Letters to Liona: Hello from London!

Liona is my 8-year-old niece. She lives in rural Wisconsin where I grew up, and like a lot of starry-eyed country kids, she's fascinated by cities and dreams about traveling and seeing the world. I wanted to find a way to share my journey with Liona and give her a little snapshot of what life is like in different places, so I've decided to write her a letter each month. Thought you might enjoy following along, too.


Dear Liona,

Hello from London! The picture above is of the first thing I saw when I arrived in London: a big train station called Saint Pancras Station. I got here by riding a train that went all the way from Paris, France to London, England. The train goes super fast (almost 200 miles per hour), and it even went through an underwater tunnel for part of the trip.

It would be so much fun to have you here with me, so I thought maybe we could explore London together. Ready for a little adventure? Let's go!

First, I want you to meet my friend Isobel. Isobel is a student in London, and she showed me around. Here she is with a message for you:


Lots of people don't have cars in London. They get places by riding the subway and trains that go all around the city. So...that's what we did!

The subway cars are full of people, all going different places.

The subway system here is called the Underground, or "The Tube." It was the first underground railway in the world. There are now lots of Underground routes all over London. I think the map of all the Underground pathways looks pretty cool:

It rains a LOT here...time to get out our umbrellas when we leave the Underground station.

First stop: London Bridge! The other bridge you can see in the background is called Tower Bridge. It looks kind of like two castles, doesn't it?

There are lots of fancy-looking buildings in London. I can't remember what this one's called, but it sure seems fancy. 

Across the river from that fancy building is a giant ferris wheel. It's known as the London Eye. It moves reeeeeaaaaally slowly, so it takes about half an hour for one ride. From the top, you can see a lot of the city.

Look, a double-decker bus!

Most of the houses here are really tall, skinny, and close together.

We saw a guard on his horse, and the most famous clock in London: Big Ben!

Also, a lot of old-fashioned telephone booths.

Whew! We've covered a lot of ground. Time to get back on the subway and head home...

...and have my favorite British snack: crumpets and tea. Crumpets are kind of like really thick, holey pancakes. You cover them in butter (and maybe jam) and then: YUM!

Thanks for joining me for a day out in London! Maybe next time we'll try to meet the Queen. :)



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