England · Scotland · The UK

Takin’ on the U.K.

Sorry for the delay in posts, y’all. It’s been a crazy past week! Alex is here now and our travels are in full swing. It began six days ago… after a *great* night of sleeping on my hostel’s couch, we awoke early for a red eye to Scotland. I had already been, but Alex hadn’t and the ticket to get there was only $10, so we thought… why not! After a short 45 minute flight, we continued our thrifty trend and attempted to find our Couch Surfing host for the night. For those unfamiliar, Couch Surfing is a site that allows you to sleep in people’s spare spaces for free. It’s a cultural exchange, and we were excited to get a new experience in!

However, once we had made it into the ‘burbs… the apartment ended up being a crack house. Okay, not that dramatic, but that’s what it sure as heck felt like! Our host looked way out of it and had colorful dyed hair, and the two others in the apartment looked the same with equally funky hair. We’re not one to judge, but we hiked it the heck out of there and booked a last minute accommodation, as well as accommodation for London and Paris, where we had been planning on couch surfing as well! YIKES. We checked into an adorable B&B and tried to make the most of our day, and although I was deffo stressin’ the financial situation, nothing compares to staying safe, so we sucked it up and away we were with the rest of our day!

Downtown Glasgow. Beautiful architecture!
Downtown Glasgow. Beautiful architecture!
Our B&B in a row of charming little B&Bs.
Our B&B in a row of charming little B&Bs.

After a full day in Glasgow and a good night’s rest *not* spent at a shady-as-hell apartment, we departed for London. WHICH IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE CITY IN THE WORLD. Does this make me basic? I wish I cared. However, we were challenged by the devil once more when our Megabus’ engine started smoking in the middle of ABSOLUTE nowhere in the countryside somewhere between Glasgow and London. Was this real life!? Were we really being challenged this much in 24 hours? God, give me the serenity to not murder these whiny fellow Megabussers as we sit by the side of the road and wait for the fire brigade to come and check out the bus. 

Evacuated from the bus.
Evacuated from the bus.

We arrived safe and sound to London and attempted to bid via Priceline for a cheap accommodation. HA. Cheap and in London!? We were dreaming! We then started pulling one of my greatest pet peeves- going door to door on a street of cozy B&Bs asking if there was space for the evening. We finally found one, and explored London a bit. GOOD LORD, I LOVE THIS TOWN. It’s so posh.

I squealed every time I saw Ben.
I squealed every time I saw Ben.
Enjoying a #CheekyNandos, aka delicious chicken and chips!
Enjoying a #CheekyNandos, aka delicious chicken, slaw and chips!
Adorable. Just adorable.
Adorable. Just adorable.
Downtime picnics at the park. Soooo healthy, I know, Mom.
Downtime picnics at the park. Soooo healthy, I know, Mom.

Since we had both been to London before, the weight of being on a schedule and trying to cram in five million activities a day was gone. We both had just a few things we wanted to fit in that we hadn’t had time for our last trip over, so I got to visit Abbey Road this time (where I ran into some former classmates! WEIRD!), and Alex rode the London Eye! We also walked forever to the new THREE STORY LUSH STORE, where we spent over an hour smelling EVERYTHING, and gathering sample pots of face masks. After enduring about five hand massages, and having my eyebrows penciled in for the first time ever (I’ve always thought I had good eyebrows, but this girl took me to a whole ‘notha level), we left feeling content with the softest hands known to man.

Alex and I felt like schoolgirls at boarding school in this LONDON THEMED B&B ROOM.
Alex and I felt like schoolgirls at boarding school in this LONDON THEMED B&B ROOM.

Two nights’ accommodation set us financially back significantly, so our last night we got creative and spent it at the only 24-hour Starbucks in town. If we could pull an all-nighter in undergrad, why not in Starbucks!? We walked two miles to the north side of town, and arrived at King’s Cross Station (yes, HP fans, THAT station!) not quite knowing what to expect. Apparently, we’re not the only ones who take advantage of the Starbucks, and we saw quite the variety of people come in and out in waves. The most interesting character was an old homeless guy who came in to sip black coffee and eat chocolate coins. He reeked of pee, but boy did he look dignified eating his golden chocolate coins and fancy schmancy Starbucks! I guess it was treat yo’self day. Good for him!

It got light around 6 am, so I walked the two miles back to the bus station on the south side of town (Alex took the tube but I wanted to walk!) and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing London wake up. I walked down The Mall, which is the road that leads straight to Buckingham Palace, and breathed in the fresh air and suddenly felt so thankful at where life has placed me. Joggers ran by me, and ladies up early walking their dogs smiled at me… and I could genuinely see myself becoming one of them. Eventually. Maybe. In the near future, perhaps? You never know where life will take you. I thought the same of Dublin and look at me now, just 18 months after that wishful thinking!

Next stop… Belgium! Post to come soon. I’ll be caught up before y’all know it!

Cheers,

Monique

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Takin’ on the U.K.

  1. So sorry you had a bad experience re. Accommodation in my home city of Glasgow. Unlucky. Glad you liked the architecture though and do come again, so much you probably didn’t have time to see!

    1. Thanks Lizzie! It was a quick adventure for sure- done moreso because it gave us a cheap ticket into the UK (we took cheap busses thereafter but flights from Dublin to London direct were steep!). Definitely going to have a go at Glasgow again soon though- the little we did get to see was so beautiful!

  2. I love the way the two of you aren’t letting little things get in the way of having a fabulous time. Wish I was still 20ish. Don’t know that I’ll ever try couch surfing 🙂

    1. It redeemed itself in Belgium and we had a great host who was an artist and made incredible multi-media paintings! However, don’t think I’d ever try it again. Definitely going to stick to hostels and other affordable SAFE accommodations from here on out! 🙂

  3. YES, AN OVERDUE BLOG POST! I was missing the next chapter of Plates and Planes! Whoa, I’m glad you at have a travel buddy for your adventures! Love that you’re so giddy as you explore!Couch surfing…..hmmm let me simmer on that thought for a while.

  4. Wow! What an adventure! It looks very interesting and gut wrenching at the same time. I hope you continue to meet new experiences and excitement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s