Monday, May 3, 2010


Greetings everyone! This is the first weekly post covering my travels and experiences in Europe this summer.

I flew from MIA to Newark, NY to catch my flight to Heathrow Airport in London. I got to the Astor Kensington (the hostel I was staying at) Thursday, April 29.  The jet lag was almost unbearable.  I passed out for the entire day and didn't wake up until early Friday morning.

Feeling refreshed, I went for a jog in Hyde Park just down the street from my hostel.
For mid-afternoon, the staff at the Astor Kensington recommended the free SANDEMANs NEW Europe Tour.  So I caught the tube to the Hyde Park stop and headed down to Wellington Arch.

Wellington Arch:

More war memorials next to the arch:

Some with lots of pigeon shit:

Our tour guide, Nathan, was a bouncy fellow with a ton of charisma:

We headed over to Buckingam Palace.  The Queen wasn't home that day:

Nathan was super helpful with answering questions about where the nearest pubs were: 

The guards take their jobs very seriously.  I'm personally not a fan of the bear skin hats:

This is Trafalgar Square.  The sky is kind of gloomy, but that's pretty typical for London weather:

The National Gallery (all national museums are free in London) and St. Martin in the Fields Church:

The clock tower the holds Big Ben (the actual bell):

Westminster Abbey:

And finally, Parliament:
Overall, I thought the tour was great.  Nathan was informative yet humorous.  I wasn't bored out of my mind, which usually happens when I go on an historical tour.  I tipped him five pounds and I would recommend it to anyone who's traveling to London.
Later that night, there was a party at the hostel.  I hung out with some Swedes and a fellow from Bristol while we all drank beer, vodka and pineapple juice and then some shitty pink champagne.  The crowd was lively and friendly, just as it should be.  I was a little too drunk to remember to set an alarm.  I was also a little too drunk to change my clothes.  So, the next morning I was woken up by one of the Swedes and jumped out of bed to throw all my shit in my suitcase (not realizing I was naked).
I had booked a spot on a bus to Gatwick Airport, but that ship had sailed.  I didn't even have time to find a pair of underwear or brush my teeth. I jumped on the tube to head toward the Gatwick Express but I went the wrong way.  I finally made it to Gatwick Airport after a few wrong turns and met my boyfriend, Ged,45 minutes after our previously planned time.  The plane ride was sickening.  I have never been so hungover and the turbulence and annoying in-flight announcements weren't helping.

But now I'm in Galway, Ireland and all is well.  Expect another post soon.


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