Monday, February 20, 2017

Across the Pond

It was finally our first travel weekend and we were kicking things off to London! It was definitely needed after my crazy week which culminated in 2 exams on Thursday. 

Thursday night we met at a bar for a quick drink before hopping on our overnight FlixBus to Londres! I supplied my friends with Benadryl and we all knocked out (with some interruptions for customs). Highlight of the night was the Chunnel because I just thought it was going to be a tunnel-like thing. It was wild - in fact you drive into a train and it takes you across ... uh under ... the English Channel.

Sunrise in London

Next thing I knew, I was waking up in London! Our bus got into Victoria Coach Station, but our first stop was some coffee and bathrooms at a Starbucks down the street. How nice it is to order in English! Us Parisians were meeting my friend from Skid who is studying in Madrid in another part of town about an hour later so we decided to walk there and explore the city! 

(Bucking)ham-ming it up!

We managed to meet up and the first stop was obviously food! We had gotten a suggestion about this cool Indian-fusion restaurant with unlimited chai tea! It was amazing. 

Bottomless ... Chai think yes!

Naan could have predicted how BOMB-bay this bruch was

We then had some time to kill before we could check into our Air BnB at 4 pm so we decided to haul our bags to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London since we knew it would be close by.  

I see London ...

After we had some more free time, so we adventured to Borough Market which had a bunch of little vendors selling all sorts of food. I got some fresh goat's milk ice cream - salted caramel which was perfect since the sun was out in London!

Finally - the clock struck 4 pm (or 16h) and we headed to the Air BnB to re-charge our dead phones and tired bodies. There was 5 of us sharing a room so it was super cozy but basically a 2-night sleepover! 

We only walked a little ... 

Dinner was at The Stable which is a little pizza/bar place near our Air BnB in Whitechapel. (It's quite funny because Skidmore's mascot is the Thoroughbred!) My friend and I split dinner which was a pizza with pulled beef, bacon, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper and sour cream; and a classic British pie which had lamb, garlic potatoes, rosemary and honey. It was so delish, but my fave part was the cider - Bee Sting, which after some stalking turned out to be made from pears. 

This meal was bae

We came back to our room after stopping for some snacks to watch the latest episode of Riverdale on Netflix after I did some Media Services-work and rebooted the wifi. 


Day 2: 

We woke up on the earlier side, but not too early because we were all exhausted from our long day yesterday. Our first stop was breakfast so we went back to Shoreditch where we had brunch the morning before. We found a little donut shop that was recommended by Buzzfeed so we knew we had to try it. My donut was heaven - a chai filling with pistachios on top (anyone who knows me knows it is everything I love). Then we popped next door for some bagels because we needed a little bit more substance (items in us?) than just a donut. 

Donuts and compliments - what isn't to love!

Rainbow bae-gel

We then braved the bus (!!!) and took it to the British Museum. It was so much fun and the true London experience on the double decker red bus - plus it was a great way to see the city. 

The British Museum was free which was a plus and we got to see some cool historical artifacts - not just from Britain, but from around the world. It was nice to be in a museum that didn't just have art (this one had mummies, tombs, jewelry and even clocks!) 

Hey there Cleopatra

We had a very busy day planned out so our next walk was to Kings Cross Station. London seems to be more spread out that Paris but it was still quite walkable especially when you got more towards the center of the city. I braved my blisters and we set off. 

Kings Cross was exciting but once we realized we were gonna walk to Camden Market, it was imperative to get some bandaids for me. So I had a nice little First-Aid pow-wow sitting outside King's Cross station putting at least 8 bandaids on... 

Camden Market was also so cool - there were so many different vendors with so many different types of food! We got Poppies (fish & chips) but a chicken pie and chips for me. Not to worry - I did try a little piece of the fish - because why not when in the land of fish & chips! 

Fish-in' for compliments

We bussed it over to Big Ben and the London Eye and the timing was perfect because it was golden hour so we got to take pictures right as the sun was setting. London is magical at all hours, but the sunset was amazing. 

Eye am in love!!

Big Ben? More like Big Bae

We walked (I limped) halfway back to the Air BnB before one of my blisters popped and then we took a bus the rest of the way. Dinner was small and unhealthy but very much needed (sometimes you just need a taste of home!). We then got some drinks to start out night out before we walked the 30 minutes back to Shoreditch to go out!

[sorry mom]

At this point, my feet were completely dead but you are only in London once! We found a club and it was a success* - the music was poppin'! I was blessed with a (second) piggy back ride part-ways home <3 

*success mostly, my foot was stepped on and I got a pint of beer poured down my back. Also when we were walking home, some guy attemped to grab me, but he was too drunk so it was mostly my arm. 

Sunday morning, my Madrid amiga left early so I woke up to send her off and then woke up for real a few hours after that. The bus ride home was long but I slept for a while which made the time pass. 

It was strangely comforting to be back in Paris -  we just hopped on the Metro like pros. Transitioning back to speaking French all the time (especially host fam dinner) was a struggle but I think I mostly got my adventures in London across to the fam. 

London was an adventure for sure and I think I can safely say I've been bitten by the travel bug (a phrase I tried to explain to the host fam over dinner) which is going to be a blessing but also maybe a curse. 

Cheerio! xxx

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