London, England

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the entire city.

Our first country outside of the United States. We were planning on going to Italy, but our flight from JFK was delayed due to a storm and we missed our connecting flight through LHR. The airline offered to re-book us but on a flight at 9:30pm, which meant over 12 hours in the airport and getting to Italy after midnight! I decided to re-book on our same scheduled flight but the next day and found a hotel at the airport, dropped out bags and hopped on the Underground to downtown London! We had lunch at a traditional Pub and enjoyed fish and chips. Took a ride on the London Eye, walked along the River Thames, and enjoyed sightseeing at some of London’s top sights (Big Ben, Westminster Palace, Covet Gardens and Westminster Bridge), stopped for a photo opportunity in a phone booth and enjoyed a fish & chip lunch at a traditional pub. Most of London was under construction which was a little disappointing, everything was surrounded by scaffolding. London’s Big Ben went silent in 2017 for 4 years due to conservation work, the longest period that the Great Bell will have its bongs paused in 157 years.

Accommodations: Sofitel London Heathrow conveniently located at Terminal 5, this was a great option when we missed our flight. The rooms were clean and staff was very friendly and helpful. It was a typical airport conference hall hotel. If you find yourself stuck at London Heathrow this is perfect for a night. It was a quick 10 minute walk to security at the Terminal, and made catching our early morning flight a breeze.

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