Cambridge

My Anglophile son has dreams of attending either Cambridge or Oxford, so we took the time to visit both towns and tour both universities.

Cambridge is a beautiful town. We arrived on day one of a four day graduation week. This made an already crowded little town even more packed.

We took a tour and saw Kings College and chapel, Queens College and other highlights. We learned a little bit about the history and distinguished alumni. We didn’t get the chance to go punting during this visit.

It was fun to see the graduates march down the street in full robe regalia.

London

I am in love with London. I barely scratched the surface, cannot wait to get back! We saw a great production of Billy Elliott, rode bikes through the parks, floated on the Thames. We gazed at the fancy guards at Buckingham Palace and the fancy jewels at the Tower of London. We even saw a display of dresses worn by the queen. I want more time.

Tower of London

What a strange place to keep the Crown Jewels! We queued up, and can you even believe it but tourists in London are so much more civilized than tourists in Paris, even though I’m positive we are all the exact same tourists, we just all read the book that said the British are very good at queuing.

London at first glance

We have a great studio apartment in Piccadilly Circus with fantastic views and a location that puts us within walking distance to everything.

At first glance, and right here in Piccadilly, London seems so much like New York! Except not at all. London is branded like everything at home; “The Coca-Cola London Eye”. But there is this other, proper side with polite road signs and patriotism around royalty – I know there is a word for that.

I don’t understand the monarchy but it is captivating and I can’t help but get sucked in. We rode bikes through Kensington Gardens!

The hop on/off bus here has a live guide!!! Best thing ever!

Tivoli Gardens

When I was young my mom sent me a postcard from Copenhagen with a picture of Tivoli Gardens. I was captivated by the idea of a magical amusement park in a foreign land. Visiting Tivoli Gardens was definitely a dream come true.

There were seniors there enjoying a concert and then wandering the park in their fancy clothes, there were families and young people. A lot of restaurants, coffee shops, dessert places. The lights didn’t start coming on until after 10, but when they did everything became even more magic.

Some of the things that made Tivoli Gardens seem foreign were the polite, well dressed people and that the mermaids in the kids ride were topless.

We had fun riding the rides and wandering around the park. Do this if you ever get the chance!

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We happened to land in Copenhagen on the very day they were having diving competitions off the top off the opera house. I am not making this up! I really wanted to stop and watch, but we were with a bike tour group and had to keep moving, so we saw the little mermaid and the changing of the guard and weathered two down pours. I was trying to explain to the kids what we missed and they didn’t get it at all, they were sure there was no way people could jump off the opera house into what seems like a canal. And I’m like “didn’t you see them standing up there? Didn’t you hear our tour guide talk about it?” Nope.