Tuesday, August 05, 2008
...to visit the Queen.
One of the highlights of being here in England has been the opportunity of living so close to London. I've been able to visit the "Big British Apple" many times, always with a new mix of friends and family.
Although catching the 4 am bus from Bath to Victoria Station in London wasn't my most favorite scheduling in the world, I was able to meet up with my three traveling compadres just a few minutes after they arrived in the city, for our first stop in our four-country tour.
All I could think on the five-hour drive was "please let their backpacks be as big as mine!"
When my three dear friends rounded the corner, strapped into their cute little pill bug packs, I realized that maybe I should have left the tennis shoes at home. And the regular-sized shampoo. And the two sweatshirts. And the jacket. Everything that seemed so essential at two in the morning (just a few short hours ago) was now slung over my shoulders. Ah well.
Seeing my Alaska friends at the Victoria Station threw me into a world-colliding-disorientation that is becoming more and more familiar. Laurilee, Sarah, and Jannell, after all, round out my total American visitor list to an even 10.
London can be a pricey place to sleep, but thanks to Hotwire we were able to find some very reasonable accomodations in the beautiful London haunt, the Holiday Inn Express. We were happy to camp out there for a few days, see some sights, and get adjusted to time zones and group dynamics.
Some things that we did:
Visited the Borough Market (I think that outdoor markets might be my new favorite. Does that make me a yuppie?)
Sound of Music! Maria was a little over the top (your place in my heart is safe, Julie Andrews) but the music was, as always, fabulous. Those Von Trapp kiddos have some pipes!
Hunted and discovered a good old, dark paneled, English pub.
After a few days in London, we braved the Gatwick Airport and entered the orange-hued world of EasyJet to fly to Spain.
Wait Jess, you may ask. Haven't you already been to Spain?
Well, yes. I did just go last month. But this is different Spain. This is Barcelona! Home of all the Barcelonians!