An English Experience

Trip Start Jul 11, 2008
Trip End Aug 06, 2008

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I write as I sit in the Eurostar waiting (queuing) lounge for my train back to Paris.  From Paris, I will be taking another 5 hour train to southern France, Bayonne.   Yesterday was a busy day.  I woke up around 8, first one in my room of 8 to get up, and enjoyed the free continental breakfast at the hostel.   I truly don't think the Europeans eat as much as we do, no they don't.  All their servings are smaller and they don't eat throughout the whole day like Americans, or at least me.  After eating, I headed over to the London Tube and made my way to Waterloo station to catch an hour and a half train to Stonehenge. To my surprise, no one was on the train.  I seriously had only 2 other people in my whole car.  Arrived in Salisbury and boarded a Stonehenge double-decker tour bus.  The tour not only took you to Stonehenge but gave you a small tour around this time tested city.  They also explained it's significance in training soldiers all over the world during WWII and how the city was never bombed because the Luftwaffe used the city's main church as a reference point when the flew across the canal and follow roads and tracks up from Salisbury to hit factories and government buildings closer to London.  30 minutes later we came upon Stonehenge.  It really is an interesting place.  The free audio tour explained the who mysterious history of the place.  I really enjoyed this, but you can only take so many pictures of rocks.  After about 40 minutes, made it back to the bus and retuned to the rail station.  I had perfect timing for all of these trains and busses today.  I had previously mapped out nothing but I never had to wait more than 5 minutes, I was always right on time, this was kind of nice and kind of lucky.
                I made it back to paris and tried to reserve my train tomorrow.  This was a pain in the ass.  I had to travel across all of London, made 4 phone calls, visited 3 rail stations and came to the result that they could not validate my Eurostar voucher until next week because all the "youth" spots on the train were sold out.  So I had to resort to purchasing a NEW ticket that left at 6:40 in the morning.  Luckily I can refund my voucher minus a 15% fee.  I'll have to deal with the when I return to America. 
                I got my Eurostar now, and I had 2 1/2 hours until I was going to meet Caitlin.  A girl who was born in San Deigo and studied at an American university in Switzerland and now is in London.  Prior to meeting up with her, I went to a place called Picanies Circus.  Basically, it is like a miniature Time Square.  I enjoyed this place for a while and had to find the Rail Europe station to make my TGV French Rail reservation for Paris-Bayonne.  This took another hour to find, after asking about 12 people for assistance.  I think I find places better when they aren't in English, I know this is ridiculous. 
                Got my new Eurostar ticket and my reservation and I met up with Caitlin.  She's 20 and studying law.  We met at a bar, had a drink, and went on a tourist walk.  We saw Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the London Eye and happened to come across the London Premiere for The Dark Night.  She was the only person in London who I found had the same accent as me.
                I made it back to the hostel.  The only same people in my room from the night before are the French Brothers, we have some new Australian roommates.  Two guys and one overweight girl who happened to stumble in our room at 4:30 am in the morning and wake everyone up.  My French friend let me barrow his cell phone for the night and use his alarm clock so I would not miss my train.  I woke up at 5:30 and made my way to the sation where I am now.  Je suis fatigue et je veux dormir...  Tonight I will be in Bayonne, in the Pays-Basque region of southern France.  I'm hoping this will be a little bit better than my hostel experience in London.  A bientot
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