Two Days in London is it enough?

Two does in London is it enough to see everything?

pexels-photo-769041.jpegTwo Days in London is it enough?  NO, it’s not but it was all we had after a river cruise we were on.  We finished the cruise in Switzerland and took a cheap flight over to London.  So we had two days to see as much as we could in that time frame.   Did we do it?  YES.  I would have definitely stayed longer as London is a great city and we had a blast on our whirlwind tour of the city.   Stay longer if you can there is so much to see and do in London.

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So after our crazy, cramped, awful, but cheap flight to London we pretty much hit the ground running.   It was early December so a bit of a chill in the air but Christmas decorations were up and the city was buzzing.  I tend to enjoy off season for travel less people and slightly cooler.

 

Making a living delighting others
Making a living delighting others

We stayed city center at St. Ermins which I wrote about in my review of the hotel.  It’s a great boutique style or independent style in the Marriott portfolio.  It’s in a perfect location as you can walk to places like Parliament, Big Ben, the Thames River for catching a cruise or water taxi.  It’s close to the train station to get you anywhere else you might want to travel too in your time frame.

 

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St Ermin’s London

The Iconic Big Ben is attached to Parliament and a great site to see and visit.  The House of Parliament has become almost synonymous to London and has captured the eye of many photographers.  The day tours are a fantastic glimpse into the life and history of this great meeting point for British Politicians.  If you are lucky enough to be there on the right day, you could possibly sit in a meeting of the House of Commons.  (Free)   Keep an umbrella with you and try to arrive at least 15 minutes early for your tour.  You can also see the statue of Abraham Lincoln erected in 1920.

Abraham Lincoln in London

 

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Buckingham Palace of course you have to see the home of the Queen.  The somewhat dreary outside does nothing to expose the grandeur of the inside.  Unfortunately for this trip we were unable to make the tour or get tickets to experience the Palace itself.  Our brief encounter was a momentary stop on the outside gates and a brief, very brief encounter for the changing of the guard.  So much to see and do next visit we want to experience the whole ceremony.

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The Albert Pub in the heart of the district looks paltry in the shadow of the skyscrapers but is a very cool pub.  It was built in 1862 and just seeing it in the area is a sight in itself. It’s named after queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert.   It’s amazing it survived the Blitz in WW2 and its façade and features are still the same today as they were in the 1800’s.   The Albert is a great little place to stop and soak up some atmosphere and have a quick bite if you like as you prepare for your next British experience.  Westminster Abby is about a quarter mile from it and Big Ben are all within walking distance.

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“The Clink”   A little bit of corniness and truly terrible truth about the horrific conditions of incarceration in the 12th to 17th centuries.  They do a pretty good job of recreating the atmosphere of the prison during that time period.    It’s an eye opening experience and makes you grateful for the time period you live in.  It’s fun because of the craziness of the time but also sad if you think about it.   If the chains and sewer conditions are not bad enough you are lucky if you even eat.  If your family brought you something to eat you might get fed.  If not sadly you perhaps might just have to eat that rat in your cell.  YIKES!!!

the clink

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The Tower of London a must see even with only two days in London.   This fantastic piece of history is nestled around a little artsy type enclave and the famous White Chapel district known for yes the grisly Jack the Ripper murders.    Planted in this area it’s appears to be a little out of place not unlike the Albert Pub.   Step inside though and enjoy the stories of tales of imprisonment, torture, execution, murder, and of course with some scandal thrown in.    Definite must see even with only two days in London.

Tower of london

Finally we had the opportunity to visit HMS Belfast, one of only 3 surviving D-Day bombardment vessels.  The other’s are in South Carolina the USS Laffey, and the USS Texas in San Jacinto Texas.    We are a military family and this was an amazing journey through Naval history.  Even if you are not military the history and experience of being on the Belfast was truly unique.

belfast boat

 

styling on the Belfast
Winter Fashion Style of course

On the way back to our Hotel we walked the waterfront of River Thames as it was Christmas season and we were able to see some of London’s Christmas markets.  We then caught a water taxi back to our hotel and had a nice cruise along the river.  We were able to see other sites like the London Eye while cruising.

London Christmas markets

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I would have definitely stayed longer as London is a great city and we had a blast on our whirlwind tour of the city.    So is “Two Days in London” enough time yes but if you have time spend a little longer there as there is so much to see and do.  We didn’t even scratch the surface.

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As always if you would like me to help you book something like this in London or anywhere else please contact me and I would love to help you.  Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on our newest blog post.

 

 

How you can enjoy Cruising the Southern Caribbean

pexels-photo-248797.jpegOcean Cruising in the Southern Caribbean is one of the best ways to spend the month of January. Especially if you live in a cold climate area. You will be pleasantly surprised with the weather as you travel down to the lower portion of the Caribbean. If you are looking for sun, fun, and beautiful beaches the Southern Caribbean is a fantastic choice.

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The Southern Caribbean is just below the hurricane belt for those worried about traveling in the Caribbean in hurricane season.   January is not during this time frame, but you are safe anytime of the year.

Bonaire Salt Flats

It is a less traveled area compared to Islands like Cozumel and St Thomas.  Our trip was with Princess Cruises to what is known as the ABC Islands.  These are Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire.    These are the three western-most Island of the Leeward Antilles and just above Venezuela.   They are all three Dutch Islands or Netherlands but are not within the EU. 

Bonaire Island 2

These Islands have a lot going for them and starting to attract many visitors trying to escape the cold.  They feature some of the best diving and snorkeling in the Caribbean.  For those sun seekers just looking for a tan they have some amazing white sand beaches.  The Caribbean in general tends to be relaxed and these Islands are no different.  They have a pretty laid back casual style to them.

pexels-photo-860909.jpegAruba is the most developed of the Islands.  It’s in Aruba you can find golf courses, casinos, night life, resorts, and shopping.  The US has some direct flights as well catering to those who wish to spend a week or two on their lovely beaches.  

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Curacao is the largest of the three Islands and is one of the most colorful.  It features a lot of history in its Capital of Willemstad settled in 1634.  It also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site.   It does have a history of slavery as most of the Caribbean Islands do and this can be seen in some of the countryside Plantations.  

Bonaire Slave huts

Bonaire is probably my favorite Island.  It’s tiny in size but big on appeal for the rustic traveler.   It’s small but extremely laid-back vibe made it a wonderful place to spend the day.  Bonaire is a diver’s paradise and you will find them throughout the Island stepping off the rocky coastal areas to the coral reef’s below.   

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The Island is easily navigable, and you can see it in one day.   The have different modes of transportation available from the cruise port.  I wrote about it last week in my one day in Bonaire post.

Bonaire clouds

This is just a brief intro into what it is like cruising some of the Southern Caribbean.  For this cruise we traveled with Princess Cruise lines.  We chose a guaranteed Balcony, meaning we did not choose our room before hand.  We let them assign our cabin for us.  We were delighted with a mid-ship placement on a higher floor.   It was a great stateroom.

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We chose one excursion through Princess so that we could join friends on an evening sunset cruise in Aruba.  We then chose to travel less encumbered by choosing less crowded things to do.  Our day in Bonaire was definitely the highlight of the Islands.  Our lunch at Foodies was also one of our favorites in the Caribbean.

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If you are looking for something different the ABC Island’s in the Southern Caribbean are definitely a wonderful experience.  Weather you want to spend a week on one of the pristine beaches in Aruba or visit like we did on a cruise you will enjoy the experience.

If you enjoyed my post please follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, twitter, or Instagram.  Also I would love to help you plan your trip to the Southern Caribbean.