Well, Saturday morning dawned and Katie and I left our little apartment in Gort to head to the real world: LONDON. Getting there was uneventful, but once we arrived, we were a bit overwhelmed. Without knowing where we were, Katie and I decided, why not get a cab to our hotel? It couldn’t be too costly, right? Wrong. 103 pounds and about an hour’s worth of driving later, we were finally dropped off at the hotel which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. The exterior was a bit dingy, and that didn’t change when we went inside. The elevator took forever to move, and as the guy showed us our floor, we realized we only had one working bathroom on the entire floor (which would be fine for a hostel, but a hotel? Come on), and this bathroom didn’t have a shower inside…. So that was interesting. The room had broken curtains and a dirty carpet, so at this point Katie and I were kind of freaking out and thinking that we should maybe go somewhere else. But we decided we should at least wait it out until daytime to see if the place was as really scary as it seemed. So, we trekked on over to the nearest grocery store, bought a pizza, locked the door to our room, and huddled under the blankets until morning.
So Easter Sunday came around, and, maybe it was the magic of God, but when Katie and I went downstairs for breakfast, the place seemed legit. They had a modern lounge for everyone to hang out in, and the other guests seemed very nice and polite. So we breathed a sigh of relief and decided to get going for the day. We had our first encounter with the London overground and underground, and after getting acquainted with the system, we felt like we were pros. We met up with Katie’s friend Michelle (the one who visited us a couple of months ago) at Camden Market, the center of London hipsterdom. The entire area was filled with extremely eclectic shops and every type of ethnic food imaginable, but the three of us decided to go to a pub called the Elephant’s Head for a bite to eat. I got a bacon, egg, and tomato sandwich with an Irish coffee (I can’t escape the Irish culture), and it was all delicious! We then walked around some more and tried to check out the shops at Oxford Circus (think Topshop, H&M, United Colors of Benetton, etc.) but they were all closed for Easter so Katie and I just went back to the hotel and took a nice nap before grabbing dinner. Then, we got ready to meet up with Michelle and hit the town. We went to Piccadilly, and, let me tell you, it was a bit overwhelming (think Times Square), and we ended up at a couple of kRaZy ClUbZ which were super fun 🙂
The next day, Katie and I ventured over to the London Eye, which was breathtaking! Afterward we walked over to Big Ben and Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey, then went back to the hotel to get dinner and chill. Tuesday, we went back to Oxford Circus to take a look at the famous Harrod’s store (where I bought some mascara, mostly just to say that I bought something from Harrod’s), then we met up with Michelle to tour the Tower of London! It was so cool to see the crown jewels as well. We then made dinner at Michelle’s and hung out there for a while.
Overall, I was really surprised with how huge the city is! It really is the New York of Europe. It is also the most multicultural city I’ve ever been in (we don’t get much diversity in Ireland)… I felt so… white. It was great. But also just very overwhelming. Today, Katie and I made it to Paris!! But that will be described in another blog post, so for now, cheerio!
Me basically having tea with the Queen.
A bit of Big Ben, a bit of Westminster Abbey.