We had only a little more than 24 hours in London – and that included an overnight flight to get there!
The past few days have been a whirlwind for sure – thus I’m covering a TON on the blog today.
London Day 2 included finishing up whatever we could get to and then meeting up with our tour group for the overnight flight (YES overnight flight #2 in 2 days!!) to Israel.
The day brought cool crisp air and lots of rain to London – so we decided to sleep in and eat a late breakfast at a local cafe near our hotel. We got omelets and “chips”.
“Chips” in London are not potato chips. They are french fries. And don’t you always have french fries with your omelet for breakfast???
Next, we hopped on one of those oh-so-touristy red bus city tours. It would be the quickest way for us to see the most of the city in the little time we had left. I would highly recommend doing this if you only have a short time in the city.
Did I mention it was cold and a bit rainy?? We were the only crazy people that decided to ride on top of the bus. At least we got great views and no one obstructing our views haha!
Our first stop off the red bus was Kensington Palace – the place Princess Diana lived. I absolutely loved Princess Diana when I was a little girl. I followed her and was astonished with the rest of the world upon her early death.
Right next to the palace we viewed the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.
I captured a live video on Facebook from the fountain – it was such a peaceful area.
The memorial fountain was located in the middle of 2 royal parks. I fell in LOVE with the royal parks. There are 8 of them across the city and they are simply gorgeous. It made me wish we had places like this in the states. Central Park is the only place I’ve seen that can compare – but these were actually better in my opinion.
The wildlife was CRAZY! The just stayed right there while we walked by.
We got back on the bus and rode through some of the most stunning British streets!
Our tour guide pointed out this store as the most profitable store in London:
Yep. The Apple Store. It even beat out this London shopping staple – Harrods.
We walked into Harrods. And then we walked out of Harrods. Y’all. I’m a clearance rack kind of gal. This was WAYYY out of my league. WAYYYYYYY!!
We jumped off the red bus at Westminster Abbey. Prince William got married here.
We ran back to our hotel just in time to catch an English black cab back to the airport! London, we truly loved our time together and it would be fun to come back and visit again.
Note to self: London is expensive. Everything. In. London. Is. Expensive. Be prepared for this if you ever go to visit. Glad we were only there 24 hours!!!! Whew.
Meanwhile, back on the plane for an overnight ride.
And once again – they decided to serve a FULL MEAL at MIDNIGHT!!
This little green box ended up being my FAVORITE food from London.
A litte pot of Mango and Lime – by Pots & Co
I may be ordering some of this yummy goodness online if that’s possible. It was sooo good!!
The end of our flight brought an amazing sunrise over Israel as we were landing.
Our hotel welcomed us with this amazing breakfast buffet spread.
Olives are EVERYWHERE. And the fruits and vegetables are the freshest I’ve ever tasted.
We didn’t waste any time – straight to the Old City in Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate.
Those walls aren’t original to what was here. It has been built up and destroyed over and over through the years – and the actual size has expanded out. There are significant places within the Old City where they track back to the times of Jesus. I’ll share more on those later.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this at all. There is a true marketplace and living community thriving inside those walls. And the Old City doesn’t include just one group – it is many groups, many religions, many perspectives – all together inside.
Most of the streets are lined with shops. Anything you need – you could find it in these shops. I was blown away. Anything, people. It’mind blowing, actually. Nike. Mickey Mouse. Nativity Scenes. Anointing Oil. Yes. This is bizarre.
As we walked further, the landscape inside the walls turned a little more like what I expected to see. This is known as the Jewish Quarter.
We stopped inside a tiny Jewish shop and the owner took time to tell us his story and why he thinks we are visiting Israel.
Here is the live video with part of his story.
It really has been a lot to take in and a bit overwhelming. All of the faiths, all of the cultures, all of the perspectives – running in between each other, overlapping and oh so different in oh so many ways. It was hard to image Jesus, and then again easy to see Him at the same time.
Hard to image this being a holy site – that doesn’t feel holy in so many ways.
Easy to see Jesus teaching and hearing so many of His words echoing in my heart as I walked along the uneven rocky paths.
The smell of spices flow through the streets.
You see that this is truly a fruitful land and the vegetables prove it. Have you ever seen cabbage this big in your life???
The fruits, oh wow.
It is still all very much overwhelming for me. I need time to process all that is happening in this land and what it means.
Today we visited 2 sites in Bethlehem – the Shepherd’s Field and the Church of the Nativity.
I want to share much more about Bethlehem in detail with you in my next post. Tonight, I’m tired. It’s almost 11pm and we have another early day. I’ll be posting live videos as I can on Facebook – so join me over there too 🙂
Talk to you soon!
~Starr and Brian