Lodging: Hostel 639
Sketchiness Factor (on scale of 1 - 10): 9
Contributing Factors: - proximity to large walled cemetery
- cash only policy
- walked several blocks in the dark upon arrival due to getting off at the wrong bus stop
- drunk guy who wanted to see my passport
Activities (in the order i remember them):
Getting questioned upon arrival at Heathrow – Krispy Kreme doughnuts – The British Museum – Fish and Chips – The Producers – The Tower and Crown Jewels – Palam Sunday at St. Paul’s – Hyde Park and the changing of the Guard – looking at the globe theatre – Drury Lane (please note the lack of finding the Muffin Man...not a single fresh muffin could be found, only one in a plastic bag) – received a text message from my sister telling me that she had sent me an email – the statues next to parliament (who decided to make a park in the middle of a traffic circle with no cross walks to get to the park?) – the neverending search for food – being sent away from the national gallery – a full (vegetarian) English breakfast – Trafalgar Square – Platform 9 & ¾ - bookstores
Lodging: the Mayland’s House
Sketchiness Factor: -¥
Activities: Everything was so wonderful. Upon arrival we were fed brownies an Flap Jacks and talked to Andrea, Liz, David, and Matt (Liz’s fiancée). Then we went to dinner at a real live English pub (where four out of the seven people ordered the fishcakes) and then to this new bridge that changes colors. The next morning Andrea packed us lunches for the train ride to Edinburgh and took us to see Alnwick Castle where parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed (taking the scenic route she told us about the various neat things we would see as we rode the train north later on). There were pretty owls and eagles at the castle for a bird show they do every day. Then we were whisked back to the Newcastle train station.
Lodging: Cleoden Backpackers Hostle
Sketchiness Factor: 6
Contributing Factors: - the guy who checked us in’s eyebrows
i was making a schnuffie
Castle – palace at Hollyrood House – the "mountain" next to the palace – Rent the movie – st. Giles cathedral – reading in a different park – schnuffies – national gallery (on like 4 paintings with kilts in them in the whole gallery) – walking to the Firth of Fourth (almost) – the grocery store – the Scottish parliament building is really ugly – an all you can eat Chinese Buffet that claims JK Rowling wrote there – banana bread – fudge
Lodging: Abraham House (not associated with Issac’s Hostel down the street)
Sketchiness Factor: 9
Contributing factors: - at four o’clock in the afternoon everyone else in our room was asleep
- the sopping wet carpet
- the loaf of bread for breakfast
- ...oh and the stolen camera
- that the people wanted to watch the discovery channel’s "how they make rope" at breakfast
Being back on the Euro – the Patagonia Outlet store!!!!! – Walking around not being allowed into bars (very strange coming from Germany) – Dublina (who knew that vikings didn’t really have horns on their helmets) – Dublin Castle – hiking to the National museum (almost) – day trip to Wicklow (and a tour guide who wanted to be Jack Nickelson and like to talk about how much he loved wearing his Braveheart extra wig) – Easter at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (where Jonathan Swift is buried) – Irish dancing and singing – an Easter parade (that ended up being purely military...which was really confusing, until we learned about the Easter rising of 1916...take that england) – the National Museum (for real this time) – a picnic in the police station – the play True West by Sam Shepherd (which the german kids in my grade read earlier this year and now i understand where all of the strange questions i was asked came from) – the book(s?...there are more than one of them, but it isn’t plural for some reason) of kells & trinity college
Lodging: Kilarny House
Sketchiness Factor: 5
Contributing Factors: - the score would have been a 3 if it weren’t for the mummy man incident
trying to convice the rest of the people in the tv room that there was a soccer game on and yes, we did want to watch it – eavesdropping on the boys who were speaking german (one wanted to become a fisherman, because he thought it would make him free and the other, upon learning that we were american, asked (as most adolescent germans do) if we liked watching "The O.C., California") – watched an episode from this season of Desperate Housewives (and was subsequently confused..isn’t she supposed to be pregnant? Why aren’t they together? Why are they together? Why is he still working for him? If they are workign together now, who is looking after their children? Is he really going to eat a doughnut out of the toilet while his wife is there? Is there really such a thing as a wondering spleen?) – the Cork County Butter Museum – an old prison, with very special effects – a bakery
