L- L- London!
London, why are you so wonderful?
It has been at least 60 degrees everyday in London since my last blog post! It has been sunny, perhaps raining a total of two times, and did I mention it’s been wonderfully warm?
Because it will be impossible to write everything I have done within the past weeks, I will highlight a few of my many extraordinary experiences, as well as one or two of my not so great experiences…
First off, my trip to Scotland! Edinburgh was beautiful… although it was completely different from what I was expecting. When we arrived we went on a coach/ walking tour to see some of the main sights like the Edinburgh Castle as well as some other beautiful sights of the city. After the tour we had down time to explore the city so a couple friends and I decided we wanted to go to a pub for some lunch. None of us had our passports because well the horror stories we hear about passports getting stolen have made us protective of them, but we thought we all looked over 18 (oh and we are all over 18), and we weren’t going to get any alcoholic beverages so we would be able to get into any pub. That was so not the case! We were seated at the first pub we went to, but when the waitress asked for our IDs and we didn’t have any, they kicked us out! We were all shocked! Apparently Scotland is very strict about pubs and will not allow anyone in without a proper ID, even if you are there just to eat. So we eventually found a restaurant, but we were all so bummed out about the pub experience that we weren’t too excited about Edinburgh any more.
Later that evening when went to a “whiskey tasting” with our tour group, which really just consisted of us going to a pub and buying whiskey, another disappointment as we thought we would be going to an actual distillery. We stayed out until 10pm and then we went back and went to bed. The next morning we did a Highlands tour, which was beautiful. We got to see the Loch Ness and Ulrich Castle. That was definitely the high light of my trip to Scotland! I actually tried haggis, which for those of you who don’t know what that is (or who are squeamish… you might not want to read the next line!) it is a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs finely chopped and mixed with various spices, all cooked in the sheep’s stomach. I know it sounds really gross and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it, but I’m glad I did, as I will never have it again, but I can say I’ve had it before I also had Iron Bru, the only soda product in the world that out sells Coca- Cola (only in Scotland, of course). It tasted like cough syrup so I’m not sure how it outsells Coke in Scotland but alas, it does.
Edinburgh was a beautiful city that I would like to go to again, I just wouldn’t do an organized tour as it is a small enough city that I could have easily explored on my own!
Last weekend I went to the annual “Chocolate Festival” here in London. It was fantastic! It was every chocoholic’s dream, as chocolate was everywhere! A couple of friends and I were able to go to a FREE champagne and chocolate tasting and I got to learn a lot about chocolate (who knew it was such a complicated process with the beans and all!).
The past couple of weeks have been geared towards doing school work- yes I guess studying abroad does entail studying…. darn- it! I’ve had a lot of papers to write and I have to start studying for exams, as they start in a couple weeks However, I did manage to see Wicked a week ago! It was truly wonderful!
My spring break started last week, and continues until the 16th of April! It has been nice to not have to go to class. I feel so lucky because my mom was able to come over on Friday the 6th of April. She will be visiting me until next Saturday! It’s SO nice having a familiar face and having my mom here! On Friday we went to Harrods, an exquisite and gigantic department store. It is a very upscale place! They had a pair of crystal male shoes, that cost only 3,000 GBP (about $4500). We then walked to Hyde Park and then grabbed dinner at Olleys, one of the best fish n chips places in London.
Yesterday we did a lot of touristy things like we went to Parliament (yes I said hi to Big Ben!), Westminster Abbey (it was beautiful! There is so much history in that one place, it’s fascinating), Buckingham Palace, and we walked through St. James Park (which was beautiful because all of the flowers are blooming and there were so many birds and wild life out and about). It was a little freaky because people would hold their arms out with bread crumbs in their hands and pigeons would land on them and eat the bread crumbs. Weird right?
This morning we woke up early and went to mass, which was a different experience than I’m used to. For example, since most people are Anglican and not Catholic, the church was very small and there were a maximum of 30 people there for mass. They didn’t have an organist for music so everyone sang acapella. We will be leaving for Paris in 15 minutes! I’m so excited!
Well that’s all folks, for now! I will do a better job of updating my blog, I promise
Cheers from London!