By Yanan Chen, University of Limerick international student
The Christmas holidays were going to be very special for me this year as I had been planning them for such a long time. I decided to celebrate both Christmas and New Year in Britain with my best friends whom I have known for more than 10 years. I was so excited to visit London and the city didn’t let me down, it’s an amazing place. I took lots of fantastic photos while I was there but we will get into that later. Just before I headed to the UK, I had a great Christmas dinner with my friends from the UL Chess Club. The food was so good and there was a great atmosphere celebrating the Christmas holiday with my friends 🙂 Ireland is located in Europe, and so it is very easy to travel anywhere when you are studying in Ireland. Limerick is just 20 minutes from Shannon International airport.
However, my trip did not get off to the best of starts. In London, my flight from London to Glasgow was cancelled because of bad weather and I had to wait in Gatwick Airport for further information for almost 9 hours! There were many stranded travellers because of the cancellation. It was awful and just happened on Christmas Eve when people were flying home to be reunited with their families for the Christmas holidays. So, I spent the first two days of my trip in the hotel alone as there wasn’t any transportation on Christmas Day. It was so terrible 😦
However, the time that I spent in London with my friends was totally amazing. Big Ben was one of the first sites we visited which was also one of the first places that I learned about in my English textbook when I was in middle school!
And The London Eye of course!
A pic of me enjoying the peaceful River Thames 🙂
The next day, I went to China Town 🙂 I felt so happy when I recognized every single meal on the menu, it felt like I was back home.
As a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, I felt it was necessary to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum on 221B Baker Street. I felt like I was a detective just like Sherlock Holmes himself, the museum was just so good.
The Britain Museum is one of the top sightseeing spots that I had to visit as well, although personally I am not gifted when it comes to art.
At night, we went to the M&M’s World Museum! M&M’s are my favorite sweets, yum yum 🙂
I have been eating M&M’s since I was a child so I was so excited to visit the M&M’s World museum. It was a dream come true, so many m&m’s (drool) 🙂
The billions of colourful M&M’s are everywhere. I was thinking that I would love to take them all back home with me 🙂
The streets of London were all decorated for Christmas and I was super lucky that I was able to share the wonderful experience with my lovely friends – three very pretty girls, lucky old me 🙂
I also visited the stately Buckingham Palace where the Queen lives and works. I arrived there a little bit late so I missed the Changing of the Guard. What a pity!
Tower Bridge was amazing at night!! I also went inside 🙂
I also visited Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It is a beautiful reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre which was built in 1599 but destroyed by fire in 1613.
Finally, it was New Year’s Eve and we were standing right under Big Ben for the countdown to the New Year. The fireworks were fantastic even though we were watching them from a distance 🙂
New Year’s Eve is supposed to be celebrated with the people you love and yes, I did celebrate my New Year with all my lovely friends that I love dearly. It was the best New Year’s ever!!!
London is a great place to visit and there are still lots of sightseeing spots left for me to explore in the future. I will definitely go back again for another visit!
I had a wonderful, amazing, unforgettable, fantastic and fabulous Christmas! I hope you guys did as well! 🙂