Yay London. Arrived on Thursday night on the Eurostar (why can’t there be a train from Adelaide to London is what I want to know!), found my way to Tim’s place and spent a nice relaxing night catching up with him, Amy, Killian and Dominy.
Set out on Friday for a day trip out of the city. Basically went to the train station and the first name on the departure boards I recognised was Cambridge so I figured that sounded as good as anywhere. 45 minutes later I arrived and based on the number of bikes thought I’d ended up in Amsterdam accidentally. Turns out (as I learnt on the free walking tour I found) that the students aren’t allowed to have jobs or to drive so its bikes or nothing. Kooky. Anyway, got taken around the city, past the botanic gardens where Charles Darwin hung out and they have a replica of Newton’s apple tree grown from a branch from the original, into a few of the beautiful colleges and their chapels, along the river and finally to the stunning King’s College chapel which is bigger than some cathedrals back home. Found out lots of history about the town, the university and some of the more famous students (Steven Hawking for one), also the guide got into a fight with some guy at a church so that was interesting.
Explored Kings College and market square, then rejoined some of the people from the walking tour to go punting on the river to see all the beautiful bridges and the backs of the colleges. Very relaxing and the weather was just perfect for it. Found a patch of grass that you were actually allowed to go on (like Versailles, if you walk on the grass in the colleges someone with a whistle will come chase you off) and had a little picnic with myself before meandering through the back streets to the train station and back to the house. Joined Killian for a funfilled night at the pub watching soccer, which I’m getting marginally closer to understanding after the Barcelona v Real Madrid game we watched at Pueblo Ingles (apparently I’m a Real Madrid fan). Got to meet plenty of the locals and bitched about the price of beer in Australia (seriously its so frickin’ cheap over here!).
Saturday I made my mooching around the city day. Headed into Piccadilly Circus to see what tickets were available. Les Miserables having been completely sold out my entire visit last year I wasn’t holding out a great deal of hope, so I nearly keeled over when they had a seat available for that night! Happy dancing around the Cupid statue completed, I made my way to Camden, possibly my favourite place in London where, between strolling and enjoying the sunshine and whacky fashions, I managed to buy a whole new wardrobe. Now I just have to fit it in my bag! Headed back to the house to drop off my shopping and relax for a bit, then back into the city.
Enjoyed my traditional Boots meal deal at Piccadilly Circus (cos I just love getting into people’s holiday photos eating a sandwich), though it was dampened a little when I discovered that Boots no longer seem to have chocolate brownies which is basically the whole reason I come to London all the time L Found Queens Theatre and got settled for Les Mis. I was literally on the edge of my seat the whole show, though that was largely due to the fact that I was in the front row of the upper circle and the only way to see the stage was to lean all the way forward on the railing (cheap seats). Doing that though the view was perfect J And the show was amazing! They have a rotating stage and incredible sets and the songs were all brilliant. I laughed, I cried, I got a cramp in my back from sitting in that position for 3 hours but all worth it.
The last official day of my trip I headed out to Liverpool to hang out with Stephanie (of Pueblo Ingles fame). About 5 minutes before arriving however I finally got the phone call that I had a 6th niece, Annabelle Jorja. So close! Anyway, Stephanie met me at the train station and we spent a great day wandering around the city with me saying “this city is so cool” around pretty much every corner. Looked at the beautiful old buildings and museums around the train station, grabbed chai lattes in a very funky coffee shop, then wandered around restaurants and shops at the docks (Port Adelaide needs to take some lessons from Liverpool, seriously). Had a look at the Mersey and its ferries, then just cos you have to, we found the Cavern club and stopped for a beer and a little groove to Beatles covers. Went back to the docks for a lovely Italian lunch, then did a bit more wandering, got yummy icecreams and hiked up to the massive Anglican cathedral before returning to the train station and back to London to repack and relax before starting the trip back home.