Panic on the Streets of London

In light of all the horrible riots that have been going on in London, I wanted to take a time out from house stuff and take my mind off our impending closing (this Friday, eek!) by making little post dedicated to one of my favorite cities in the world.

In 2007, Andrew and I spent a semester in London. We studied (a.k.a., did nothing but travel and have fun) in Kingston-Upon-Thames, a Royal Borough nestled away in Southwest London. This place has a lot of historical significance, but conveniently enough for us, pioneer of the moving image, Eadweard Muybridge, was born in Kingston! Being the nerdy film buffs that we are, we thoguht this was pretty cool.

Living abroad was, by far, the best experience of my life and I’m sure Andrew would say the same. In Kingston, we were a 5 minute bus ride away from Hampton Court Palace and a 20 minute train ride away from Central London.

Hampton Court PalaceWe spent 3 weeks traveling around Europe while we were there too. We went to Dublin for a few days where we visited the Wicklow Mountains.

Wicklow Mountains IrelandOur big trip, however, was a bus tour around Western Europe. Andrew and I went along with 3 friends we met through our study abroad program. We started in London and headed down to the Cliffs of Dover where we took a ferry to Calais, France. From Calais we headed to Paris, stopping at Fontainebleau on the way to the beautiful Beaujolais wine region of France. From there we stopped at Avignon on our way to Cannes where we enjoyed the exotic rocky beaches of the South of France.

South of FranceFrom the South of France it was just a short ride to Italy (my personal favorite). There we visited Pisa, Florence, Rome and Venice!

VeniceFrom Venice we hit Munich, Germany via Innsbruck, Austria, home to the Swarovski Crystal World. What a trip that place was!

Swarovski Crystal WorldJust when we thought things couldn’t get any trippier, we then made our way to The Netherlands, Amsterdam specifically (my other personal favorite). What a wonderful city! The most friendly people are from The Netherlands. I felt most at home there because so many nationalities are represented in their culture and I just loved all of the familiar foods. I wonder why? 😉

HollandBack to London we went, but the following week, we traveled to Barcelona, Spain. I spent most of that trip battling a 103 degree fever. For whatever reason, I was incredibly sick the whole time, but I’d love to go back again some day to really experience Barcelona – another fab city!

Before and after all the traveling around, we were just living out our day-to-day lives in the incredible city that is London. What I’d do to go back again, but meanwhile, the city is being destroyed by these riots. In America, we have historic sites, but in London and Great Britain in general, there are ancient places filled with centuries of history beyond anything the USA could imagine. Not something you want to destroy.

We miss London all the time. I wish we could return one day, knowing that we’d find the city just the way we left it, but as rioting continues, that hope is diminishing. I don’t want to end on a sour note when we should be beaming with excitement over our new house, but the London riots hit close to home in a way. London will always have a special place in our hearts. After looking at the Telegraph’s 50 Powerful Images (big heart-breaker, I wouldn’t recommend it), I’ve decided to remember it this way.

London FundonAnd I’ll just leave it at that.

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