So many things to see

So recap of my past 2 days: tours, tours and more tours.

On Thursday we did a walking tour of Little Venice and Maida Vale, the area we live in. Little Venice gets its name from the canals running through (Little Amsterdam was a close second for the name). There are boat tours, a puppet theater boat and even a houseboat turned cafe.

This is the canal right by our flats

We also walked down Regents Canal and through Regents Park, which was absolutely gorgeous. You can rent rowboats on the lake which is lined with willow trees and flowers. So romantic. The weather has been continuously perfect here, sunny all the time with temperatures in the 70s, definitely not the London weather I was expecting. Our tour guide also informed us that London is no longer foggy thanks to the clean air act. There hasn’t been London fog since the 1970s. No more foggy days in London town.

After our lovely tour, me and Sarah decided to run errands. (Oh and Clinton, until we accidently left him when we jumped on the bus without him). We found a pound superstore (aka London’s version of the Dollar Store), which was quite excellent to get cheap necessities. Except Sarah bought scented toilet paper there. We’re not even going to talk about how weird that is. After the pound superstore we discovered SuperDrug, which a drugstore with a great makeup section. Oh and everything is pink! Then by accident we discovered this grocery store called Waitrose, where we will be doing all our shopping. It has great fresh fruits and vegetables and a large selection of European cheeses and meats. Mom, it’s like the Publix of London haha. However,  Sarah and I were so excited about this grocery store that we didn’t take into consideration the fact that we had to take the bus home, and we had about 6 full bags of groceries each. After stumbling through the crowds (the area we were in was like NYC), maneuvering the bus and almost breaking our jar of spaghetti sauce thanks to a broken bag, we made it home safely with all our food intact. We’re still trying to figure out how people grocery shop in a big city.

Last night we decided to go out spur of the moment. We got dressed up because we were going to go to a club and were meeting some friends there. Sarah and I took the tube to Piccadilly Circus where we popped up into basically the Times Square of London, which would have been pretty awesome had we known where we were going. Our friends had bad phone service but they told us to go to O-bar, but didn’t say where it was. So we were left to ask strangers on the street. After being asked if we wanted to go to a dark alley with 2 guys (please be more creepy) we decided to just try to find it ourselves. After walking for about 20 minutes (in 4 inch heels, mind you), our friend finally called and said they had to go to a different bar. We were told 5 different directions by 5 different people, and after walking for 30 more minutes we finally found the bar, O’Neills. The bouncer wouldn’t let me in at first because he didn’t accept my international student ID card (thanks Elon for telling me this would work everywhere because my US license wouldn’t) but after some sweet talking and pleading (and no help from some Irish boy who just pissed him off) I was able to get in! There were 4 floors, with a live band on the 3rd floor which was so much fun to dance to. There were a lot of students our age too from a bunch of different countries so we were able to meet a bunch of people.

This morning we had to wake up fairly early to go on a bus tour of all the major sights of London (thank goodness we could sit down). We saw Trafalgar square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, the London Eye and many more famous sights.

View from a bridge we went over (sorry about the reflections from the bus window)

I’m going to revisit all these sites again so I can actually get out of the bus and take pictures.

After the bus tour, me, Sarah and Clinton booked our flights to Oktoberfest! It was pretty stressful, I ended up on a different return flight because my flight booked first and apparently it was the last seat, but at least we’re getting to go! We also realized how much the exchange rate sucks. Here we thought we were getting a good deal only to find out that once we were charged in American money it was almost $100 more. Ughh why can’t we all just get along and use the same currency?? Anyway to de-stress from our flight booking, we took a walk to Abbey Road! We attempted to take the iconic crosswalk picture but it was difficult because it’s actually a pretty busy street and there were a lot of other people attempting the same thing. This is the result (and yes I know we’re facing the wrong way but this was the one that turned out the best):

Abbey Road!

We ended the day by making dinner and just having a relaxing night. We went to get Frozen Yogurt in a different part of town and walked around there for a while checking out the stores and restaurants. Now I’m headed to bed because we have a full day tomorrow of Stonehenge and the Roman Baths!

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