Hello, hello everyone! The time you have been waiting for is finally here, that’s right, London baby! The first trip of many to come and it couldn’t have gone better. Though get ready because this post is “honesty loaded.” As a side note when your university tells you not to join protests while abroad that means you should probably not go to London while everyone is marching against Brexit. Just not what they want you to do, sorry!
First off, I really do not recommend going out the night before you go on a train. Honestly I don’t know why we thought that was a good idea, but trains move way too fast for that to be comfortable. Just, don’t get drunk and then try to catch a train at 9:00am. It won’t happen. Rocky start aside, we got coffee after the train and once I had some food in me (a croissant of course) I was ready to start the exploring.
First stop: Westminster. I must say, from what I saw, it was absolutely stellar. Unfortunately, I only saw the outside, and that did not include Big Ben. Of course I took lots of pictures anyways. I mean I am certainly not an amateur tourist. During this stop we also got really great views of the London Eye (don’t worry I did not go on, that’s a tourist trap). It was absolutely gigantic, I was shocked. Though really everything about London was a little shocking, in a good way don’t worry.
After Westminster/London Eye we stopped at Tesco’s to get a quick lunch that we would be eating later at Trafalgar Square (whoops, spoiler alert). We then strolled through St. James Park which was really lovely. I made sure to take lots of pictures of all of the birds that were around (and was only mildly attacked for not knowing the names of all of them).
Second stop: Buckingham Palace (another place that I didn’t even know you could go in, will probably have to add that to the list for next time). Honestly what part of this place wasn’t impressive. I mean I was even in awe of the gates that we walked through. I loved the guards and their big hats. Pretty sure one of them yelled that me, but like it’s fine. I’m not mad…totally didn’t feel attacked by him. Side note: I walked like 13 miles on Saturday so who even needs the gym anymore.
After Buckingham Palace it was a trek to our third destination, Trafalgar Square. Which, by the way, required us to join the march to get in and later out of the square. I did, however, end up getting a “Bollocks to Brexit” sticker because I just couldn’t help myself. I also took a ton of pictures of the lions because why not. They were lions and I thought they were fantastic.
After some quick tourist shopping we were on the way to Shakespeare’s Globe. Let me just say that it was quite a walk to get there from the last known location. Unfortunately, we did not go inside, though I am hoping to see a show when it opens up again in the summer, pretty much right before I leave. We also went to the pub to get some drinks, but it ended up being terribly crowded so instead we ended up just walking around and getting a feel for the pub environment.
After all that walking and tourism it was time for a little break. Jonathan and I said goodbye to Allison and met up with Allie to track down Sheri’s flat. We got a little lost, but eventually made it and finally got to set down our backpacks. After a little freshening up we went back out (accidentally using the tube when we could have walked 10 minutes) and met up with some other exchange students for food at a pub. I don’t know if I was super hungry or if the food was just incredible, but I ate very fast. Then, thanks to Boris, we ended up moving to another bar for more drinks. Not that I am complaining because the bartender at the second place was a million times cuter than the one at the first. It was a good time.
It was then an “early” night (we got back with the intention of going to bed, but then Sheri offered tea and it we so did not mind agreeing to that) and a late morning. Another side note: Sheri is an absolutely amazing person and I cannot say enough how grateful I am for her hospitality and overall awesomeness.
A much chiller day and I did not mind that at all. Once we were all up and dressed we headed out to the British Library to look at some manuscripts. Honestly I don’t think my pictures do it justice so I won’t share them, but just know it is absolutely amazing and something that everyone should go to if they can. Mom, get ready because we will obviously have to go when you guys come across the pond in December. We spent a few hours just walking around and taking in all of the amazing books and artwork. It really was the coolest thing ever.
Once we finished walking through the room we headed back to Vauxhall to get some afternoon tea. The Brits really know how to do tea. We had cucumber and humus sandwiches, pickle and cheese sandwiches, homemade scones, and chocolate cake. I didn’t realize someone could get so full from such a seemingly small snack. For tea we went with Vanilla Black Tea and Lavender Flower Tea, which were both delicious. I now know how to properly pour tea and the proper way to eat scones (hint: it’s with jam and cream). Tea lasted a few hours and by then Jonathan and I were both exhausted so we took the train back to Guildford. That’s it, that is the London experience everyone. I cannot wait for my next trip with new people and new sights.
On another quick note I also started work officially, I think it will take awhile to get used to this whole bartending thing, but I really do like what I am doing. Learning waitressing, bartending, and the proper way to make a cup of coffee, all while working with some really great and funny people. Who wouldn’t love it? Classes are good, I spend most of my free time reading which really isn’t something to complain about. The friends I have been making are really fantastic and I still greatly enjoy their company. I look forward to visiting some of them after they go back home (I mean it will be a free place to stay while I travel, of course I look forward to it).
Finally, I hope all of you back home are doing well and I miss and love all of you. I am not very good at remembering to message to see how people are doing so if you are ever wondering if I want to chat just message or call me up! If I miss you I will just call back later. That’s all for me everyone.