Escape of the Week: London’s Big Ben

London’s Big Ben is recognized the world over. Located within the historic Palace of Westminster grounds, Big Ben is the name for the bell of the clock, but is also used to refer to the entire tower.

Did you know it is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world (according to Wikipedia)?

At more than 150 years old, Big Ben is one of the must-visits while staying in London.

If you’re a resident of the UK, lucky you —  you’re able to climb the 330-plus steps inside the tower to the top! For the rest of us, we get to take photos and imagine (or ask our UK buddies) what the interior of this iconic tower looks like.

Have you visited Big Ben? Have you been inside?


Destinations Travel Tips

Sorry, mate

After a lengthy discussion in a pub in Soho regarding the Brit’s use of “sorry” and “mate” in conversation, Pat and I were on the escalators headed to the Tube having an entire conversation in  only those two words as we ended our day out in London.

It went like this:

Pat: Sorry.

Me: No worries, mate.

Pat: Sorry?

Me: Mate, sorry?

And continued as we giggled at our meaningless cider-fueled banter.

Pat, a friend of  mine I had met in Las Vegas when we worked on Fright Dome (he did the photography/videography and I did the PR), and stayed in touch beyond both of our exits from Sin City.

Before I go any further, I have to admit I have serious visa envy towards Pat. His girlfriend, Lina, is Swedish and lives there, and he just got his two-year visa and moved to Sweden three weeks ago. My mind just goes into crazy overdrive hyper mode even thinking what I would do with a visa.

After spending the majority of my time combing the streets of London by myself, it was so nice to have an old friend to galavant around the city with me.

Shaun had to work nearly the entire time I was in London, so I mostly ran around the city wandering wherever felt right.

I’m pretty sure I fell in love with Notting Hill and Portobello Market — the winding streets of row homes all painted different colors, the little vintage shops and the pubs made me feel warm and fuzzy. It was easy for me to spend a day just walking around the area.

But it was the last day with Pat, his girlfriend and their friend that was my best day in London.

Blog Travel