By the time I caught my morning flight to London, I was completely and totally exhausted. Staying with some friends allowed me a couple of days to just rest and edit photos. I also went to see Les Miserables and Billy Elliot. Both shows were stunning, but Billy Elliot was particularly refreshing. The show included so much powerful acting that it didn't feel like watching a typical musical. I haven't seen the version playing on Broadway, but apparently it's pretty different from the version playing on the West End. After seeing the version in London, I am very interested in seeing the one on Broadway so I can compare the two. It felt great to have some theater back in my life and to be inspired.
My friend showed me the main sights around London, including Big Ben and the London Bridge. I didn't take a ton of pictures, I chose to just enjoy the sights instead. Still, I couldn't resist a colorful carousel.
I intended to just take a snapshot of Big Ben, but I ended up taking the editing a bit further and liking the result.
I took a day trip out of London to Brighton. I didn't do any research beforehand, didn't have a map, list of things to see, anything. My friends told me it was beautiful and that it would be a great place to go and relax. I'm glad I took their word for it. I arrived at the train station with one goal, find the beach. I didn't ask anyone how to get there, I just went downhill. The city reminded me of the classic British tv shows my dad loves to watch on PBS. Lots of people were out walking, so I felt very safe and at home there. Eventually, I made it to the beach. Instead of sand, the beach is made of tons of tiny pebbles. I found a comfortable place to sit and people watch. The beach was scattered with pairs of people, friends, parents with children, couples. I saw an older man dressed in a suit and hat. His daughter and granddaughter played with toys in the rocks. He left them to wander closer to the waves, looking out at the ruins of a structure in the water.
Before leaving for Europe, I planned every bit of my first four weeks. Those four weeks passed, leaving me with two weeks in Europe, and no plan. I began taking suggestions from everyone who had ideas, and finally decided my next destination would be Scotland!