This last weekend was one of the best experiences of my life! We decided to take an extended weekend trip to the land of double-deckers and hot princes. London!!!
Before we came to Spain, Lauren looked to see if her favorite band, Yellowcard, was playing a show here. Unfortunately they weren’t touring Spain, but they were in the London. Needless to say we bought tickets as soon as we could!
I’ve always wanted to see London and it was nice to be in place where they speak English all the time! I didn’t realize how much I missed it until we got there.
We had almost 12 hours of travel from Granada to London, because like usual, we found out there was an easier way to get there after we bought our flight through Madrid. Did you know that there is a direct flight from Malaga to London and it only takes a 2-hour bus ride? We didn’t, but you live and learn.
After we got off the tube, we were walking on the sidewalk when some guy opened his window and yelled out to the world, “does anybody have some cocaine?”
Welcome to London.
|The best fish n' chips I've ever had!!!|
We finally found our hostel at 10p.m. We stayed at the Generator Hostel and it is the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in. They have a chain of these places through the UK, Germany and Denmark. There’s a bar, nightclub, pool tables and free breakfast. It was very hip and student-oriented. Sadly, we didn’t spend a lot of time there because we want to see so many things.
After not having a decent meal all day we decided to eat at the diner across from our hostel that had the best fish ‘n chips I’ve ever had. The fish was melt in your mouth good battered in fried deliciousness. The chips were also made how I like; soft, not crunchy.
I also have a friend, Steven, from UNM who’s studying abroad in England and he spent the weekend with us. It was nice to have another friendly face there, it made the trip a lot more fun to have a bigger group.
|In front of Westminster Abbey|
Bright and early Saturday morning, we met Steven and for some bizarre reason, the sun was actually out. Our first stop was Westminster Abbey. This was the place I was super-duper excited about, for two reasons. The first is that I love history, especially the Tudor England period. When I was in seventh grade I had to do a presentation on Queen Isabella and proceeded to connect her to Henry VIII and his wives all the way down to the death of Elizabeth I! Needless to say, I got an A. I was a really nerdy kid, haha.
To visit the site where so many important coronations, burials and other important events in Britain’s history took place is truly surreal. To experience it for yourself is a very humbling experience.
The second reason is that I wanted to try and steal a brick. When my Aunt was in college, she took a tour of the Abbey and somehow managed to steal a brick, which she still has today and promised to give me when she dies, haha.
I was unsuccessful. After touring the Abbey, I have no idea how she did that. Those bricks are massive and with all the cameras and people around I don’t understand how no one saw. Plus, I was so awe-struck, I totally forgot about my plan.
After the Abbey, we met the New Europe people to do a free city tour, like the one we did in Madrid. We took the tube to Hyde Park and in 2 hours we saw, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, Trafalgar Square, and a lot of really distinguished places.
After the tour, we were all starving. We stayed with our tour guide to go have a bite to eat. We got a 25% discount, which is awesome since London is so expensive. At first I was gonna stick with fish n’ chips, but then I saw Macaroni and cheese on the menu. Besides green chili, Mac and cheese is one of the other foods that I desperately miss. I was extremely disappointed, because the British totally failed at this dish. There was hardly, if any cheese in my meal and it was very bland.But for only 3.75 pounds, it was sufficient.
|View from the Eye|
Afterward we decided to head over to the London Eye. Even though the tickets are pricey, its something you have to do! We got our tickets and got in our gondola about twilight, so we were able to see the city at night! It was one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen!
Besides going to the abbey, riding the eye was the only other time that I was at a loss for words. London is such a big city, and to really see it, you need to see it from a bird’s eye view. It was another reminder that there are bigger things going on in the world, and there’s so much more to see and experience in this world than the places we are comfortable in.
Once we were finished, we were getting hungry again. Since lunch sucked, we wanted to get something really delicious, like Indian food. We went back to the hostel to ask where we could find a good place and the guy recommended we go to Bricklane. It’s a neighborhood that’s apparently jam-packed with Indian restaurants.
“You take either the tube to Liverpool Street or Adgate East and it should be on your right.”
When he said “on your right” he should have said, “its hella far away to your right." After we got off Liverpool, we walked for about 15 minutes on the road that we were supposed to be on, but there was no Bricklane. We were tired and hungry so we settled on the ext best thing: Pakistani food, and since Pakistan used to be part of India, I assume it’s almost the same thing.
It was delicious! We had a combination of Lamb and chicken in different sauces and rice and this really amazing sweet bread. A perfect meal after that poor excuse for mac n’ cheese.
We finished our night at King's Cross Station to see none other than platform 9 and 3/4!!! For some weird reason, we couldn't get through the platform, I have no idea why haha.
|The British Museum|
The next day we went to the biggest housing of stolen artifacts; the British Museum! Again, the nerd in me was coming out! This was the kind of place that I could spend a whole day in just taking in the wonders of civilization! Sadly, we only spent two hours there because we wanted to get to the Tower of London.
We only got to take pictures of the bridge and the Tower because we were super hungry and needed to eat before the concert. We had some French food that was reasonably priced and then headed back to the hostel to change and get ready for the concert.
I’ve never been a big fan of Yellowcard because I haven’t heard anything after Ocean Avenue, but they were really good. They were only the opening act for a band called All Time Low, who according to my friend Nick, blows, but they were alright. They also got a lot of bras for their collection, and taught the audience what a furry party is! The only thing I noticed was that the Brits don’t get too wild at concerts. It wasn’t super crowded and no one was pushing. I don’t know if it was because it was a Sunday night or if they’re just boring. After the show, I was hoping that the place with the fish n’ chips was opened but it wasn’t. We went to bed and three hours later we headed home on another 12-hour journey.
Palabra del día: Since this is a British themed post I'm gonna give you my favorite English slang word: Bollocks meaning nonsense, useless or testicles.
Cheerio for now!