It was about time that we left South America and continued onto our next adventure…Europe!
We found tickets on Norwegian Airlines direct from Buenos Aires to London Gatwick, leaving at 11:00 AM and arriving at 4:00 AM. For about $700 each we were in their “Premium Class” (business class doesn't exist on budget airlines). It was well worth the price for a 12.5 hour flight. We had tons of leg room, two free meals, free alcohol (we didn't partake, but it's an option), and an entertainment tablet sitting in the arm rest. The seats also are larger and can recline further back than normal. The only problem we had was the timing of the flight itself. London is four hours ahead of Buenos Aires, so it was only midnight to us by the time we landed- meaning we could barely sleep on the plane. We couldn't check into the Airbnb until around 2:00 PM, so we were stuck exploring London like zombies.
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We didn't arrive into the city until around 6:30-7:00 AM (Gatwick is a 40 minute train ride away). The first stop obviously was coffee: Formative Coffee. They use beans from (Ryan's celeb crush) James Hoffman's Square Mile Roasters, and it was FANTASTIC. No pour over options sadly, but very flavorful flat whites. They also had a cool option to order a flight of espresso, macchiato, and batch brew (this was our second coffee order 😂)
After we were properly caffeinated, we were able to go explore. Here's Big Ben and Westminster Palace, under construction.
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We also made it to Buckingham Palace. We had the good fortune of arriving for the changing of the guards. It was very crowded. We watched the beginning with the crowds, then moved to the park to watch from a distance (with a bit more breathing room). Surprisingly the band played the Star Wars theme!!
The Wellington Arch:
It was about 11:00 AM at this point- still three hours to go before we could think about checking in. We stopped into a department store to buy a new pair of jeans, then wandered back in the direction of the accommodation, and found a park bench to inhabit for the remaining time. We're so thankful our Airbnb host was fantastic- she let us drop off our stuff when we arrived (at 6:30 AM!!) and hurried to clean the apartment in order to let us check in early. We showered and napped for a couple hours before Ryan's parents arrived from Los Angeles.
We didn't have any major plans for London; only one night before heading north to Scotland. We hopped on the train the next morning for Edinburgh.
DWNTGB (Do We Need To Go Back) Rating
This was my second time in London. (We technically got another visit on the way from Scotland to Paris later on). It's a cool city, definitely worth visiting, but I don't have any pressing need to go back. I've seen most of the main sights before, and there's not much else pushing me to go back.
I get the feeling that London is one of those cities that is better to live in than to visit. I felt like we got to see most things within just a few hours of walking. I would however go back to see the Tate Britain, since we missed that.