England

Cornwall

Chris and I arrived in London at Heathrow, and took the train straight to Exeter station where we met Liv and Cian! We drove down to Cornwall from there, catching up on the ride- filling them in on what we had been up to and hearing about their life in Cornwall. On the ride down Chris and I were still in shock at the high prices of snack foods and drinks we had seen so far at the airport and train station- the pound was evidently a lot stronger than the Kyrgyzstani som or the Georgian lari.

We went over the things we had to do whilst we were in England- high on the list was try cornish cream, see an English castle, have an english big breakfast in a pub (Chris), see some Harry Potter movie Landmarks in London, go to a Broadway show, and go to a big English supermarket (Issy).

Just for a bit of context Cornwall is a county on England’s southwestern tip. It forms a peninsula encompassing moorland and hundreds of sandy beaches, culminating at the headland Land’s End. The south coast, AKA the Cornish Riviera, is home to picturesque harbour villages such as Falmouth (what we call Chris after he drinks too much coke and can’t stop burping) . The north coast is lined with towering cliffs and seaside resorts like Newquay, known for surfing.

We arrived in Cornwall and hung out there for a few days, the weather was a bit dark and stormy so we managed to justify spending hours playing guitar hero on xbox, and catching up inside the house. Mum arrived 2 days later.

We went to beaches, parks, ice cream shops, the amazing supermarkets- Tesco and Mark & Spencer (a personal highlight for Issy- its like a supermarket, a takeaway food store, and a farmers department store in one, amazing!), and some local hot spots.

Looks like NZ but it wasnt far from the house in Cornwall! A major difference compared to the crowded beaches in Turkey
Bit windy
Chris loves a beach!

One of the highlights of Cornwall was going to St Michael’s Mount. It is a tidal island in Cornwall. The island is a civil parish and is linked to the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway passable between mid-tide and low water. It was amazing, we initially drove to the town near to it when we first were exploring the area and spotted it from the distance out from the shore.

Naturally we took lots of pictures (of us at the mount)

We headed out to Lands End. It is the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall. We had heard it was a beautiful spot, unfortunately it was a pretty drizzly day it didn’t quite match up with the pictures. Doesnt matter though, we got brownie, cake, and coffee at the cafe. And cornish cream. Yum, good day.

Kai the dog, posing for another photo!

Cian trying on clothes. This is in a supermarket!

We ditched the boys (or maybe they ditched us- Cian at rugby training and Chris had left to London to see friends, anyway, we ditched the boys..) and went on another castle adventure! Pendennis Castle is an artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII near Falmouth between 1540 and 1542. It formed part of the King’s Device programme to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire, and defended the Carrick Roads waterway at the mouth of the River Fal. We got to fire a (pretend) cannon, and had a good time checking out the complex.


London

With only a few days left in England we all packed our bags and headed to London to be proper tourists. Lucky for us, Mum had booked an amazing AirBnB in the city close to the river Thames which made exploring the city so easy!

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, site of British monarch coronations. So naturally our first stop on our touristy London adventure was a Harry Potter movie inspired walking tour.

On this walking tour of London’s streets we were shown London by a local while being entertained with behind-the-scenes stories of those locations as they relate to Harry Potter- some more directly than others. Our first stop was be the entrance to Diagon Alley, before we popped down to see the Ministry of Magic, and other filming locations finishing at Borough Market, London’s top street food destination.

King’s Cross Station
Riding the tube like locals
This doorway was in a Harry Potter movie
This is clearly Harry Potter related, I am pleased
An englishman and his bulldog (not directly Harry Potter related)
Lolly shop in London that sold Butterbeer. This beverage was a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting “a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch”.
Mum trying butter-beer, she did not love it.
For some reason english people go crazy for percy pigs (related to harry potter because it was in the store that we got the butterbeer from)
Issy being attacked by a dementor (Cian’s jumper) on Millennium Bridge (watch the 7th movie to appreciate this one)

Currinary highlight of London award goes to Dishoom restaurant which was amazing and I still think about it all the time.

Yum. Inspired. Delicious.

Dishoom
How is the food so tasty here?

Another highlight of London was the tower of London- it was surprisingly awesome. We got a tour from one of the guards who told us stories of the dramatic background of the tower, the dark rumours, and the actual crown jewels!

my new friend

Don’t worry Chris got his English breakfast in the pub! (ft breakfast beer)