Category Archives: Travel

London: Trips and Tricks

A couple of weeks ago, following the Paris trip, I was in London and looking forward to seeing all the historical sights and everything Harry Potter related. The primary purpose of this post is to outline some of the things I did but to also give other first time England travelers a bit of a head start.

Day one: Traveling from Paris was so much easier by train as it is easier to travel with wine in your suitcase and you don’t have to deal with all the misery that altitude has on your eardrums. The first day was just a quick walk around of sorts as I had an online final to take for school, bleh, but it was one of the most relaxing days of travel.

  • ┬áTravel tip: There is a chain of hotels called Premier Inn and they have a sub-chain called “the hub”. I would highly recommend checking them out as they are affordable AND they are close to London’s main attractions.

On the list of activities for the day was a stop at Westminster Abbey, the London Bridge, Tower of London, and the London Eye (now renamed Coca-Cola London Eye).

  • Travel Tip: If you have apple pay on your phone you can scan your debit/credit card at the turnstile as you enter and exit the Underground you save a lot of money. This is because electronically it picks the best pay rate for all of your travel times throughout the day and compiles it into one payment on your card (at the end of the day). Some trains will also let you use this method!

On our second day we walked around, stopping to have a proper tea and scone, before heading to the showing of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2. If you are a Harry Potter fan this is a must see as it can only be described as enthralling, magically, and unparalleled. If you can’t make the play you can, however, check out the Warner Bros. Studio near London where all of the franchise was filmed! It will take a train (use apple pay) and a bus (2.50 round-trip) to get there but it is completely worth it. We went on our last day and it was an amazing way to end the trip! Between these days, we went to Oxford to check out the University as it is one of the oldest and I love academic stuff. Like many college towns, it has its own unique atmosphere and some of that has to do with the buildings, literature and history of the town itself but overall it should be one of the things to check off your bucket list.

 

November in Paris

Over Thanksgiving break from school I was lucky to be able to travel to France and England (next post) and it was a wonderful experience. While I have been to England before this was my first time in Paris and it was new and a different kind of challenge. I have been to Italy and England and I never felt a language barrier as I can speak both English and Italian. However, I have no good working knowledge of French so at times I felt overwhelmed and worried I wouldn’t be able to convey what I wanted to or with accuracy. Probably a good indicator of how much I’ll need to work on learning Korean before I head there!

Anyway, I took an overnight flight from the US to Paris and flew into CDG and arrived the following morning. The first day in Paris consisted of getting to our lodging and then finding a nice little coffee shop to consume some caffeine in order to make it through the day. The cafe was quaint and full of greenery and the most amazing quiche!

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Cafe in Square Jacques-Bidaut, Paris

After a coffee and perusal of the city we went back to our hotel and took a brief nap as I am not the best at dealing with jet-lag. Following that we walked over to the Louvre, which on Friday nights is free to everyone after 6pm, to check out some of the amazing art as well as the building itself. It was a great way to end the start of my journey!

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La Louvre