Rubles and Ramblings

Rubles and Ramblings

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fish n' Chips, Please?

Well folks, I have arrived safe and sound in St. Petersburg!  It has been a crazy whirlwind of adjusting to new surroundings plus the fact that wifi has been extremely limited.  With that being said, I thought I’d rewind to last week when I was in London, England for two days! 

My flight over was one of the best international flights I’ve been on.  There was no one in my row, so I was able to stretch out and doze for a few hours until I landed at 6:30am UK time.  Once I met up with a few others in my study abroad group, we decided to go explore the area around our hotel.  Our hotel was situated in the Kensington and Chelsea neighborhood, a premiere part of London where Prince Harry lives!  Rolls Royce and Lamborghinis were not a rare sight since the hotel was situated very close to a high security development nicknamed “Billionaire Row”.  We explored the quaint neighborhoods and gardens all around, stopping to see Kensington Palace where Prince William & Harry were raised by Princess Diana. 
The beautiful Kensington Gardens
Shortly after our walk through the parks, the group I was with decided to check out London’s Science museum (mainly for the free entry and wifi).  Not much to say about that, other than how we lost 2 people in our group of 5.  After searching frantically for over 30 minutes, we eventually assumed they had simply returned to the hotel on their own.  
Lesson #1 learned: Always have a meeting spot wherever you go.  
Suitemate Sarah and I being tourists

After a long day of walking around the city and jet lag sinking in, I returned to the hotel for a quick nap before dinner.  Of course my first night in London wouldn’t be official without a plate of fish n chips at an English Pub!  There were 9 of us total that came along and crowded a place called Gloucester Arms.  We had a blast chatting nonstop about the upcoming adventure in St. Petersburg and sights we were most looking forward to.  It is so nice being around people who share my love for Russia.  Being able to talk nonstop about studying abroad without anyone wanting to tape my mouth shut has been an incredible feeling.  

After arriving back to the hotel and finally getting ready for bed...The power goes out.  Being in a hotel room alone, at night, and with no power is frightening to say the least.  Luckily it came back on around 1am, after a receptionist informed me that it could be out for 45 hours due to construction on a nearby building.  All I kept thinking was “This would never happen in America” and it became my first glimpse of how different things really are across the world. 

Day 2 in London included a city tour via bus with our guide Sally Strange (yes, that is her real name).  We saw all the famous sights such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and so much more.  It was a great tour, I felt like I knew the city of London in just those 3 short hours. 

Once the tour was over, we were free to wander London.  Being a huge Harry Potter fan, I begged the group of friends I was with to walk across the Thames on the Millennium Bridge.  This is the bridge that was featured in the 6th Harry Potter movie, so of course I had to get my picture on it. 

Crossing the River Thames with a view of Tower Bridge and The Globe Theatre was one of my favorite moments of the trip. Being the cheap college students we are, we opted not to take a tour of the Globe, but instead took pictures of the outside.  The thatched roof is the only thatched roof allowed in London!

Next on the London to-do list was to go back to Westminster Abbey to explore there a bit more.  I saw where Sir Isaac Newton is buried and even witnessed a choral performance within the beautiful walls of this historical place.  I was so impressed with every detail and couldn’t take my eyes off the ceilings and stained glass (unfortunately no photography allowed).  The sound of the chorus was definitely the cherry on top to that majestic building. 

Posing in front of Westminster Abbey!

We headed back to the hotel using the tube, which was a lot easier to navigate than I thought!  All in all, I loved London.  I saw a lot of the city in the short time I was there.  The only complaint I have is how expensive it is!!  I am so thankful for how cheap Russia is, I would have been broke after one week of living in London.  Well, that’s all I have for now…Cheerio! 

Few friends from my study abroad group in front of Globe Theatre!
Bye for now London <3 

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