Best. Layover. Ever.
Here it is — the last blog from my summer European adventure. And what an adventure it was. Fitting that it should end with one last big adventure, right?
Croatia was not actually the last country I visited on this trip — it was actually England. After departing the Zagreb airport at around 1pm in the afternoon (though I’ll mention I arrived at like 7am, on account of my friend’s flight departing earlier than mine), I made it to London Heathrow a little over an hour later.
And then I sat and waited.
My next flight, the one that would take me to Chicago, wasn’t going to leave until the following day at 7am. I had a 16-hour layover to wait out. Thankfully, if my traveling has taught me anything, it’s how to handle long layovers in the airport — and the best way to handle a long layover in the airport is to leave.
And how do you leave London Heathrow? Why, you take the Underground of course! If the tube was already my favorite public transit system in the entire world, it just got even better when I realized it was directly connected to the airport. I love metros that connect directly to airport terminals, like Copenhagen or Chicago. Having to take a bus to the nearest metro station — or worse, having to take a separate metro and pay an additional fee on top of your regular metro ticket like you have to do in New York JFK — sucks.
It certainly wasn’t a short ride, but it was much cheaper than taking the fast train, the Heathrow Express. And it got me where I wanted to go — the Westminster tube station.
I don’t really know what I was looking for out of this stopover. I mean, I’ve already been to London and I’ve seen the majority of the tourist sites that one can see in an afternoon while waiting for a connecting flight. I’ve seen Big Ben and the London Eye and Westminster and all of the major sites that were in this particular area. I just wanted to go again, to feel what it felt like to look across the bridge and see all of the tourists clamoring to get photos with the ferris wheel. I even joined some of the tourists and got a few photos of my own.
From there, I went to see something I hadn’t actually seen on my 2017 London trip: Hyde Park. Amanda and I had originally had this on our to-do list, but it got cut for time and because everything we read online suggested that it wasn’t really that spectacular of a park.
And to be honest, from what I saw on this tour, I agree. I think perhaps, I just went at a bad time, as it looked like whole sections of the park were closed off for a music festival that was about to park. I also didn’t have enough time to walk the whole thing. I did get to glimpse some of the gardens, which were lovely while they were in bloom. It was no botanic conservatory, but for a free place to walk around for an hour and get some pictures in the fading light for my blog, it was perfect.
My last stop before heading back to Heathrow to spend the night sleeping on a bench was Tower Bridge herself. This was another site that I think I may have glimpsed in passing during my 2017 trip, but I never got around to paying a proper visit to. I don’t know if walking across the modern London Bridge and snapping some pictures as the sun set counts as a “proper visit,” but it was very pleasant nonetheless.
And even if it doesn’t count, I guess that just means I have all the more reason to go back to London one day. Oh well. You don’t have to ask me twice.
That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Coat:Vintage (thrifted, Ecseri Bazaar in Budapest)