Things are starting to get busy over here! This past weekend we spent the days wandering around a little town called London. Did you know it is the most expensive city in the world? After classes and dinner on Thursday most of the school loaded up onto three coaches (they aren’t called buses over here) and took off for the three hour ride to the city! Once there we checked into our giant hotel, spent 15 minutes attempting to find our room, walked in, closed the window and cranked the heat as high as it would go! They don’t heat their buildings the same over here as we do at home so I typically spend every day in about 3-4 layers of clothing. Anyways once the heat was going and close to starting the curtains on fire we headed out! …to subway! Yes, they do have meatball subs over here J delicious! After that we just went to the pub in our hotel had a drink and then went to bed so we could attempt to get up earlier in the morning.
Eventually we got out of bed and made it down to breakfast (30 minutes after we told our friends we would be down there). We spent most of Friday wandering the streets with only a handout, cameras and credit cards! We realized this was a bad idea after we made it to lunch and only found one thing on our list. The one thing was the National Museum and it was pretty cool. It was interesting being able to see everything I have heard about in my history classes and realize that everything my teachers have said actually exists! Anyways after a nice Italian lunch we were re-motivated and took off again. Somehow we got lucky and looked down a little alley way and saw a big building that said National Gallery. We figured that was a pretty good place to walk to. We then realized that was pretty much the heart of London. At least I think. So we wandered around there. It was pretty amazing seeing paintings the size of an entire wall! If anyone knows how they painted things that large let me know! After that we spent some more time outside the building looking at fountains, Olympic countdowns, statues and street performers. It was a little scary when the “bobbies” (police) walked around telling us pick pocketers (sp?) were in the area and to hold onto our stuff. For the record we never had any encounters or problems with them. So after that we of course walked another couple miles. That’s how we ran into Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. HUGE!!! All of them were very cool except the Abbey had some construction going on so it wasn’t as exciting. After that we decided to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace. FYI she was there because her flag was flying on top of the building! Unfortunately she didn’t come out and hang with us. After that we started our hour and a half walk back to the hotel! We all settled into our nice warm beds and napped for about an hour! After being forced out of bed we went out for Chinese. Worst part of the trip, so we had to get subway cookies after wards!
Let’s see that leads into Saturday. This was another struggle to start. In case you are wondering getting out of bed was not an issue because of alcohol, we were just spoiled to have heat, television and real food! Anyways today we got smart and figured out the train system! Best creation ever! For E7=7 pounds we could ride all over the city! So that was an adventure! After getting off the first train ride our first stop was Starbucks! To help the espresso kick in we danced around the M&M store. Great music there for waking up FYI. We spent that day then searching for the London Bridge and Tower of London. We succeeded yet again! After that we gave in and got a quick lunch at Burger King and did a little shopping trip. That got a little crazy. The first store we went in was basically black Friday shopping for us but just regular shopping for them. I finally gave into myself and decided this would be an excellent location to buy a leather jacket! I still do not regret this decision. After that shopping attempt we hit up the National Portrait museum. Also cool because of how huge some of the pictures were. I’ll never get over the size of some of them! After that we realized we forgot to look at the most important item in the National Museum. We then hiked backed there to check out… the …2012 …London …OLYMPIC …MEDALS! SOOOO COOOL!!! Most of the facilities they will be using haven’t been built yet but I’m hoping they will have some when I go back to visit in April. After another quick break at the hotel we made reservations and headed out to a London steak house. Best meal I have ever had in my life. Sure I had to ask the waiter for suggestions and how to eat and everything but it was worth it. I had a perfect glass of real French wine to go with my sirloin steak! Yummmmm After that we headed out for a few drinks and met some people from Cleveland along with some Brits. Then it was back to bed.
On Sunday morning they loaded us back up on our coaches and we headed out to see Hampton Court Palace. I think that’s what it’s called. After a weekend in London we weren’t exactly pumped to walk around a freezing cold palace without lunch. But we persevered and did our best to stay entertained for 4 hours. I won’t lie it was pretty cool. There are pictures up on my flickr page. After that we napped the whole way back to our sucky little manor and started planning trips for next weekend; as well as ordering in a whole bunch of greasy food in an attempt to be able to watch the Packer game!
Today (Monday)was the first day of volleyball practice! I learned that we will be playing against anyone from beginner teams, to D1 teams to prisoners! Should be fun! The coach of course already knows my name and says that I should get used to setting because he wants to be competitive. Only because he has an accent will I agree! Tomorrow is the start of basketball practice so that will hopefully get me in shape as well.
Well that was a ton of writing and I’m sure I left some things out. Feel free to comment with any questions and check out my pictures!http://www.flickr.com/photos/beckibrunnquell/