It’s been just about two weeks since I landed in London. Before I arrived I imagined myself seeing all of the sights, restaurants, bars and Instagram worthy spots. After a few days of realizing I had no source of immediate income coming my way I felt trapped in bed with no where to go. I was in one of my favorite cities in the world, and I couldn’t see it (to it’s fullest potential) Sure, I’ve been in years passed and had already seen most of the touristy things before; but landing in London and trying to keep the excitement alive I wanted to remind myself of why I had came here in the first place.
Most of my days I set off from my new flat on foot, with a mere idea of where I wanted to go. I let a poor GPS connection guide the way and it led me to some unfamiliar and interesting places. Most of the time though, it took me to places I had already scribbled on my lengthy todo list and had almost forgotten about. Like I had mentioned in my previous post “Don’t Make Plans in Paris” the most memorable moments are those that are found off the beaten path.
The main reason I fell in love with London at an early age was because of it’s character, history and it’s architecture. As I strolled along the cobblestone alleyways and foreign roads I came across many of just that. In fact it has been the majority of my journey thus far. Bright colored doors against the historical stone building, iron gates and tiled entry ways. Well this, this is what I came here for.
Some of the most well known and easy things to view are the Notting Hill homes. They’re famous for their bright and varied colors. Dreamy, I know. Something that I found a lot of in London are vintage cars parked all over the street. I asked my British flatmate if people actually drove these cars and she said yes. As us Americans know, their cars might be cute but they definitely drive on the wrong side of the road. Note: Notting Hill also was home to plenty of quaint cafes and antique bookshops.
If you have time while in London, take sometime to wander the streets and appreciate the beauty of buildings that have been up for centuries. This is something I’ve always felt America lacked. It lacked the quirky personality that a lot of european cities hold. This trait can only exist in time.
The key to seeing London for free is admiring the little details that make it stand out. If I’m going to start and write out as well as document my personal journey of living in a new city, specifically in London. I have to make it known that the first thing I’ve ever fell in love with here, is simply it’s architecture. And you can always see that for free. Also, I do want to list some of the things besides seeing London buildings that I’ve done for free. Whether you’re visiting or a local. Sometimes it’s refreshing to see your city from a new (and affordable) prospective. That I’ll save for another post. Enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you are.
The summer is coming to an end as September is just two weeks away. I still have Parisian memories last year of walking along the Seine River, then getting lost in the side streets. Paris is a place near and dear to my heart. It’s an ultra romantic and historical location, filled with rich history and culture.
Sometimes as a tourist you want to see all the sites and go to all of the recommended restaurants and bars. But when I travel the best advice that I have learned is to also explore the city without any plan. Somedays I would just walk along the Seine and wonder where it would take me. There are times I would buy an icecream and suddenly I was in the corner of a parisian alleyway and had no idea how I got there.
The best times are often not planned. So schedule in a day or two when going around a new site to just explore freely. You’ll find that cute little cafe that was not listed on Yelp, or that amazing vintage store that has no website. You’ll find your own little special part of town that no one knows about and create unexpected memories.
I can’t tell you where I was in these photos as I myself have no clue. Sometimes the best places are truly off the beaten path. It’s not just about not making in plans in Paris, don’t make plans on any trip you go. For then you will finally have an adventure on your own. Hope you are having a good weekend.
One of the coolest places I’ve ever been to in Paris is the @marchevernaison ✨👡 it’s a #fleamarket on the edge of Paris, literally the last stop on the metro. I found so many life long trinkets there It was mainly closing up as you can see in the picture when I got there. There was a shop their open that had an assortment of small treasures and I dug through baskets and baskets of jewelry to find a few pieces that I’ll cherish forever.
“Find Marché Vernaison, 99 Rue des Rosiers, and the smaller Marché Antica first on your right. Vernaison is a wonderful, winding market where you can find anything from furniture to beads, to missing parts from antique commodes, textiles, paintings, antique toys etc. It feels enormous and you can get lost wandering down the alleyways. If you’re looking for paintings and smaller objects, this is often the place to go. You will find economically priced country-style furniture here, as well as gems such as beautiful linens, paintings and decorative objects.” – Paris Perfect
“It is the oldest market, the one which initiated the present market formula. In 1918, its founder, Romain Jules Vernaison, for whom it was named, obtained the right on the grounds called ” the 22 arpents ” and organized its structure by building the first shacks destined to greet the rag-and-bone men and second hand merchants. Today its tortuous and picturesque layout remains, witness to the first steps of a now legendary place. It is the preferred natural setting for film directors who find here an atmosphere and a decor they do not need to create. Around the alleyways, over 300 professional merchants exhibit an unlimited variety of antiques, constantly renewed and for all tastes. The restaurant ” chez Louisette ” offers an old-fashioned atmosphere with traditional cuisine and musical entertainment.” – Marche Vernaison Website
Highly recommend making a stop here. Maybe take an uber back and bring an extra suitcase or leave some room in yours if you’re addicted to all things Midnight in Paris.
Just writing a quick update, I still exist! I am the process of reworking my blog so it is more useful and helpful to others looking for places togo or words of wisdom. If anything you can follow me on my Instagram, where I’m always updating on my Instastory and posting pictures daily! I find this is my first hub I goto to share content.