Bon Voyage from London

Trip Start Mar 31, 2011
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65
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Trip End Jul 05, 2011


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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Last post from Europe! How sad! 

We slept in on Sunday (6-3) because we were so tired from the tour/festivities of the past few days. A bit of a slow start, but oh well! We unpacked our entire bags, threw out the things we didn't want to bring back to America (shampoo, some shoes, etc.), and repacked all of our souvenirs. I've been carrying a duffel bag that collapses into a tiny little ball but is actually quite large, so Jeremy and I packed our presents in that. This left a TON of room in our backpacks-- guess we will need to buy more stuff today!  Adrienne's friend Ben decided to meet us in London, so she left at around 11 to pick him up from the train station, and Jeremy and I met them in front of Harrods at noonish. Adrienne met Ben while she was studying abroad at St. Andrews in Scotland-- he lives in Kent, which is about 40 minutes outside of London by train. 
The four of us wandered around Harrods for a long time. Harrods is totally amazing!! We started in the chocolate section then went down to the food court so Ben could buy a water. The water was normally priced, but the food was exorbitant. It cost 3 pounds for 1 piece of sushi! Insanity. We went into the basement to check out the memorial to Princess Diana. Apparently, after Diana and Charles divorced, she started dating the son of the family that owned Harrods. They were together in the car the night they died, so the family put up a memorial. Then we took the "Egyptian escalator" to the top floor and made our way down. They had a pet store on the 4th floor, which mainly consisted of accessories for your pets and a pet spa, but they sold a few animals as well. Only one type of cat-- Bengals for 1600 pounds. They sold two types of dogs-- Chihuahuas and maltipoos, which are maltisse/poodle mixes. My mom owns a maltipoo named Lola, but these maltipoos cost 1800 pounds! Lola definitely did not cost 1800 pounds or anything close to it. They were pretty adorable though. On our way out of Harrods, we took the escalator back down, and there was a woman singing opera in a gown standing next to the escalator! Pretty extreme-- I posted a video at the bottom.
After Harrods, we went to Camden Market to wander around and do some last minute souvenir shopping. Jeremy bought a few things for his mom and I got some stuff for my friends-- much cheaper than the presents we bought yesterday. Camden market is in a questionable part of town, so no surprise that it was cheaper. Jeremy had a small panic at Camden-- he tried to get cash from 4 different ATMs and none of them would accept his card! So he called his mom to have her call the bank, but the bank wouldn't let her handle it for him. He finally found internet (after much searching) and was able to call the bank, only to find out that it was just a coincidence that none of the ATMs worked! Oh well, at least the card was not shut off. Sometimes banks shut off your card when it is used abroad, even if you call them and warn them that you will be travelling. Then it is a huge pain to get it turned back on. Good thing that didn't happen.

We went to King's Cross Station to see if it looks the same as it does in the Harry Potter movies. It definitely looked different, but maybe because it was under construction... They did have a ridiculous fake Platform 9 3/4 set up outside the station. We took some funny pictures in front of it, even though it was pretty lame. Then, we went to Baker's street to find a pub and had lunch and a few pints. The lunch was really excellent but very unhealthy-- seems to be a trend with English food. Then Ben went back to Kent and we went back to Ann Marie's to write some blogs and watch some TV. We've really missed the TV... very American, we know.

Monday was the fourth of July, so we decided to celebrate by starting the day with gin and tonics. Also, very American. We went to the same stall from before (Mr. Fish) to get more fish and chips, then headed into town to meet back up again with Ben! The four of us went to Hyde Park and walked around for a while, enjoying the nice weather. Then we went on a quest for internet so Jeremy and I could check into our flights. We finally broke down and just went to the Apple store in Covent Garden to use their computers. For whatever reason, the internet company that Starbucks and McDonald's uses (our usual internet hubs) doesn't work on our computers. I think you might need a UK phone number or something to sign in.
We spent the next hours shopping around Covent Garden. Since we had so much extra room in our bags, I decided to by some Wellington rain boots (commonly referred to as Wellies)! Luckily, I found some that were the right height and fit well, and they were in the kids section so they were way cheaper than the regular ones! Very cool that I can buy kid sized shoes and raincoats-- definitely saves a ton of money. Then we headed back to the Covent Garden tube stop to meet Jeremy's friends Allison and Shannon (same friends from a few days ago). The six of us went to a little pub by the station for food and pints. An hour later, we met up with another friend-- Gareth, whom I met in a hostel in Dresden. We all hung out for a few hours, then Gareth went home and the six of us went to Parliament. He was very tired because he flew back to London from St. Louis the day before! How ironic for him to be in St. Louis and us to be in London-- glad we got to meet up. 
Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey were spectacular at night, so we walked around and took millions of pictures for about an hour before parting ways and heading back to Queen's Park. We finished our last minute packing and went to bed. Adrienne had to wake up really early on Tuesday to head to the airport because her flight left at 10:30-- bye Adrienne, see you in St. Louis in 2 weeks! Jeremy and I had a more relaxing morning: made breakfast, cleaned up our messes, showered, watched TV. Now we are about to head to the airport. I'll post again from Boulder after we arrive and get settled in. So long! 
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Comments

Dennis on

Hey Valary,

I loved reading your blog! You must have had a great trip, most likely seen more of europe then most europeans. Now travelling with a backpack, but as soon as you get home you will have a backpack full of expierences. Again, loved the blog, loved your visit and hope to see you soon!

Good luck @ school!

Mom on

Well Valary, your blogs from this European tour were so spectacular! Thank you for sharing your trip with us; thank you for such thoughtful details and wonderful photos. I'm looking forward to seeing the other "million" pics. See you soon.....

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