Friendly England

Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
Trip End Nov 12, 2012

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Where I stayed
couches of the generous people
What I did
brilliant British scenery

Flag of United Kingdom  , Wales,
Friday, May 25, 2012

The first stop after leaving London was Brighton, and I really liked it there. One thing I didn't like was the fact that the beach had not a single grain of sand. Only pebbles, lots and lots of them. My feet got sore. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a couch surfing host and had to settle for a hostel. It backfired the next morning when a massive black bloke cracked it at me for taking "his" bed. I didn’t take it personally, I just assumed the guy was from London. I met some people, including a couple of girls from Melbourne, but the problem with meeting people in hostels is they tend to have their own agenda and you are left with nobody to hang out with. It sure is exciting though when someone mistakes you for a player from the local football club and asks you for an autograph and a photo. I played along with it for my own amusement.

After a couple of nights in Brighton I moved on to Southampton. There are two things that Southampton is famous for. It was the port where the maiden voyage of the Titanic departed from, and teenage mums. Since I wasn’t prepared to knock up a 16-year-old local my tourist experience was complete within an hour at the Titanic museum. But I’m not travelling to see the sights, I’m travelling to meet the people. I met great people in Southampton. My couch surfing host Dan was from Slovakia, and there seemed to be a lot of them there. The Slovakians were wonderful people to be around, but I wouldn’t recommend drinking vodka with them. I learned a valuable lesson while I was in Southampton. I can’t handle vodka. Never again will I do vodka after my night of drinking with the Slovakians.

I took a boat to Isle of Wight, the English version of Phillip Island. Really, even the names of the towns are the same. Sadly there were no penguins, but the scenery there was spectacular. From there I went to Bournemouth, where I discovered sand for the first time in England. I was lucky to be in Bournemouth for the first warm days of my trip (by British standards) and the beach, while not the same as what we have at home, was a nice change. The best thing about Bournemouth was the people I met there. My couch surfing host Heiko was from Germany and he introduced me to some very cool and interesting people, including his British housemates. Since I left London I have found the British to be wonderful people.

My next stop will be in Wales, and after that I am planning to visit Spain. Things are slowly falling into place. I am getting more comfortable with being away on my own and I’m used to the pressure of making the big decisions. I can’t wait to share more positive stories in the next few weeks. Iceland is just around the corner.
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