For starters, I want to extend a huge thank you to our friends for being the greatest hosts in London this past weekend. From the hearty, delicious meals that Judy whipped up for us to the beautiful bike tour that Henry took us on, I am feeling very blessed to have had the chance to spend a few days in their cozy home. We took the metro or “tube” to their home early Thursday morning which was very easy to get around because we were able to ask for directions in English, gotta love that. I don’t know if I’ll come out of this whole journey knowing much Spanish seeing as I am out of Madrid almost every weekend, but boy was it nice to talk way too fast in English again. Our first night we went to a quaint, busily decorated pub called Churchhill Arms and later to Dirty Bones which was an underground restaurant and bar with live music.
I always knew that certain countries drove on the left side of the road but I had never actually seen it before. The next day when we rented bikes and road around town, it was so very different than anything I’d ever seen before. I found myself nervous to cross the street even when I had the right of way because I had no idea which direction the cars were going to come from. When we hopped into an Uber I was thrown off time and time again at the steering wheel being placed on the right-hand side. I am not a very good driver to begin with so I cannot even imagine having to learn a completely different direction of driving, no thank you.
I like how common biking is around London, there are little stations to rent bikes around every corner and it’s only 2 pounds for up to 24-hours. We started our trek at Hyde Park, one of the many beautiful parks around town with far too many pigeons, I almost ran over a couple of them. We saw Buckingham Palace where the Royal Standard flag was flying which indicates that the Queen is currently in the building. A newly married couple was taking wedding pictures in front of the gates along with tourists galore. Next, we strolled up to Big Ben for an up-close view and then onto Westminster Bridge for a full view of it as well as the London Eye. It was the perfect day for a bike ride despite the brief drizzle of rain, we picked a good day to spend outdoors. I prefer the weather in London over Madrid right now, which somehow seems to get hotter everyday. Really starting to regret packing all those sweaters and long sleeves. Might just have to trade in my whole wardrobe for a new one, that shopping process has definitely already begun. We ended the bike ride through Chinatown and weaved around crowds of people until we made it to a bike station right by their house. Bike tour around London, 1o/10 highly recommend to a friend, could not have picked a more perfect way to go sight-seeing.
Traveling has become second nature to me at this point and I think it’s safe to say I’m addicted to it. Today we booked two more trips and I honestly just wish the whole “classes” thing didn’t stand in the way. With that being said, we will miss all of next week of school to go to Morocco. The teachers understand that we are learning far more outside of the classroom than in it and it is a once in a lifetime experience! We just booked Barcelona for Halloween weekend although the holiday isn’t nearly as big of a deal in Europe as it is in the U.S. Barca has some exciting events going on and a big group of us is staying in a crazy cool Airbnb for four nights since we have the following Monday and Tuesday off of school. On the subject of school, I love my International Management professor because he is from America but has lived in Spain for the past 40 years, so he is very relatable and has the greatest stories to tell. Just wanted to throw that in there for proof to my family that I do in fact go to class here too. Lovely hearing from my parents via FaceTime yesterday, they had it all set up on the iPad. I couldn’t help but get a little homesick after talking to them and I really really miss my dad’s cooking. I am thrilled that we get back in time for Christmas at home, I’m a little salty about missing my big family Thanksgiving celebration but I look forward to seeing you all in December!