Oct 2, 2012

Overseas Escapades

After the last 6 months of anticipation, I have finally reached it to the United Kingdom. As I have already been here for almost a month now, I figure it is definitely time for an overseas update!
My trip to England began in London, I stayed in an area called Victoria for 4 days at a youth hostel which was the PERFECT start to my trip! The weather in London was amazing for the 4 days I was there, keeping a consistent 20ish degrees the whole time. It actually caught me off guard as I expected it to be super cold the entire time!

The first day I arrived, I was so insanely delirious that I had to force myself to keep my eyes open. As check-in wasn't til 2pm, I had 4 or so hours to kill. Because the hostel was so close to Buckingham Palace, I took a stroll and stumbled across it within about 15 minutes. (I say stumble because I was literally so tired that I fell over, completely out of the blue, and received more than a few judging London looks.) Once I saw the palace, it hit me so hard that I was actually in London!! I had wanted to come to England for so long, and I was finally there, it was an incredible feeling to say the least. Whilst attempting to take selfies in-front of Buckingham Palace, I heard a more than comforting accent coming from a couple behind me. An Australian couple assisted me in my ridiculous attempts to take photos of myself in-front of the Palace, and I was so grateful. After walking around for a few hours, I headed back to the hostel because I had been awake for far too many hours to even count! On return to the hostel, I was lucky enough to overhear a girl talking to reception about a tour she wanted to book, which coincidentally was the exact same tour that I had booked tickets for the following day. I asked her whether she needed some help booking tickets as I had already done so, and we instantly got along. To be honest, I was in such a delirious state that I didn't have much idea as to what we were talking about, but after freaking out about hanging by myself for 4 days, it was nice to make a friend so fast :) Melissa was from Ecuador, and was also just about to start a study abroad program in France, lucky!!!

The rest of my time in London was filled with sight seeing and tours including the likes of South Bank, Big Ben, The parliament houses, Walks along the river Thames, London Eye, Oxford Street (which was INCREDIBLE!), Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, Trafalgar Square, Park Lane, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St Pauls Cathedral, Marble Arch, The Statue of Eros, Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, The Tate Modern and most importantly, the HARRY POTTER bridge a.k.a millennium bridge! Now I understand that for most, this wouldn't be a big deal... But as I am a ridiculous fan, seeing it "in the flesh" was amazing. As I didn't have too much time in London, I am yet to do some things but getting a taste of London just makes me want to go back even more. It is safe to say that I fell in love with a city.


  a few shots of my time in London

The day I left London, I jumped on a bus and headed up to Scotland to visit a friend, Mary. I was so excited to see her because I hadn't seen her in SO long, and it was so nice to just give her a big hug and say hello! To her disgust, as I had only been in the United Kingdom for such a short amount of time, she was less than impressed with my accent, the one that she had tried so very hard to lose. Mary met me at the coach station, and helped me haul my stupidly heavy bags to the bus, a drama in it self. Within seconds, one of the bags that I had brought with me because it was "light", had completely ripped AND the straps had broken! All the effort that had gone into weighing bags so I didn't have to pay excess, didn't really pay off in the end... but all's well that ends well I guess!

My first night in Scotland was eventful to say the least. After a bite to eat, Mary and I made an executive decision to go out and have "a few quiet drinks", and those were our famous last words. I literally cannot remember how many drinks I had that night, but it was insanely fun and crazy. This was the first night in the UK that I got a good sense of the drinking culture, and it was mental. Let's just say that the next day I was not feeling very well at all...

On my final day in Scotland, I booked a tour that began at 8.30am and finished about 6pm. I hopped on the coach in the morning, and the tour guide gave us an outline of what we would be doing for the day. He explained that we would be driving through the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland, finally ending up at Loch Ness, the infamous home of "Nessie" the "Loch Ness Monster". Unfortunately, I didn't see any signs of a monster in the Loch, but the town itself was so beautiful. The amount of things to see in Scotland is incredible, all of the scenery was amazing, I literally did not want to blink in case I missed something. All of the country side in the UK is so different to home, it is nice to actually see some greenery (although you would half expect it due to the rainy Scotland weather...) When I arrived home Mary had made me a delicious meal to end off a wonderful first week in the UK.

 Photos from Scotland

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