I'm a real city girl at heart so I don't mind crowds, which is what you get. They've got a whole stackful of shops I love like Zara, Topshop and the famous Primark I've never been to but I know it's a big source of hauls for english youtube beauty gurus. It's so damn cheap and quality-wise, it's not too bad... but the people traffic was horrible, even for me who loves crowds... They also have the large Harrod's turned Selfridges department store. And I didn't do much research but was lucky enough to see a Pierre Herme store in the food level so got to try a few macarons from there plus keep a nice box as a momento too.
With the eurostar, we went to Brussels, Belgium the next day. Belgium has incredible architecture, we visited this square with large important looking buildings on each side overlooking the square, too bad it was pouring though so I didn't feel at all in the mood to take my SLR out or even my iphone because I was wearing gloves. Oh, I managed to get some touch screen gloves for 1 euro in Primark too! So I just took pictures of the small streets.
Next stop was Amsterdam in the Netherlands! Amsterdam people really love their bicycles, they're everywhere, more so than any part of Europe I guesstimate because they have the largest bicycle parking building in the world. It was hugeeee, like 4 stories and like half a kilometre in length, just packed full of bikes. We went on a boat to go through their beautiful canals.
Still in the Netherlands, we went to Volendam to see the more well known attractions of the country. Windmills. It was a real shame going in winter because if it was spring, the fields would have been covered full of vibrant tulips! The day we went, it was sprinkling and so windy! But anyway, we went to see a demo on how they make cheese and traditional wooden work shoes.
So that wraps up this post. Sorry if it's been very draggy and long. Next will be a photo diary of Paris and Switzerland. Have a great week.