Yup, you read that right. I went from London, to Brighton and then back to London. Why, you may ask? Because at some point I had to fly back home and London is a very convenient place to do this from. Also, staying another weekend in London gave me the possibility to meet up with someone that I wanted to see, before heading back home.
So yeah, I took a train from Brighton to I forgot the name in London. Basically, from that train station it would be an hour’s walk to the Airbnb that I rented. Except for, that train didn’t go. The replacing train then announced that they wouldn’t actually go to the station that I needed to go to to transfer, so I was a bit lost. Luckily, I opened up Google maps and started playing around a little with the different train stations. I then found out (all by myself, are you proud mom?!) that the train that I was on, was actually going to a station that was somewhat closer to the place that I needed to be at. I therefore decided to stay on the train (I am such a rebel) and get out at another station instead. I think this is only fair, seeing as I was delayed by about an hour already, and going all the way to the other place would take me at least another 30 minutes. So yeah, long story short: I made it to London.
I put on my backpack and strapped myself in, man that thing was heavy. It was okay for the first twenty or so minutes, after that I was sweating out and starting to ache. But, I was way too excited to care too much, so I sped up a little to be at the apartment faster, so I could take that darn thing of. When I arrived at the building, it took me a little while to figure out how to get inside, but luckily the communication was excellent and I managed to make my way in. I then undid myself from my bag and crashed on the bed. I checked my phone to see what time my friend would arrive and then decided to take a nice bath.
As I was chilling in the bath, I suddenly realised that I didn’t actually have as much time as I thought, because I had to walk to that train station as well to meet him. That was another 80 minute walk from where we were staying, so I got out of the bath and got dressed. I then quickly ate some ontbijtkoek (literal translation: breakfast cookie, again; I am such a rebel) for dinner. This is weird, I know, but I hadn’t bought any food and I was running out of time. I put my shoes on and headed back out and over to the train station. It still amazes me how easily I found it. Of course I used Google maps, but I didn’t take a wrong turn once!
When we were finally reunited, there were two options that we could choose from: 1) use public transportation to get back to the apartment; 2) walk back, making a few beer stops on the way. Guess which option we unanimously agreed upon. So yeah, we were walking through the busy streets of uptown London, while occasionally popping into a corner shop to buy beer. Our original plan was to check out pubs, but there weren’t as many on our way and it worked out well like this. It is much cheaper to do it this way as well and since my purpose this summer was to travel on a budget… you get the point.
By the time we got back to the apartment we had had a couple of drinks, but not too many. It had been a long day for the both of us, so it wasn’t until the next day that we started exploring a bit more of London. I tend to forget that you are actually allowed to drink on the streets in the UK, what a fantastic thing! If this is something that you are used to, I would suggest for you to check out a country’s rules in regard to alcohol consumption before visiting, or you may get yourself into trouble. In the Netherlands for instance, it is NOT allowed to drink in public, nor to be drunk in public. Just so you know. You’re welcome.
We checked out a few of the city’s sights, but weren’t too bothered with it since we had both been there before. He, however, wanted to check out Tate Modern; an international art gallery. It was a bit of a funny building and quite tricky to navigate your way through, so we gave up quite easily. We went outside onto the balcony and enjoyed the performance of a street performer for a while. He was singing Small Bump, by Ed Sheeran and it was absolutely wonderful. We then headed back outside, walked over the well known Tower Bridge and who knows what else we’ve seen.
One of us came up with the brilliant idea of buying a couple of drinks and head over to Primrose Hill for city views in the sun. The photo above is actually taken with my mobile phone and I promise you I have not edited anything about it, beautiful right? The sun was shining, the drinks were flowing, the company was wonderful, it just couldn’t be any better. It’s like time stood still for a moment and everything was fantastic. But then we grew hungry and decided to head over to Camden Town for some more exploring and hopefully food.
We somehow ended up going to an Irish pub, again; if you know me you don’t have to guess whose idea this was, where we ordered a pint of Guinness each. After finishing our drinks, we visited the horse stables and then got some pizza and another beer from Voodoo Ray’s. It was great. Pizza+beer=love. After that, we were both shattered from walking around all day, so we decided to get on the tube and head back to the apartment.
The next morning we had to pack our bags and leave again. We walked all the way through London, to the coach station to drop off my friend. There was the international race walking world champion going on near Buckingham Palace, so it was packed with people, but entertaining to watch. After dropping off my friend, I got on a train and headed over to my host for the night.
What you don’t know, is that this host was not only my final host of this trip, but also my very first Couchsurfing host ever. I was very excited to see him again and it was lovely staying with him again after such a long time. Of course we watched a few episodes of The Inbetweeners together, this is something we did the first time as well, and he made me dinner. On Monday, we drove to London Southend, from where I would get on a plane back to Amsterdam. Before my flight however, we went to Wetherspoons for lunch and then to another bar to play pool and have a final beer together. It was fantastic.
I safely landed back in Amsterdam on Monday evening. I still cannot believe this trip is over, it was so amazing and I have met so many fantastic people. Thank you to all of you who helped me make this trip memorable, bless you all!
Lots of Love,