Sunday, First day in London

Was in a bit of a fog today, so not as many pictures and probably a narrative not as good as other days. Woke up this morning around 7:30 with the room warm. I cannot tell you how nice it was to wake up with my nose not cold. Sure I was a little stuffed up still, but I’ll take a stuffed up nose over a cold one any day.

Aimee and I ate a chocolate crescent roll in our room for breakfast. On orientation day we had understood it that unless we signed IN for food on Sunday’s the staff would get the day off. Turns out that there was still breakfast served in the dining hall. Lo and behold it was practically the same thing we had eaten in our room. Go figure..

Together with four other Bemidji girls we walked to the bus station. The other girls had bought their tickets a head of time so they hopped on right away. We had heard that there was a ticket pass that gave you 12 bus rides to or from London. Aimee purchased that and the two of us hopped on the bus. All six of us sat on the second floor and buckled in for the trip. I can’t tell you about the scenery between Oxford and London; I slept the whole way there.

The Oxford Tube dropped us off at the Victoria Coach station. I wasn’t feeling the greatest due to the stuffed nose and was considering just riding the same bus back to Oxford. I decided to tough it out and stayed with the group as long as I could. At first we just wondered around, but eventually we decided to have a brunch at the Sport Bar and Grill at Victoria Station.

These guys had a very nice set up. You head up some stairs and come up to a warm room with high tables and bar stools. The six of us were seated at two tables pushed together just to the left of the bar. Breakfast is served at the Sport Bar and Grill until 11:30, so while one person wanted fish and chips we all got some kind of breakfast. I wish I had ordered the passion fruit juice instead of the orange juice but the need for vitamin C over ruled the search for the perfect passion fruit juice. Trust me, once you have the real thing, not from a concentrate, you’ll want it every time juice is an option on the menu. I ordered a small plate of scrambled eggs with four pieces of butter toast.

This was the fist time that Aimee and I had eaten out while in England. I thought it was a little odd that our server couldn’t split the bill for us… The group chalked it up to a Europe thing. In America we don’t want to pay more than we have to for someone else’s meal. I guess in England when people normally go out to eat, someone foots the whole bill.

After the bill was cleared away, we went in search for a bus tour. We had passed a couple when we had gotten off the Oxford tube. We chose the Golden Tours Hop on Hop off tour. Currently for the winter months they have a deal where if you buy a 24 hour pass for 23 pounds you get another 24 hour pass free. when we went to talk to the guy he was going to give us a discount seeing we were in a group. 20 pounds was what he was thinking. Somehow, one of the girls haggled him down to the price of 17 pounds for each of us. I was so glad the she was with us; my bartering skills suck.

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We rode the bus until we got the stop outside the London Natural History Museum and the  Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A Museum wasn’t as packed as the Natural History museum. In the entry way there were two large hanging sculptures that looked pretty cool. Unfortunately we didn’t stay long in the V&A. I could have spent the better part of the day at the V&A, but the majority of our group wanted to go over to the Natural History Museum.

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Welcoming party at the Natural History Museum

Welcoming party at the Natural History Museum

There was a surprise waiting for us when we got over there. A waiting line to get into the museum.  There is an exhibit that deals with Dinosaurs currently at the museum that has been attracting a lot of attention. Once we got in there, the wait wasn’t that long, our group blazed through the exhibits I think without really looking at them. I don’t know about most people, but when I get the chance to go to a museum, of any sort, I want to take my time and look at everything. We breezed in and out of the museum just like we did the last one. Maybe the next time Aimee and I go to London we can go back and wonder around at our own pace.

The group got back on the Golden Tours Hop on Hop off bus and rode it a little farther.  By this point I was board, really stuffed up and ready to head back to Oxford to take a nap. Either I caught a really bad cold, or the budding of England has given me a taste of Allergies. At a sign from Aimee the two of us left the group and went off on our own.

We caught a different Golden Tours bus that would take us back to Buckingham Palace. Aimee was like a little kid as she took pictures from the gate. she would later tell me that seeing Buckingham Palace made her trip. We didn’t tour the two rooms open to the public but she was still happy we came back to it. After hearing this I didn’t feel as bad about taking all the time yesterday at the Jane Austen Center in Bath.

Heading back to Victoria station was a little difficult. By our logic, if a Golden Tours bus had picked us up there, one could drop us off there as well. When we tried this logic, the driver and his street helper chuckled at the lost stupid American Girls. Of course they didn’t call us that to our faces, but that’s how I felt about it in my head. I kinda always wanted to play the stupid American card, does this situation count?

As it turned out, if we followed the same road Buckingham Palace was on we would eventually get to the Coach station. Nothing to hard we figured. Little did we know that there were two and a half things standing in our way. Souvenir shops with 75% off sales, construction, and A theater advertising for the play “Wicked.” Technically that’s three things, but the theater was more of a delay. After wondering around and consulting maps every time we saw  one, we made it to the station. Lady luck was with us. As we arrived at the station, an Oxford tube had just pulled up.

Relief?

Relief?

Just like on the way into London, I slept the whole way home. For dinner we shopped at a Sainsbury and got a meal deal: a drink, a sandwich and a chip, bag of fruit or candy bar for 3 pounds. Here I also picked up some medicine to help my now-getting-annoying condition.

 

 

Something new to try

Something new to try

I also managed to talk Aimee into trying some Bulmers Cider with me.Unintentional Peer pressure. I got Bold Black Cherry while Aimee got the Crushed Red Berries and Lime. As you can see we “sampled” Aimee’s. 4% alcohol it gave the Crush Red Berries a couch syrup taste, other than that it wasn’t bad. Maybe we’ll try mine tomorrow night.

 

 

Well, tomorrow starts another round of classes. Good night all.

 

In case you missed the Links

Oxford Tube: http://www.oxfordtube.com/

Victoria Coach Station:                                               http://uk.idbus.com/london-victoria-coach-station

Victoria Sport Bar and Grill:  http://www.londontown.com/LondonInformation/Restaurant/Sports_Bar__Grill_Victoria/23fd/

Golden Tours Hop on Hop off Tours: http://www.goldentours.com/London/Open_Top_Bus_Tours

London Natural History Museum: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

Victoria and Albert Museum: http://www.vam.ac.uk/

Buckingham Palace:  http://www.royal.gov.uk/theroyalresidences/buckinghampalace/buckinghampalace.aspx

Sainsbury: http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/sol/index.jsp

Bulmers Cider: http://bulmers.ie/index.html

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Categories: EuroSpring 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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  1. Pingback: Weblog and Wiki project review week 1 | Surviving Free time, My Way

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