My final flight back to the United States flew out of Heathrow Airport in London. Despite having spent a semester studying here, there were still a few things I knew I absolutely had to see. I gave myself a final four days in London before I had to fly home, and in this time I had the most lovely sights and experiences, topping everything from my semester. If you’re interested in picture-perfect sights and instagram-worthy settings, here are my must do’s.
1. Notting Hill
This neighborhood of London, home to Portobello Market, is worthy of being famous for much more than the movie. Behind the tube station “Notting Hill Gate,” as well as further into the neighborhood towards Portobello Market, the houses are painted in gorgeous pastel hues, with vibrant doors as centerpieces. This is my absolute favorite neighborhood in London for simply walking around.
Venice, Italy was the last hurrah for my Mom and I’s journey for the summer. Here, my mom would depart on a 48-hour journey to arrive home, flying from Venice to Brussels, to Geneva, to Philadelphia, to Dallas. I would say my sad “ciao ciao” and fly on to Barcelona. Before this, however, we gave it our all in Venice. Always go out with a bang!
In Venice, because canals are the main method of public transportation, we took primarily waterbuses. These are slow-moving boats that ferry massive loads of people around the canals and to the lagoon islands. It might be tempting to grab a seat as soon as you get on, but the seated area is usually hot and stuffy; I’d recommend staying on the deck and looking at the scenery instead, where you can feel a lovely breeze to battle the intense summer heat.
I recently had the privilege to meet up with one of my favorite people, my middle school math teacher, and one of my mom’s best friends in Livorno, Italy. We had a blast and I absolutely fell in love with Italy and her family!
Livorno is rich in history, and is home to multiple churches that may be unassuming on the outside, but are full of grandeur on the inside. I had the treat of an impromptu tour with Mrs. Azmoudeh’s brother, Karim, who showed us the highlights of the incredible churches in Livorno.