I've never been a big-city person.

Raised in a small, rural community of 750, I rarely made the 75-minute trek to Chicago. It wasn't because I couldn't; it was more because I had no desire to.

The congestion and traffic of vehicles and pedestrians is not my cup of tea. Last weekend, my trip to England took its major metropolitan turn, as we spent two days in London.

Seeing the city was a tremendous experience, as one can imagine, but it quickly proved to be a place I'd rather visit than live in. I'm sure once you escape the city center, there are plenty of treasures to be uncovered, but we didn't venture much outside of tourist central.

As such, prices seemed higher, crowds larger and anxiety levels climbed upward at an extreme rate of pace. Navigating the underground train system, especially with the of the key lines from the nearest station to our hostel closed for weekend, proved to be the first challenge, though once we figured out how to read the navigation maps, it worked out well in the end.

We did have the opportunity to take in some of the top tourist sites, such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and a cruise on the River Thames.

We also chose to embrace the American Halloween spirit we're missing by visiting the London Bridge Experience, a haunted house with a historical message, which has been named the scariest attraction in the United Kingdom.

The true highlight of the weekend, however, was riding the London Eye, the second largest Ferris wheel in the world. The timing was perfect, too, as we neared the top at sunset, creating an unrivaled view of the cityscape.

There is so much to do and see in London that taking it all in during a two-day stay would be absolutely impossible, but we saw what we wanted to see. Most importantly, we all enjoyed ourselves and our short stay.

But Sunday night, as we headed back to King's Cross Station to board the train back to Cambridge, I wasn't sad to be leaving. I'm much more enjoying our stay in the English countryside and the smaller cities like Norwich and Cambridge than the metropolis of London.

The capital proved a nice weekend getaway, but I'll take the rural landscape of East Anglia instead any day.

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On Twitter: AdamTestaSI

 

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