This is the first post of my second European adventure! For this round, I am going with my mom and my friend/medical school classmate, Kate. We will be visiting my aunt and uncle who moved from Switzerland to London. In addition, we will be going to Edinburgh, Scotland and Paris, France. We are extremely excited to be given the chance to have this once in a lifetime experience.
What an exciting start to this trip, and we haven’t even left the country. Threatened by 12 inches of snow in Sioux Falls and Minneapolis on Wednesday, we frantically tried to decide what the best course of action would be. In our experience, weather like this meant that our chances to get out of the state or country would be fairly slim. After calling our travel agent and finding out that it would be super expensive to change our flight time, I called the aircraft company itself and somehow convinced them to let us change the day we left without incurring the normal fee ($275 per ticket). So, we packed up our stuff and headed out Tuesday morning to Minneapolis. Great. So now we were in Minneapolis, but we weren’t supposed to leave for London until Wednesday night still. While I love Minneapolis, the idea of spending more time in London was far too appealing to not at least try and move that flight up to Tuesday as well. After a couple hours of walking around the airport, calling various people to see if anything could be done, we kept hearing no without incurring a penalty fee. Our last hope was to talk with the main desk, and somehow once again we were able to change the date without the penalty fee.
That is how we gained a full day more in London, definitely the best case scenario for this situation. I never thought I would be thankful for bad weather, but it gave us the gift of more time in Europe which we will be extremely grateful for.
We made it to London! After a long flight, we landed in London this morning and took an Uber to my aunt and uncle’s apartment in Chelsea. We walked around the neighborhood for a while this afternoon and became acquainted with the area. Once again, I realized how beneficial it is to have someone who lives in the area you are visiting show you around. We stopped by a cheese shop, a grocery shop and did a little window shopping along the route. Since we arrived a day early, we are staying at my aunt and uncle’s house tonight, but will be able to get into our rental apartment tomorrow. This apartment is only about a 15 walk from my aunt and uncle’s, which will be nice for meeting up with them.
While waiting for my uncle to get off of work, we walked to Harrods. For those who may not be aware, Harrods is a famous luxury department store in London. Many celebrity sightings have been known to occur here, although we sadly didn’t see any. Harrods definitely lives up to its name. The store is huge, but has many different departments including its own brand of teas, coffees and chocolates. I think this will be a stop we make again on the trip.
For dinner, we had a Swiss meal (that my aunt and uncle learned while they lived in Switzerland). It consists of Raclette cheese, sliced red pepper, mushroom, a form of ham, shrimp, baguette and wine of course. There is a special grill we used to grill the vegetables on top while baking the cheese underneath the grill. This was one of the most fun meals I have had on a trip. It provided an opportunity for great conversation along with the great food. I couldn’t have imagined a better start to this trip! I will be updating every couple days as we continue this adventure. I will include my favorite things in all the locations in succeeding posts.