Gallery from Europe – Lon.Par.Bru.

Back to school –and back to full-time/part-time/whatever blogging!

In an ideal world, this will feature part 2 of my video-blog series ‘Summer in Europe’ (check out part 1 here!). Thanks to a combination of time and laziness, here’s a curated gallery of travel photos instead. I loved our Europe tour.

For a cool video of our time in London, Paris and Bruges, check out my sister’s travel video!

Welcome to London!

It’s a beautiful city. Reality’s different from the movies. One of the first things we did getting off the plane was eat. Naturally, that meant raiding the nearest M&S.

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We spent most of the day looking for our hotel (we stayed in a Best Western in one of the less saucy districts).

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The tragedy of the Manchester attack was still pretty fresh when we went to London. You could see tributes like this in many public spaces.
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Corner of our street.

It was ridiculously hot during our first day in London. Where was the iconic gloomy weather? Where were the clouds? Why were there a bunch of people doing yoga outside?

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We passed by The Globe, though we didn’t get to watch a show.

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Apparently we also passed by Nando’s our first day. My inner Niall fangirl probably insisted.

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Honestly, London was dirtier than I expected. Definitely not as slick and cool as in the movies.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

One of the highlights of our trip — HARRY POTTER STUDIO TOUR! As a certified Potterhead (and Ravenclaw), I practically ascended. THERE ARE NO WORDS.

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The bus is beautiful, life is beautiful.
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Me and my fellow Potterhead. We sat right in front of one of those tiny screens playing The Sorcerer’s Stone.
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It was a windy day but nothing could stop us!!!!
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Back when Fantastic Beasts first came out, I was such a fan. It tickled the biologist in me. But now I’m a bit more meh about it.

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We could have spent only one day in London (aka in the Harry Potter studio tour) and our flights would have been worth every penny. In another world, I was born a witch.

Tour the Iconic Sights

Day 3 was a gloomy day! And that’s just right for London. We went on a walking tour early in the morning and then toured ourselves around some iconic fictional sites.

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Apparently someone bought out the top floor and it’s now one of the most expensive flats in the world.
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My new (Facebook) friend, Sam! Thanks to the mysteries of the world, she was in the same walking tour group as us. I was super happy she recognized me as a friend of a friend (Maryan’s, to be precise). Hope you’re doing well in internship!!!
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No trip is complete without a shot of the “Big Ben” (actually named the Elizabeth Tower). Bits of the palace was under construction. I can’t believe I was only wearing shorts.
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Another must-have tourist shot of the underground (and Covent Garden). A couple of hours later, I would indeed book us a ticket to see the Lion King.
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Ah… I’ve never actually watched Notting Hill.
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I think the museum was closed by the time we got to 221B Baker Street, but the metro station alone was worth it!

Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace

We visited Buckingham Palace on the fourth day, right in time to see the changing of the guards.

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Our view was horrible and there really wasn’t much to see, but it’s another thing to check off the list.

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It’s Kensington Palace! Imagine living in a mansion that’s semi-open to the public.

The Lion King

Here we are with our last minute plans to watch the Lion King! I’m happy we still got good seats.

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I used the app ‘TodayTix‘ to get these seats. (Not sponsored, but I wish!)

I will be honest and say that I slept at some point in the middle of the musical. I’m sorry, musical gods. I promise I was awake enough to appreciate the production and set design.

We ended the day with a quick stop to the Tower of London.

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Ah, what a rainy and somber night.

Must-See Museums: British Museum, National Gallery

No visit is complete without a trip to the museum! Ah, the British Museum was so beautiful.

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The free admission was also beautiful.

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We all know London’s galleries would be empty had they not raided the treasures of the countries they colonized. Thankfully, we can still appreciate the art museums without shuddering.

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The fact that I saw Sunflowers in real life boggles my mind. I don’t have enough pages to write about the things I saw and loved in the National Gallery.

The trouble with writing decades after the fact is that you forget the details. I’m sure my brain was screaming with feels during the entire London trip. Oh well.

Bonjour, Paris!

One of the best cities in the world. Walk around, fall in love, take a shot.

First Stop: Sacré-Cœur

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Sacré-Cœur was a few minutes’ walk from our hotel. The basilica offered a beautiful view of Paris (no Eiffel though).

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City of love indeed! We even watched a cute public proposal.

Iconic Sights: Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées

We’ve all been to Paris before, so we just toured ourselves around. It was an intense walking day from one side of the city to the other. We probably clocked in close to twenty kilometres.

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It rains every time we go to Champs-Élysées. Bummer.

Trip to Versailles

We took a train out to Versailles. I found the palace and the gardens beautiful (though nothing beats Schönbrunn Palace’s first impression on me).

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The historical details also made the experience more interesting. I love those nifty audio guide things.

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I (illegally?) picked two flowers from the Gardens of Versailles. For my sins, my then-new Galaxy S8 got its five first scratches.

After our day trip to Versailles (we ended around 3 or 4PM), we chanced a quick look at Notre-Dame and the Louvre.

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Visiting Musée d’Orsay is seriously next on my bucketlist!

By the time we were back in Eiffel Tower, the soft rain was constant and the wind was picking up. The sacrifices we make for that tourist-y shot.

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We went back to Le Coq, which was the restaurant we ate in eight years ago when I celebrated my 15th birthday in Paris. I will say that restaurants in Trocadero are still ridiculously expensive.

That’s it for Paris! Someday we’ll have enough time to visit all the museums and go out to the other provinces of France.

Finally, Bruges.

It’s a quiet town. We spent a lot of our time in Bruges resting, mostly because the shops tend to open late and close early.

The rest of the time was naturally spent on food.

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Final Thoughts

Looking back, I can’t imagine how we survived on a trip to Europe for three weeks or so with just the three of us. How did we drag our heavy suitcases? How did we not get lost? Why did I get such a dark tan?

I am incredibly thankful that we got to experience Europe again together. There are hopefully many more next times, to see what else travelling will reveal to us.

Where should we go next? I feel like we’ll never truly see everything the world has to offer.

xxx

P.S. The gynecology module this year is shaping up to be a bit of a horror. We only have give or take 6.5 days to cram all relevant clinical theory in preparation for clerkship next year… help! 

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