Friday, May 22, 2009

Blogging from London

Now that I have a moment to sit and breathe, I can talk about how this trip is going. Even though I’m only a couple days into this, a lot has gone on. My first day getting to the city was a little hectic. I booked my hostel in the car on the way to O’Hare because my hotel plans were scrapped. Pretty interesting. I managed to make it to the subway station in the proper area without much difficulty; the Tube is pretty easy to figure out. I tried to find my way to the hostel with an address and vague memories of the map I looked at in the states. Didn’t go so well. I knew it couldn’t be far though. I noticed there were maps on the inside of the bus terminals. After looking at a few terminals, I found the road my hostel was on, and I was set.

Everyone in the hostel was very nice. Most people there seemed to be doing the same sort of thing and got along really well. Everyone gave each other tips and tried to help whenever they could. I did a walking tour of London with a few people I met there that happened to be from Illinois. It was nice to be with some other people. We ended up spending most of the day together and even went on the Pub Crawl later that night.

Initially, I was only going to stay out for a couple of the bars of the Pub Crawl because one of the guys wanted to get some sleep because of an early day. How quickly plans change when alcohol (and girls) is involved. He is a bit of a partier and ended up staying for all the bars. Consequently, so did I. We had a good time, but it got expensive in a hurry. This experience further reinforced the fact that I am totally NOT into the bar/club scene.

Today (the 22nd) got a little hectic. I was busy getting plans finalized for my trip to Oxford tomorrow and figuring out how I’m getting to France on Sunday. I had to find tickets and pick them up which turned out to be a huge hassle. Getting to France is going to be a little tricky. Because I am awful at planning anything, I didn’t book my tickets early enough, and it might end up costing me over $200 to get to Paris; that’s over double what it was supposed to be. I’m now trying to find a cheap flight so I can make my hotel reservation. Otherwise, I think I’ll have to suck it up and pay the extortionist price for the chunnel train ticket.

Other than those hang-ups, the day is going well. I had a late lunch at Trafalgar Square and did some reading in the lawn in front of Westminster Abbey. I had initially gone there to hear the choir, but, of course, I was 10 minutes late. Now, on my way back to the hostel, I stopped by Caffé Nero for a ristretto and a bite to eat while typing this post.

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