In the summer of 2011, my BFF and I went to the UK for 12 days—she was going for a literary conference; I was going because ENGLAND YOU GUYSSSS. Our trip broke down into four basic stages: London, Edinburgh, York, and London again.
Here's part one!
UK TRIP STAGE ONE: London
We arrived in London at about 7:30 AM British time, completely exhausted and jetlagged like you wouldn't believe (jet lag is REAL, people!). We had a snack in the airport and I used pounds and pence for the first time! I also dropped my credit card on the ground after buying train tickets, 0_o but fortunately realized it before anything disastrous happened. Oh, and as I was standing in line for the bathroom, I got asked if I "was in the queue" which was awesome. :-D
We took the train to the tube station (don't remember which one!) and got separated on the tube when I got off too early and she kept going—I asked for directions from a nice British lady and we eventually found each other again at the tube stop by our bed and breakfast. We realized maybe we should have bought minutes for our phones or something so we could get a hold of each other in the event of separation (whoops). Our bed and breakfast was this cute little house on a residential street, and the owner was nice enough to let us check in early, and we got hooked up to the internet and took a much needed NAP. Tragically, we were so ridiculously jetlagged that we opted out of going to the Globe Theater to see ARTHUR DARVIL on stage. Still bummed about that!! :-(
We ate at a charming little pub a few blocks away from our B&B, and were asked what sauces we would like with our meals. Jenny inquired politely what sauces they had (we had no idea why we were being asked about sauces, haha), and the waitress gave us a funny look and was all: "ketchup, mustard…" So apparently sauces = condiments. Good to know!
We spent the majority of the next day at the British Museum, which was filled with all kinds of incredibly amazing things, and I kind of wish I could go there every single day. We ate our first triangularly-packaged sandwiches on the lawn of the museum—there seemed to be a lot of opportunity to eat triangularly-packaged sandwiches that whole trip! I bought an adorable British Museum mug.
In the afternoon, we went to St. Paul's cathedral, and climbed all the way to the top! It was exhausting but so worth it. Then we stayed for Evensong, which was the MOST GORGEOUS THING I HAVE EVER HEARD.
Back at the B&B I discovered that my wifi had decided it was allergic to foreign air, and refused to connect EVEN THOUGH IT HAD WORKED FINE THE DAY BEFORE!!! It didn't work the entire rest of the trip. :-P Jenny generously let me borrow her laptop, which was apparently fine with overseas travel, but it was kind of rough for both of us to communicate with everybody back home! It was also the greatest period of time I had been away from my then-boyfriend-now-husband in the five months we'd been dating, and the separation was kind of a shock! Missing significant others is FOR REAL!! Yikes!
Next day we planned to head to Cambridge and spend the day there. Jenny was getting sick. :-( Highlight of the day was conversing with a British couple over breakfast about Doctor Who. It was like the epitome of awesome. They were impressed at how much we Americans knew. :-D
The Cambridge trip was kind of a disaster—personality clashes (oops), sickness, and fragile tempers began to rear their ugly heads. 0_o We did take a nice punting tour about the college, though, and got to ride a relaxing train, but all in all not our finest moments…
Next day was all about GETTING TO EDINBURGH, but I'll leave that for the next post. :-)
In London, our first night
Jet-lagged and ready for FOOD!
Our Bed & Breakfast
At the Boston Manor Tube Stop by our B&B
The British Museum!
Inside the British Museum
At the top of St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul's Cathedral
Punting in Cambridge