Well we got in late Thursday night, and immediately started heading towards our hostel…which was located in Brixton…come to find out, that’s a place where people say you SHOULDN’T venture to. Our hostel was called, Hootenanny. I think we were intrigued by the name and the extremely low rate when we booked it. We finally showed up to our hostel…it was a reggae bar. We checked in AT the bar…and walked BEHIND the bar up a flight of creepy stairs. As we walk into our rooms, we see that there are 3 other girls (in each) permanently living there. From what I understood hostels were like hotels…you stay for a couple nights, pack up and move on. But from the sign on the wall “Let us know if you would like to stay here long-term…”, I was obviously wrong. Well, at least about this particular hostel.
This is the moment we all turned towards each other and in unison said, “we’re not staying here”…we went back down to the bar…got our 11 pounds back…and booked it back to the tube station. This is when the real panic set in, it was 11:30 – the tube was closing at midnight, and we (as of that moment) had nowhere to sleep. We got on the tube, and decided to head back to where we had just came from. A few tube stops in…Molly looks at all of us and says “Where’s my purse?!!!!” ….so did I say we were panicking yet?!… our hearts sank to the stomach and we jumped off at the next stop. We finally got a hold of our friend Lindsay who is studying abroad in London, this is where Bruns and Molly went back to the hostel to retrieve the purse, and the other 3 of us headed to Lindsay’s flat. In the remaining couple hours…Molly’s mom (an angel) helped us book a hotel for the night. So when all was said and done, we were safe and laughing about what had just happened!
The next morning, we met our teacher Gareth in front of Parliament. We got to sit on a debate about tanning beds…what else. Haha, despite the odd topic, it was very interesting. In Parliament, they can’t insult each other so when ever they address one another they say “my humble friend”. After that we went to the Economist and had a chat with the editor. They have the perfect view of London from their conference room, and the most enthusiastic editor I have ever met! She was so great! After that, we went to another debate between two MEPs in the EU. It was VERY interesting, they had a lot to say to each other…not all nice either. Gareth had to interrupt to mediate more than a couple times. During this debate, we found a way to use my friend Carley’s dad’s Holiday Inn points to get a free room for the night. We booked it over there immediately after the debate, and then met up with everyone else for a night out.
Once we woke up, we called another friend we knew that was staying in town, Ralle. We begged to stay on her couch, floor, anywhere and luckily she’s very nice and said yes :). So yes, we switched our sleeping place for the third and final time! After we dropped our bags off at Ralle’s, we started walking around…We went to Westminster Abbey, past Big Ben, and Parliament and headed down the Thames. We walked along the Thames for a very long, trying to make it to the Tower of London before it closed. It was such a nice day, I didn’t mind the walk at all. We stopped in the Tate to see the Andy Warhol collection and then headed home after that. We rested our feetsies and then went to a local pub for some fish and chips and of course a few beers.
The next day, Bruns, Cat and I went on the Harry Potter walking tour. It was a really neat way to see the city, and we got to see sooo many of the spots where they shot the movies like the leaky cauldron, platform 9 3/4, diagon alley, and a few more! We took a boat ride on the Thames too, which was also really cool. After our tour we went to Harrod’s for a couple hours and just shopped around. I bought a new pair of sunglasses, that I was in desperate need of. So that was successful! After Harrods I had to catch my train back to Brussels!
All in all, it was a really good weekend! Next weekend we’re off to Trier, Germany with our art class.