Our weekend in London was jam packed and amazing! We were there from Thursday until Sunday and contrary to my expectation, we had no extra time!
Thursday night Kelley, Sarah, Riley, Amy and I arrived in Stansted Airport, outside of London. Our plane landed a few hours before Levi’s so we hung around the airport while we waited for him to catch our bus. While we waited, we played Heads Up. If you haven’t heard of it check out this video. I think I have finally given up trying not too look/ act american… We had quite the audience while playing charades in the middle of the arrivals pick up but it made the time fly! Once Levi arrived, we hopped on the bus to Baker Street where we grabbed dinner at Gourmet Burger Company. Then headed to the house we were staying in [Luck #1: They let us on the early bus, so we got on an hour before we were supposed to].
Friday morning, we took the tube into the center. Right away we saw big ben, the London Eye and Parliament. We then took a quick walk over to Westminster Abbey but decided not to go in, as it was 16£. Then we walked to Buckingham Palace and through a couple parks before heading across the river for lunch. We did not have anything in mind but we luckily ended up at a gathering of food trucks put on by KERB [We could call this Luck #2]. So for lunch we lucked out. Sarah and I split spicy mac n cheese, a Philly cheese steak. So yummy! We wandered a bit and eventually arrived at the Borough Market. After looking around the market, and tasting lots of goodies (like turkish delight- the great mystery sweet from Chronicles of Narnia), we met up with some friend’s of friend’s of Levi’s, Enid and Adrienne. They took us on an amazing pub crawl through the city. We went to Olde Cheshire Cheese, Gordon’s Wine Bar, The Rake, and The George to name a few. I think by the end we had tried about 21 beers and visited bars older than the United States! When we finished the pub crawl, with the recommendation of our guides, we headed to Soho for Chinese at Mr. Kong and then home for the night.
Saturday began a little earlier. We got to Leicester Square around 9. There Kelley and Levi bought tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory from one of the many booths selling tickets. We admired the fountain and then went inside M&M World, where I found CRISPY M&M’s! From there we headed to Trafalgar square and then to the London Eye to ride it while the weather was still nice. However once we got to the Eye we found out it was out of commission for the time being. Instead of waiting around, we we to a pub and had lunch. After lunch, we walked until we could see The Eye and it was back in working condition [Luck #3]! getting to cross another thing off my bucket list was pretty exciting, by the end of the ride my cheeks were sore from smiling but the ride was great!
After riding The Eye, our group split up. Amy, Sarah and I had tickets to The Warner Brother’s Studio Harry Potter Experience. It was a hefty trip to get there, about an hour from the city center, but totally worth it! We were at the Harry Potter museum for about 3 hours, but could have used 2 more! There was everything from costumes to sets to small scale mock-ups. It was incredible. Every turn was even more exciting than the last. We left the museum at 9:40 and started our 2 hour trip home! Still totally worth it!
Sunday was a crazy day! We woke up extra early to go to Stonehenge. Another check off my bucket list ! We needed to be in the center to catch our bus at 8:45. At 8:40 we were still on the metro, where we realized Sarah had misplaced her oyster card(metro pass). When we got to our stop we started running, and Sarah dashed out of as well [Luck #4: no one stopped her]. We didn’t know where our bus was but with the work of Levi and Kelley we made it! As we ran up the stairs where our bus was literally getting ready to depart a woman who worked there ran to stop it for us [Luck #5]. We made it!
Stonehenge was awesome! The day was a bit dreary but it just made Stonehenge even more amazing! It was just as big and amazing as I had imagined. They recently moved the visitor’s center away from Stonehenge to a 5 minute car ride away. I am not sure what it was like while that was there but with the country side and sheep surrounding the area it really felt cool.
After about 2 hours at Stonehenge, we were on our way back to London. We knew we would not have a lot of time so once we were off the bus we went to find a bus that could take us to the airport. We bought our tickets for 4:20, this gave us 50 minutes to eat lunch and get on the bus. We were over ambitious and sat down at a pub to eat. By the time we finished, we had about 15 minutes to find where our bus was and get on! By the time we got there, at 4:19, the bus was literally pulling away. Despite our efforts and the efforts of other passengers, who had also just missed the bus, the driver would not stop. At this point, we realized that our luck had run out. You can only get by on Spanish time in London for so long! But of all the times to be running late this was the worse. If we had caught our bus in the first place we would have had just over an hour to get through the airport to our flight. The next bus was in 20 minutes and with traffic we ended up running 20 minutes late. By the time we arrived, we had . We all sprinted to get our passports checked by Ryan Air[Luck #6: a worker saw us running and pulled us out of line to check our passes], through security and then to our gate. I had lost everyone. I made it to our gate in about 18 minutes only to find out the gate had changed. After sprinting one more time, I ended up being the second person in line and everyone else arrived a few minutes later[Luck #7]! I don’t think I have every been so happy to make a flight. Maybe it’s time to start being on time…