London, Finally

I’m sitting in the airport about to write about my trip to London last weekend while I wait to go to Morocco. Is this real life?! I can’t believe that this is actually happening!

Before we left for London, we got to celebrate an American Thanksgiving with a dinner through the university. After classes on Thursday, Jess, Alex, Rachael, Angela, and I went to the Thanksgiving theme decorated cafeteria near SLU. We had invited madre and padre to come, but they weren’t able to get there until an hour later. So we grabbed our plates of turkey, stuffing, peas, mashed potatoes, corn, and cheesecake before joining other SLU students at the dinner table. It was nothing close to the home-cooked Thanksgiving meal I get at home, but it was still a good feast. When madre showed up, all our friends got to meet her; it was great. Of course everyone loved her. When we were all stuffed to the brim, Jess, Rachael, and I went to go see SLU’s production of Tartuffe. It was a spur of the minute decision to go, I didn’t have anything  better to do, and it turned out to be pretty funny. The play ended and it was time to head back home so that I could skype my family for Thanksgiving. I had a blast and a half seeing everyone and answering their questions.

I started this blog in the Madrid Airport waiting to go to Morocco and now I’m finishing it in the Zurich, Switzerland Airport waiting to go to Berlin. My life is perfect.

I only got to sleep for a few hours after skyping with my family before hopping in a taxi to the airport to catch our 6:30am flight. We arrived in London and found a cute little café to chill and plan out our weekend. We started off with the famous wax museum, Madame Tussauds. It was so cool!!! I couldn’t get over how life-like the figures were. Since they were sometimes scattered on the floor, I mistook a few of them for real people. We walked around for a while posing with our favorite celebs. Naturally I got my picture with Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and the royal family. Other molds there were Robert Pattinson, Russell Brandt, Justin Timberlake, Obama, Hitler, Gandhi, Churchill, E.T, Marilyn Monroe, and a ton more. After our star treatment we went to go see a musical. Theaters were everywhere and there were a ton of advertisements for ½ price tickets. While we were riding the Tube, we saw and advertisement saying, “If you love Big Bang Theory you’ll love Loserville.” So obviously we went to go see it. It ended up being the most cliché, catchy, and generic musical out there. Other than a few Star Trek references and the overall theme of nerds, it was nothing like Big Bang Theory. Still, we walked out of the theater with all of its catchy songs stuck in our heads. Afterwards, we caught a glimpse of London’s nightlife as we walked around the city area.
Saturday we wanted to do the Fat Tire Bike Tour since we loved it so much in Barcelona. On our way to the bike tour, we passed the famous Tower Bridge; so we stopped there for our classic abroad selfies before meeting up with our bikes. So like London, it started raining when our tour began. Now I have done both of the bike tours in the rain. We plan on doing one in Berlin too because a guy on our ride in London said it was fabulous so I’m hoping the rain will hold out for our third and final bike tour. On our bikes we drove through 3 Royal Parks and saw Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, and The Princess Diana Memorial. It didn’t quite live up to the greatness of Barcelona’s, but it was still a blast and a half. After riding for almost 4 hours in the cold rain, it was back to the hostel to warm up and get a quick nap in before going on a pub crawl. It’s funny when we go out in other countries because in Madrid we usually leave our apartment around 11:30/12:00. The pub crawl started at 7:30 and we just can’t handle that. The first bar we actually went to closed at 12:30. That’s unheard of in Madrid. Kapital didn’t even open until midnight in Madrid. So we left a whole lot earlier than we’re used to and were back by 1:30am. So weird.

Sunday was yet another early morning. Jessica had wanted to do the Harry Potter tour, so Rachael and I went to visit the London Tower instead. At the Tower we got to see the crown jewels and a lot of other royal paraphernalia. The grounds were impressive and we spent at least 4 hours walking around the museums and premises. Bedazzled by the royalty, next on our agenda was to shop around the Portobello Market. Apparently on Sundays it’s a winter wonderland. We were ready to pregame for our trip to the Berlin Christmas Markets. I expected the streets to be crawling with vendors. It was a baby compared to El Rastro. They had lots of cool vintage things and a variety of food stalls. We paraded around the area eating delicious food and drinking hot chocolate. It was an awesomely chill Sunday afternoon. When we’d hit up all of the shops, we walked to the British Museum mainly to see the Rosetta stone and meet up with Jess. Fortunately, they put the main attraction on the first floor: easy access. We admired the language inscriptions for a while. It was fantastic. I still can’t get over all of the things I’m seeing that I’ve learned about in the past. After the museum, we just casually strolled around the city doing some shopping. We headed back to our hostel at a decent hour so that we could get a few hours of sleep before we had to catch a bus to the airport at 5:30am. It’s going to be a great day when I can finally sleep in and not set an alarm for some ungodly hour. It was another one of those get in early in the afternoon and go straight to classes.

Overall, London was amazing. I could sit an listen to their accents all day. However, I could not study abroad there. The dollar to pound conversion was out of this world; it ended up being my most expensive weekend. Since we only paid 21 euros for our round-trip flight I guess I can’t complain.

What a weekend. 

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