Lodging: WakeUp! London
Sketchiness Factor: 6 (despite being in a nice section of town)
Contributing Factors: - well, their motto is WakeUp! with someone new
- you couldn’t turn the heat down (so we had to sleep with the windows open and i could hear traffic and the birds chirping so i didn’t sleep at all)
- like half of the bathrooms were out of order
Sadly not getting questioned at Gatwick (I mean when I arrived at Heathrow i was asked for an address and how long i was going to be there, how cool would it have been to get to respond to these questions "umm well i’m only going to be in the UK for about, what time is it? 11:30? Well then six hour" Carlie could have told them that she came in only for a day, just for the queen’s birthday....but if you fly in from Ireland you just have to hand in your ticket stub and walk through a door) – Going the wrong way to the hostel – not sleeping – taking the train to the airport at 5:10 in the morning
I had to go through security between the flight gates. walking from gate D something to B something required my already security approved self to go though again. I really wanted a Miffy shirt or one by that company. There was a really cute one that said "the fish says blub" in dutch, but unfortunately they only make kid’s sizes, like really small ones like only big enough for a 6 year old. My plane had a propeller on each wing and my seat was directly beside it. It was so loud. The guy next to me moved so i could scoot over one and save my left ear drum.
Lodging: the Fröhlingsdorfs
Activities: i had two ten euro cent coins and my cell phone battery was dead. The first number i dialed to get picked up was wrong and the second was correct, but nobody answered. And i had just missed the bus. So i had to walk home with all of my luggage. Two and a half to three miles with my 15 kg backpack and my purse and my paperbag of things that wouldn’t fit in my pack. Sure i’ve backpacked further on hillier terrain and through worse weather (it was a beautiful day). It was also kinda strange/embarassing to walk by the fußballplatz where boys from my grade were playing soccer. I was kind of disappointed because they said someone would be there to pick me up. But no one was home and i was locked out. They ended up being at a meeting to finalize the selling of their house (they move out in October), which is good. I was going to take a nap on the lawn, but then anja came home and she let me in through her part of the house. And one of her friends from canada is staying with her for a while and has been using my bike and i couldn’t really tell if i was going to be able to use it while he is still here (the bike was originally anja’s). i just use it to get to and from school and sometimes out to Porta, but it would really cramp my style to have to walk to school...it could really lead to me skipping class and arriving late.
Whoa! Am i missing something here in germany? I mean girls are wearing stripes and a few polkadots, but the girls running rampant on the dublin streets are like obsessed. It was like they were only allowed to wear two colors at a time, from their hair thing to their shoes. And the boys were all wearing coordinated windsuits...were the eighties really that great?
We timed our time in the english speaking world a little off, as it seemed that there were no movies worth seeing out...Scary Movie 4 anyone?
Our seats at the Producers were not conventionally good seats, but near to the stage high in the air. Initially i thought that i wouldn’t get to see the Actor/ess’ faces, but after the first scene it was ok. Do they have the Producers in germany? Things could get a little hairy as far as Springtime for Hitler goes.
The London underground isn’t wheelchair or stroller friendly at all.
We tested the new Diet Cherry Coke and it tasted more like cherries than regular cherry coke does.
Everywhere we went there were people speaking german.
I have fifty euros off of my next klm, airfrance, northwest, ... flight because i was kicked off of my inital flight to london.
The museums that really should sell tshirts, like the butter museum and the viking museum, don’t.
I read three books. The Accusers, Pride and Prejudice, and Freakonomics (in reverse order). If you happend to be in Edinburgh and saw three girls sitting on a bench all reading Jane Austen, that was us. (i also read the white, which was totally pointless, when i got back to minden)
According to the trendy japanese restaurant, Wagamama, slurping your noodles is the was to go. Apparently the increased oxygen enhances the tastes of the food.
I’m sure that i have left many things out. And I’m really impressed if you made it this far down the page.