Greetings from London, England!!!! (Warning: Lengthy post ahead…)
It only took me a total of 15 hours to get here from the time I left my house at 2pm US time last Tuesday afternoon to when I arrived at my aunt’s place in London at 10:30am Wednesday England time (5:30am US time.)
All-in-all, the travel day wasn’t horrible. 6 hours from Boston to Frankfurt on Lufthansa’s business class is an extremely luxurious (cough cough SPOILED) way to travel. My dad works for Lufthansa so it just makes sense and all….
We landed in Germany at 5:30am their time before boarding a much smaller airplane for the 1 and a half hours to London, where the time changed again, back 1 hour.
Now, I’ve traveled abroad a lot in my life and jet lag isn’t something that normally hurts me too much, but this time around, it was BRUTAL. I don’t know if it’s because we left the USA so late in the day or if it was the 3 hours getting from Heathrow to my aunt’s house because of a massive line at the UK border or the amount of luggage we had or the time on the tube but either way, I was dying for sleep by noon.
After taking the fastest hour-long nap of my life, we were back up and off to one of my favorite places in all of London…
I proceeded to practically run around the store, buying things like Harrod’s brand red wine. Don’t judge me.. this is good stuff.
The rest of my week looked a little something like this:
On Thursday, we visited Windsor and saw the castle where the Queen is currently residing. We didn’t actually get to see her, but we did get to see her guards and their stellar hats.
We tried some on just for fun.
Friday….Stonehenge and Bath!
Stonehenge was beautiful, albeit a bit chilly but by the time we got to Bath, the weather changed completely.
We toured the Roman Baths and checked out Bath Abbey. Bath is the setting of one of my favorite books, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, so it was incredible being there where the story takes place.
That night, my cousins took me and my sister out to experience the London nightlife. Ever met an Irish kid you couldn’t understand because his accent was so thick? Now I can say I have…
One night club in particular looked slightly familiar..
Later that night, I decided it would be smart to stay up until 2:45am thinking that I’d get to sleep in the next day. My dad, however, had other plans, strolling into my room at a casual 7:00am to inform me that I needed to get up RIGHT THAT MINUTE because we were going to miss the 8:21 train to Oxford. Fail sleeping in.
Oxford included a tour of the gorgeous Blenheim Palace and scoping out Oxford University’s campus.
The rose garden of Blenheim was by far my favorite.
By the way, I got a new camera…can you tell? No more iPhone photos for me!
100 British pounds to whoever can name what movie this courtyard was featured in…. Hint: It’s one of my favorites series of all time.
After falling asleep on the train ride home, my family went to dinner at one of my favorite spots in London: Kandoo. This hole-in-the-wall Persian place is BYOB and serves incredible food. Even my mom, the pickiest eater in the entire world, loved it.
Today I finally got to sleep in and didn’t wake up until… noon. With my parents out of the house (they decided to go back to Bath and spend a few more hours there), Melissa and I printed a map, got some tips from our cousin Ali and hit the streets of London for our own pub crawl.
First up, The Beehive..
Then, The Marylebone, which ended up being my favorite stop of the day. I recommend the Passionfruit Bellini.
Third, The Prince Regent, where I had my first-ever glass of Zinfandel. I usually stay away from this type of red because I’m biased towards Merlot, Cab and Malbec, but this one was surprisingly delicious.
Our last stop, the Barley Mow, was cute too.
About three seconds after we left the Barley Mow, we got a call from Ali who told us to come to a bar called The Globe to watch the Italy-Spain “football” game with her, Gabby and bunch of their Embassy friends.
…And then Ali spilled her full beer all over the place and our new friend Derek laughed at her.
All-in-all, a successful pub crawl around London and a great way to end my first week here.
So that’s my trip to London up until this point. Tomorrow I move to BU London at Courtfield Gardens in Kensington and have orientation before starting class on Tuesday! Once I’m settled in, I promise more pictures and maybe a few more posts so they aren’t as long…
I want to know… Have you traveled or studied abroad? What’s your best advice for getting around London and/or Europe? I’m dying to get to Paris and Rome but I’m not sure of the best way to go about it… help!!