Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There and Back again...

I went to London this past weekend and it was amazing. We took the bus, as it was the cheapest means of transportation. It was cool to cross the channel—the bus drove right onto a ferry and we were off to England. Although we arrived at 5 in the morning without getting much rest during our trip, we were so excited to be in London. The first day was cold and rainy, but we stuck it out and went on a free two and a half hour walking tour to see the highlights of the great city. We saw Buckingham Palace, the former MI6 headquarters, Hyde Park, Big Ben and Parliament, and a little bit of Westminster Abbey.
After the tour we headed to a nearby pub for England’s famous Fish and Chips—we were not disappointed and they even had Heinz Ketchup for the chips!! After that we went back to our hostel, checked in and got everything in order. That night the rain cleared up and we went to the famous department store Harrod’s. Although everything was far out of our price range it was cool to see were the elite Londoners acquired their garb. A quick bite to eat then it was back to the hostel. We spent most of the rest of the night in the pub that was in fact a part of our hostel—why not?
The next morning we got our free breakfast and headed to the Underground. We caught a train to the London Tower and although it was too pricey to lure us inside for a tour, the outside was very cool. Next, we crossed the Tower Bridge, which we mistook for the London Bridge due to the fact that it is actually much more impressive than the London Bridge. We got some lunch—the first hotdog I had in while—and then set out to find the Globe Theatre, which was where Shakespeare held many of his dramas. We crossed the famous Millennium Bridge and saw St. Paul’s Cathedral. After that, we took the underground to Wimbledon to see the city park and the famous tennis courts.
We arrived back to our hostel and we were very tired, however we wasted little time and were soon ready for dinner. We went to a pub called the Shakespeare, across from Victoria Station where Dan and I had the sausage of the day—bangers and mash, a proper English meal! After a delicious dinner that was less expensive than we had predicted we went to the wine bar of the restaurant then headed back to the hostel for the night.
The next morning we ate breakfast and then got our things ready so that we could check out. We played cards in the pub while everyone got ready and soon we were off to catch the bus. On the way back the bus boarded a train and used the famous Chunnel to get back to France. It was much quicker than the ferry ride, but much less scenic. We arrived in Brussels just in time to catch a train to Leuven and then rode our bikes back in the rain.
Going to London was a great trip; I was able to see so many things that I never thought I would. Although the city was very expensive I am definitely glad that we went. Classes start this week and Leuven feels more and more like home everyday. I cannot say that I don’t miss the U.S., but I’m happy to be back in Belgium!!

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