Friday, March 11, 2011

london; the end.

well, it wasn’t exactly the next day, but here is the final installment of london 2011.

friday, 4 march, 2011
since thursday was a stay-at-home day, friday had to pick up some slack. instead of going back to nottingham in the morning for a full day there, we opted to go see the last few museums/sights in london that we’d missed. we woke up around 8am to say goodbye to our hosts before they left for work – it was actually quite sad. they were so amazing to us..i’ll miss them very much! we ate a small breakfast and packed up all our stuff/cleaned the room a bit. around 10am, we left the flat for the last time (sad!) and headed to the tube stop with our bags in tow. we were joined my friend caleb (from earlier in the week) because he wanted to do the same touristy things we were doing! perfect. we met him in front of the national gallery and headed in to drop our bags at the coatcheck. we spent nearly two hours inside the national gallery, my personal favourite museum in london. there are works from the 13th through the early 20th century – a HUGE array of artistic style and era. i even saw a painting that we had studied in art history class two weeks before the trip! that was cool. my favourite rooms were the impressionist rooms (surprise) – they had about 15 monets! and many other greats – cezanne, van gogh, morisot.. the list goes on. i absolutely loved it. and took lots of illegal pictures. there were so many school groups visiting the museum on friday – it was adorable. they were all so smartly dressed in their little uniforms.. precious. and they were super intelligent, too, knowing all the answers to these obscure mythology references and questions. crazy.
after the national gallery, we headed over to primark so that rachel could exchange the pants she had purchased on monday. the hanger had said they were a size 6-8, but in reality, they were a 16-18. oops. we were in line with the new pair when i had her check the new tag too, just so the same thing didn’t happen. they were 16-18 too. we just returned the originals and left. haha. on the way back to the tube, we stopped in a souvenir store and i got a few trinkets for a couple friends back home. we also split a 12 postcards for 1 pound deal. we had intended to go to abbey road before lunch, but time was running out and we passed. i was seriously in need of some food, and a sit-down. so we headed back closer to the train stations via our last tube ride. good ol’ tube. or chube, as the brits say. we stood in line return our oyster cards at the train station and get our 5 pound deposit back, and then i went in search of platform 9 3/4. unfortunately, it is beyond the ‘you must have a ticket’ line, so i counldn’t go. :( but next time i’m in london, i’ll be sure to take a train out of king’s cross so i can see it. :) we grabbed a quick lunch at a café in the station and then ran across the street to see the british library before we left. IT WAS AWESOME. it’s a good thing (for rachel) that i didn’t make us come to the library before we only had 30 minutes until our train. because i could have spent SO much more time there. haha! they have an amazing collection of old books – the king’s library – displayed in a huge, 360 degree visibility glass case. sooo cool. the best part, though, was the “treasures of the library” exhibit, where they had shakespeare manuscripts, a handwritten copy of jane eyre, a manuscript of the canterbury tales, biblical scripts from the 3rd century ad.. so much. it was HEAVENLY. since our train was leaving at 3:30, we left at 3:20 and scurried back across the street. we said goodbye to caleb, snapped a shot of the huge olympic rings in the station, and hopped right onto our train. perfect.
the train ride was PACKED. we ended up sitting in the little antechamber at the front of the train. but at least we had seats! some people had to stand the whole way. brutal. we arrived at the nottingham station at 5:30, with directions on how to get to our hosts’ flat. unfortunately, it was a really confusing journey, as there are no streetsigns anywhere, and we didn’t quite make it alone. we ended up calling mike (sara’s husband) and he came to meet us. so no harm, but i felt silly for not being able to navigate our way there! once we got to the (beautiful) flat, right in the city centre, we met sara. who is LOVELY. she had dinner pretty much prepared for us – a homemade, authentic italian lasagna, bruscetta, and salad. awesomeee. two of their other friends, a couple from california and fellow couchsurfers, came to eat as well. we had a great meal and rachel and i really enjoyed getting to talk to such awesome people! after dinner, we chilled out for a little bit before heading across the town to see the robin hood statue and nottingham castle. it was pretty sweet. :) we went to a pub called ‘ye olde trip to jerusalem’, which claims to be the oldest pub in england. considering it was established in 1189, i’ll buy it. the pub was actually carved into the bedrock underneath the castle, with all these little cave rooms. it was SO NEAT! plus, i had my favourite kopparberg mixed fruits cidre. yummy. :) a bunch of sara and mike’s friends from school and church came to join us – they were all between 19 and 24 years old. three of them were doctors. whaaaat! they were all great fun, though, and we had a wonderful time. around midnight, we headed back to the flat and talked for a little while before collapsing into bed. what a day!

saturday, 5 march 2011
for the sake of time, i’m not going to get too into saturday. we basically just traveled back from england to angers. BUT, sara did make us delicious pancakes in the morning before we left! she is such a doll. and she had real syrup. yummm! we packed up, hopped on the shuttle to the airport, flew back to nantes, and got on the train back home. we arrived at our dorms around 6:30pm. i ate dinner early because i was huuuungry, showered, and got caught up on computer things for a while before crawling into bed.
so! there’s our trip. it was a fantastic whirlwind of culture and travel experience. i loved london (and england!) and can’t wait to go back one day.
the past week has been pretty uneventful. sunday, i spent the whole day in my room, catching up on homework and skyping. i had two tests this week – art history on monday and translation on thursday. i feel pretty good about both of them! tuesday night, natalie organized a ‘pancake party’ for mardi gras. she ended up making pancakes for nearly 30 people! it was a great night, and i’m so impressed by and proud of her. :) i’ve learned this week that i am a professional omelette maker, and that i love goat cheese. my french transformation is coming along.. :)
until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, yes--the British Library! That was certainly the highlight of this English teacher's London trip. Didn't you love the Beatles' manuscripts there, too? So cool!