London Calling

I shouldn’t have even bothered to unpack from our trip to Morocco seeing as we returned Sunday night and left on Thursday for England! Our flight was rather late and after getting absolutely grilled in customs and a few switches of trains, we finally arrived in Canterbury at 12:45 a.m. We chatted with the boyfriend and his roommates for a while but were off to bed rather quickly considering how late it was.

Friday morning we woke up early to go to campus because Jose had class and I had an interview with the graduate admissions office at Kent (whoa!). Luckily, everything went smoothly, and we had the rest of the day to ourselves. We left campus and headed into town to have lunch at Nandos… my first time ever! I liked it but wasn’t particularly enthralled like everyone there seems to be. After lunch we headed home, watched some TV, and finally decided to nap for a good while (the chilly weather in the UK makes it super easy). When we woke up it was pitch dark but only 5 p.m., so we felt like zombies and spent the evening lazing around, followed by making dinner before Jose headed off to work. Carol and I ate while hanging out with Jose’s roommates, and finally made a last minute decision to go out with his roommate and friends to the club where he works to visit him.

Saturday morning we woke up super early to catch the early train into London, which according to my luck, was cancelled, so we went home to wait out the hour between trains and then finally made our way into the city. Going with the theme of being late, we were delayed at one of the stops on the way in due to a mechanical hour, and ended up being more than two hours late to our planned arrival, but hey, such is life.

Our first stop was Kensington Gardens, somewhere I had never been before, and as we walked through the park it proceeded to pour rain sideways, soaking us from head to toe. (Of course) the rain cleared the second we left the park and walked into Harrods, our second stop. We didn’t spend much time in Harrods due to the fact that we’re college students on a study abroad budget, but we did enjoy walking past the windows decorate for christmas.

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Our next stop was Buckingham Palace. I had been there a few weeks before but we went back for Carol’s sake and it was cool to see again.

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After Buckingham, we walked toward Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the surrounding areas where we milled about for a while snapping silly photos and taking in the scenery. We then walked to Trafalgar Square, where we stopped for lunch and to give our feet a break from all the walking we had been doing.

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Once we were rested a bit we hopped on the underground to St. Paul’s Cathedral which reminds me so much of the scene in Mary Poppins where Mr. Banks walks to the bank to be fired after his children caused a scene earlier in the day. It was a beautiful building, but I think I prefer the architecture of Seville’s cathedral more.

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From there, we walked across Millennium Bridge, heading down the Themes towards the Tower of London, making a stop at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which was really interesting to see. I’d love to be able to go inside next time! After our long day in the city we headed home around 7 (after sprinting across St. Pancras Intl to catch our train) and were able to sneak in a quick 30 minute nap before beginning festivities for Jose’s birthday! It was quite a busy weekend and I am really looking forward to going back in two weeks to relax with nothing on the agenda!

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