Posted 03 Jan, 2014 | 14 Comments
Posted in: Our Story, UK

Have you ever found yourself in the incredible city of London with just a couple of days to spare? We were there in 2011 and found ourselves back there again at the end of our trip through Mongolia, Central Asia and Iran.

It was the last stop on our way home after a 5.5 month journey.

Our flight went from Tehran to Istanbul to London. We flew between time zones and completely lost track of what time it was, where we were or what day it was. We felt nauseous from the lack of sleep but that didn’t matter. When the plane touched down at Stansted Airport, we were recharged with a whole new energy!

sleeping istanbul airport
Trying to sleep off some of the jet leg in the Istanbul Airport

Our friend Jason, who we had met during our 2 week trip through the Pamir Mountains, was gracious enough to host us during our 2 day stay.

Having travelled through Iran as well, he knew what we would be wanting as soon as we got to his apartment: beer & wine. He had many bottles of each and we got caught up over some drinks and some delicious homemade food.

travel to london
Our awesome friend and host, Jason

It was shocking being back in the western world after 32 days in Iran. Women weren’t wearing headscarves and were showing the shape of their bodies in public. Liquor was for sale everywhere and we could use our ATM and Credit Cards at the machines. Happy Days!

Our goal in London was to spend our days being as English as possible.

First on our list was a Full English Fry-Up, also known as a heart-attack on a plate! Nick and Jason devoured fried eggs, bacon, sausage, bubbles n’ squeak, beans, fried mushrooms, toast and finally, black pudding. Quite the way to start the day.

full english breakfast
The boys enjoying a Full English Fry-Up

Going to London wouldn’t be complete without stopping in for a few pints at various local pubs. During our 48 hours there, we went to four different ones. Each had amazing character, and the expected pub smell of stale beer and pine.

pub in london
One of the character rich pubs we went to in London

We revisited the Parliament Building and Big Ben. We wandered through the Christmas Market along the River Thames and saw the gorgeous Tower Bridge lit up at night. We rounded the day off by watching the sun set over the St. Paul’s Cathedral from a nearby rooftop.

parliament and big ben london
The Parliament Buildings & Big Ben

Spending a couple of days in London was the perfect 1/2 way point between Iran and Canada. It got us back into the Western ways of thinking and acting and prepared us for our long journey back to North America.

tower bridge london
Stunning Tower Bridge lit up at night

When our plane touched down at the Vancouver Airport, it felt weird. Although we were excited to be home after over a year and a half of being overseas, it was a strange sensation that our recent Central Asia trip was over.

It felt like it flew by and we couldn’t believe that we wouldn’t be sleeping in another yurt, riding another horse or trekking over any high altitude passes. That chapter of our travel lives had concluded.

Now we had Christmas, visiting with friends and family and planning our trips for 2014 to look forward to!

Have you ever been to London? What would you recommend people see and do there? Share with us below!

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London Calling! Our 48 Hour Layover in This Famous City

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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14 thoughts on “London Calling! Our 48 Hour Layover in This Famous City

  1. We did something similar when coming back from Ecuador to London (our hometown) by stopping in Madrid for a few days first. I thought this might minimise the reverse culture shock, but in fact Madrid was as much a shock as London would’ve been, I think. Glad you enjoyed your time there; see you there next time?!

  2. I’ve lived in London for a few years (I wouldn’t repeat the experience!), this is a great city for a short visit. I also had my layovers from India/Nepal in London and the cultural shock was incredible after half year away from the Western World!

  3. Heh, I am inclined to agree – great place to visit but wouldn’t live there (though not many people agree with me!)

  4. Haha, ya I think stopping in Spain would be similar (in terms of western standards) as just going straight to England!

    We definitely want to meet up with you guys. Too bad it didn’t work out this time. Next time 🙂

  5. Ya, I agree, living in London I probably couldn’t do for a long period of time. But I do/did love visiting there! I could see us staying there for a few months one day. Coming there after India and Nepal would be crazy culture shock!

  6. I love that you decided on a life of travel and were able to make it work! Reading about your experiences in China teaching English was very interesting.

    Have you heard of Travelers share their experiences with each other, helping each other find destinations that are right for them and what locations to avoid. I think your travel experiences would make fantastic itineraries! Just a thought. ; )

    Thanks for putting up these articles. They are really great.

  7. Aaahh, how I do love reading blog entries and posts about travel bloggers’ experiences of my home town 🙂 That’s a great picture you’ve taken of Tower Bridge!

  8. Ahhhh I miss London. Last time I was there was in May and I’m really hoping to go back this coming summer. My favourite part about London is actually the free museums since I’m a total museum person 😉 Love the Tower bridge picture!

  9. Thanks! The bridge looked gorgeous all lit up at night. We love London 🙂

    Happy Travels.

  10. That’s definitely a bonus! Any way you can save money in this expensive city is always a plus. We didn’t have time for any museums, but next time hopefully we will!

    Thanks for the comment.

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