From Left to Right and Top to Bottom: (1) The Docks at Gloucester (2) The London Eye at Night (3) The Coast at Brighton (4) The Thames at Night (5) The Docks at Gloucester, Without my Face (6) The Crypt at Gloucester Cathedral (7) Afternoon Tea at the Cambridge Pub
My last week in London was interesting, to say the least. I felt like I did more in London this week than I had done the entire time, though in reality I did less. I went to Gloucester, went on a Jack the Ripper tour, went on a small pub crawl, completed finals, wandered the city at night, and had afternoon tea. But through all of this, I was fighting mixed emotions. I felt extremely homesick, but I also felt sad that I was leaving; I wanted to experience even more than I already had. These mixed feelings were pretty exhausting. As I was having fun on my new adventures, I could not help but to count down the days until I would return home. However, although this was exhausting, it was good for me to experience. I have never really felt like this before; it was a new adventure.
I believe that the reason that I felt like I did so much more in the last week, even though I probably did less in reality, is because I got to experience some of the cultural activities. I finally went to afternoon tea! I also wandered the city at night, rather than just walking through town to get home. And I rode on one of the famous public bikes.
Afternoon Tea was one of my favorite experiences in London. I went to the Cambridge Pub with Jenna, and we were served two little teapots (which contained three teacups of tea, each). We were also served a bowl of sugar cubes, both brown and white (how much more fun that loose sugar!). Then we were given a three-tiered food platter. The general rule is that you eat from the top down, so you eat the sweet scones, with clotted cream and jam, and then the savory finger sandwiches, and finally, the sweet desserts. All of the food was delicious, and the tea was some of the best I have ever had. During this little adventure, we also learned that Afternoon Tea was started by one of the Queens, who felt like there was too much time between lunch and dinner, and wanted something to snack on.
Taking a little stroll at night was so much fun. Jenna, Jenny and I walked down and back up the other. We saw so much on this little trip; it was unbelievable. All of the city lights were gorgeous, and there were buskers, (people playing the guitar, the oboe, the bass and the violin), filling the night air with beautiful music. We also saw many, different-themed party boats. There was an Indian wedding, a dance boat, and even a fetish boat (we don’t know what was going on there, but there were lots of people in leather costumes walking to it). As we were walking down the Thames, looking at all of the boats, we decided that we would finally ride the famous Santander bikes. These are bikes that are stationed all around the city. You take a bike, use it, and return it at any station. The first 30 minutes is free, and after that it is just two pounds for 24 hours. As fun as the bikes were, my favorite part of this whole night was standing on the bridge, looking out and London, and listening to beautiful guitar music. It made for the perfect last night and London.
I will definitely be traveling out of the country in the future, hopefully at least once every other year. And so I leave this post with a quote by Jack Kerouac:
“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” -Jack Kerouac