Destination: London

Well, hello! It’s been a long time. I am anxious to entertain you with stories of my travels. My little writing book is fat with notes, waiting to be transformed into marvelous posts.  In my absence from this blog, I’ve been present in London, Dublin, and Oslo. Prepare yourselves for a few stories and bunch of pictures of me drinking beer, eating delicious food, and standing in front of old ass castles.

Let’s begin at the beginning.

My flight to London left last Thursday afternoon, so I had to cut my morning class short in order to make the airport bus. After hoisting my backpack on, I left them all in a cloud of dust. I’m not sure they really minded. They were getting ready to make trails of dust themselves.

I got the the airport an hour an a half early, boarding pass ready, and I walked right through security. Not a single person ahead of me. With my remaining hour and twenty minutes, I decided to grab an overpriced salad and a beer to calm my flight jitters.

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Airport Lunch

The beer did its work. I headed for my gate happy as a clam. However, I forgot that I had to go through passport control because London is non-schengen. Didn’t take long to get through, even though my passport guy got a little grumpy when he realized I don’t speak Norwegian. But I felt official when he asked to see my resident card. I was like, YOU BE GRUMPY, MAN–BUT UNTIL MAY 31ST THIS IS MY HOUSE TOO.

Then I’m standing at the gate like–flight boards in 12 minutes, I’ve got a phone full of Rick Steve’s podcasts on London, and I’m ready to party. And by party I mean fall asleep immediately on the plane while listening to Rick Steve’s tips on traveling in London.

In London I had to go through another passport check. They were very concerned about making sure I’d be LEAVING. Then I bought my Oyster card, which is the pre-pay tube pass that London folk use. Evidently it’s called an Oyster card because like an oyster holding a pearl, it contains something valuable (your pre-paid tube money) and also because Hong Kong metro card is called an Octopus card so I guess all metro cards need to be sea-themed. Anyway, that’s what the internet said about it.

Initial London Observations: CROWDED AF. And, duh, English accents are adorable as all get out.

I took three trains from the airport to my air bnb, located in a northeastern neighborhood called Globetown. There were 100 curry places, lots of tiny groceries, and plenty of hipsters. Right up my alley. I realize now that I didn’t take many pictures of the neighborhood whilst exploring, but here are a few crappy pictures. Use your imagination.

My travel buddy got in a few hours before me and I met him at the air bnb. We left immediately in search of beer.

After a bit of walking, we came across a large gathering of people drinking outside a corner bar. It looked like some kind of event. Matt asked what the deal was and evidently it’s just a good bar and people drink on the street when its nice out. And, boy, was it nice out. So we got a few beers and drank on the street too. CHEERS.

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We explored the neighborhood more and got a recommendation for a brewery not far away called BrewDog. YOU GUYS. They had a sour beer on tap. IT WAS HEAVEN.

We soon realized that drinking dinner would be a poor choice, so we set out in search of real food. We found a delightful pub called The George and got (more beer) and some tasty nosh. (You KNOW I got bangers and mash.) IT WAS TASTY.

The bar tenders were all great. Not really chatty or phony. Just people at work, being real about their day, sharing a plate of mussels behind the bar in between pouring drinks and taking orders. The most memorable, Dominick, inquired about our stay and insisted we come back for the pot roast on Sunday. We, unfortunately, didn’t make it back–but that wasn’t the last we saw of Dominick…(CLIFF HANGER!)

Of course at the beginning of our trip, we had boundless energy. And we stayed up too late drinking and catching up. And of course we had regrets when the alarm went off at 6 the next morning. But we were so fresh and excited then. So full of wonder. THAT TOURIST LIFE GOT US IN BED AT 8 PM TONIGHT. But we’ll get to that.

 

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