You can find all my Europe Trip posts here.
After walking all over London on Saturday, we continued our time in London by…walking around more of the city on Sunday. Obviously.
Sunday was Easter, and we woke up to little Easter baskets from my cousin and his husband, which I thought was the sweetest thing. They made us brunch, and then we headed off to church.
We took the River Bus to Bankside Pier, where we saw The Globe (and I, proud owner of a BA in English (that I managed to earn without reading a single line of Shakespeare, bizarrely), paid my respects).
We crossed the Millennium Bridge, famously destroyed by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and then continued straight on ahead to St. Paul’s Cathedral, where we attended the 11:30 Sung Eucharist Easter service.
Considering that my church has been meeting in another church’s basement for the past year, this was quite the upgrade from a facility/attendance/pomp and circumstance standpoint. No one else in the group is particularly religious, so I really appreciated that they were all willing to spend over an hour of their day at church with me.
I wanted to see the Tower Bridge, so after church we walked over to the London Bridge for a photo op of the Tower Bridge.
Then it was time for Easter…lunch/dinner/food. We ate at 2 p.m., so I’m not sure what meal to call it 😛 Anyway, before leaving for London, my cousin asked if I’d prefer an Easter meal with city views or more of a traditional roast at a pub. While the city views were tempting, a traditional roast was more tempting, so I picked that. We took a bus to Chelsea (another beautiful neighborhood) and ate at The Builders Arms.
I had a pork belly roast (*drools*) and insisted on sticky toffee pudding for dessert, as that’s my favorite dessert of all time. I was introduced to it in Scotland when I spent three weeks there in 2011, and any time I can get it is a treat. I certainly didn’t need dessert after a filling roast dinner, but I was absolutely not going to turn down sticky toffee pudding while the U.K.!
My cousin had mentioned that McDonald’s in London sell Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurrys around Easter, which sounded like the most incredible sugar bomb EVER, so I insisted we go to a McDonald’s after eating to get one (even though we had already had dessert). When we got to the closest McDonald’s, though, they were sold out 😦 Boo. They had Cadbury Caramel Egg McFlurrys, but I don’t care about the Caramel Eggs! I like the Creme Eggs! Oh well. Guess I’ll just have to go back during Easter another time 😉
We crossed the Albert Bridge and strolled for a bit through Battersea Park, where I forced everyone to join in my bird-watching ventures.
I was very excited to see a couple European Robins in the park, particularly this cooperative little fellow!
An interesting tidbit about robins: American Robins are not actually robins. They’re thrushes. I guess they got the name American Robin because they have red breasts like European Robins, but honestly, that’s about where the similarities end. The European Robin is substantially smaller than the American Robin, and I really don’t think they look that much alike at all.
I also saw some Great Tits and at least one Eurasian Blue Tit, though neither were as interested in being photographed as my friendly robin above. (Also, seriously. What a name for those birds.). Great Tits in particularly look a lot like Black-capped Chickadees, which makes sense, since chickadees are in the same family as tits. They were a little bigger, though.
I also saw a Mandarin Duck couple!! That was probably one of my favorite sightings of the whole trip. I never imagined I’d see one on in the wild! Isn’t the male stunning?!
Having walked around plenty of London once again, we called it quits and headed back to my cousin’s apartment. I ended up popping out for a very quick 1.25 mile run after we got back so I could add England to my list of Places I’ve Run (becoming the first non-U.S. addition to that list!), and then we had a low-key night at home, playing games, enjoying the cake we picked up the day before, and FaceTiming with family back in the U.S.
I LOVED London. I didn’t have any real expectations about how I’d feel about London, and I was surprised by how enamored I was with the city. All the history and architecture was right up my alley. I definitely could’ve spent more time there and absolutely want to go back in the future.
- Cousin’s apartment. 5/5.
- The Wolseley (160 Piccadilly, London). Afternoon tea. 5/5.
- The Builders Arms (1 Kensington Court Place, London). Sunday roast. 5/5.
- Westminster Cathedral
- Buckingham Palace
- Green Park
- Wellington Monument
- Hyde Park
- Fortnum & Mason
- National Gallery of Art
- Trafalgar Square
- St. James Park
- Houses of Parliament
- Westminster Abbey
- Victoria Gardens Park
- Lambeth Bridge
- The Globe
- Millennium Bridge
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- London Bridge
- Tower Bridge
- Albert Bridge
- Battersea Park