Weekend in London

Trip Start Jan 04, 2006
Trip End Apr 28, 2006

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Monday, January 16, 2006

This weekend was amazing. After class on Friday, me and 7 others from the PSU group boarded our train and hit the tracks to London. We got there around 5:30 and navigated the underground to our hostel. We stayed in Hyde's Park Smart View Hostel which was in a part of town full of ritzy hotels (the Ritz was down the street, hehe) and gorgeous scenery. For those who know london, it was very close to Hyde's Park (obviously). After all of the country of Slovakia checked in (ok, maybe not all, but there was like 40 of them...) and an hour of waiting in the hot smoky lobby/bar, we finally checked in and got our room. 5 of us in one (mine), 2 in another, and 1 in another. The hostel was pretty much an old hotel with a whole bunch of bunk beds and lockers stuffed in. But it was nice, and the bathroom was very nice. Not too shabby for my first hostelling experience. We were all starving by this point so we went out to look for some dinner. Ended up at a very charming little restaurant where I had amazing fish and chips. Then we went back and hung out downstairs for like an hour before we headed upstairs to hit the sack early...Saturday was going to be a long day.

Saturday it was up and at'em at 6:45 to meet our tour at 7:45 (and we still had to find the pick up point.). We got the couch just fine, and then had a lovely drive through the center of London where we saw all the classic sites (Big Ben, West Minster, Parliment, The London Eye...). We also saw my favorite part, all of the couture shops (armani, fendi, louis V, Gucci, Coach, prada..just to name a few ;o) ). Then we got to the coach station..and had some quick breakfast before actually getting on the tour bus.

We first arrived at Leeds Castle where we had cream tea (Mmmm...) in this amazing old room near the castle. I went through the castle (which was amazing) and just enjoyed the sites (Including the real life Dog Collar Museum..yes, they actually had that..). Then we got on the bus and went to see the White Cliffs of Dover. This is where the soldiers left from during WWII. It was the last thing they saw, and what they looked forward to seeing again because it meant that they were home. Got gorgeous pics on the pebble beach, and saw the entrance to the tunnel that goes under the English Channel. Then we headed to Canterbury where we ate traditional english food (more fish and chips, tea, and apple pie with real whipped cream). Then came my favorite part. We went to the Canterbury Cathedral. As we walked in, I looked up, and it was so beautiful. The arches, the details, and the choir. There was a mass there later that day, so the boys choir was practicing. It was heavenly. The church was so beautiful, it almost moved me to tears. We walked through the santuary and saw all of the sights, and took in the towers and the details, everything.

After we left the cathedral, we had time to just do whatever. Our group split up, and some of us went shopping, or saw more sites. The town was so lovely and charming, I felt like i was in a real life version of Beauty and the Beast.

Then we returned to London, and quickly drove past all of the sites at night, and returned to Euston. However, we were 3 hours early for our 8:12 train. So we sat in the food court and waited. Then the 2 hour train turned into a 4 1/2 hour train because of stops, and we finally arrived back in Manchester, tired and dirty at 12:30.

That was my first English trip, and pictures are up to prove how beautiful it was...This weekend brings the Beatles Experience in Liverpool and possibly a trip to Stonehenge and Bath. Can't Wait...

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jlm572 on

Haha! I've been there!
That is so awesome! I stayed in the Hyde Park hostel! What an awesome coincidence! Don't get used to it, though - that's the nicest hostel I stayed in during my 4 months. The one in Bath wasn't bad, though.

I also loved Canterbury. I finally got my pictures back from that trip - it's strange to be here in the states looking at photos of what you're seeing now.

As far as Bath goes, pay the 12 quid to get into the Roman baths - they're awesome. Also, you HAVE TO eat at Hands Cafe. It's a little hole-in-the-wall place across from the Baths and Abbey. If you're standing in the courtyard between the Abbey and the Baths, with the baths on your right and the National Trust shop behind you, it's down that alley on your left. Go in and get an apple danish - it's AMAZING!

Okay, I'll go now and let you see England for yourself...

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