london, baby!

Just touched down in London town.

After a few days in Paris, I took the Chunnel to London. The Chunnel (Channel Tunnel) is a rail that connects northern France to southeast England. There are over 23 miles/37 km of the tunnel that is underwater. It’s a very popular way to get from Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, and Lille in France to London. The trip took about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

London was loads of fun as well. I stayed by Hyde Park, a very convenient location to many of the attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, London Eye, and Kensington Palace. The London Tube was easy to use and traversed all across the city, which made getting to and from the British Museum, British Library, and Wembley Stadium effortless.

When I came back from vacation, most of my friends and colleagues would ask, “Which one do you better?” London or Paris? Honestly, the two cities are very similar in a lot of ways. An epicure’s dream, culturally enriching with museums that house impressive works of art or sculptures, beautiful urban green spaces and parks, and landmarks that are historically significant.

To me, Paris is a breathtakingly gorgeous city that is well designed, compact, architecturally impressive, and more walkable. Meanwhile, London is more ethnically diverse, and its world-class museums are free. At the end of the day, it comes down to one’s preference. Scones or croissants? Louvre or the British Museum? Versailles or Buckingham Palace? Harrods or Champs-Élysées? Quite frankly, there’s no need to choose. I would love to go back to both.

Buckingham Palace
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hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home

I’ve been a diehard Potterhead since 1999. As most 90s kids did, I lived and breathed the Harry Potter series, dreaming of the day I would receive my Hogwarts letter (and still waiting for that darn owl to make its way across the pond!). Every year that a new book was released, I spent the whole night reading the newest novel in the series.

I’ve been wanting to come to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida ever since they announced the first phase of the park back in 2007. When I learned that I would be in Orlando last month, I was beyond ecstatic to come to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split into two parks — Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida and Hogsmeade/Hogwarts at the Islands of Adventure. You can purchase tickets for either park or both. You can take a Hogwarts Express train between the two parks. I definitely recommend purchasing tickets for both parks!

You’re a wizard, Harry.

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