|God save the Queen!
||[Jun. 5th, 2006|10:12 am]
There and Back Again
... and other fun British songs! Hello from (currently cloudy) Trinity College!
So here's what's up. Saturday I landed at Stansted airport about forty minutes late and was met by the lovely hallie2985, who by the way is thankfully not a forty-year-old man. After a moment of slightly surreal inner squeeing, we were off to London! We managed to sneak in peaks of Tower Bridge/Tower of London, London Bridge, Westminster Abbey, the parliament buildings, and city hall before I started falling asleep on my feet. Then it was off to our hotel, where I (re)discovered the joy of Stephen Frye on QI and also in Wilde which was on the telly. Yes, Alina, Orlando Bloom as a rent boy. Sadly, the both of us were too tired to watch the thing so after a moment of gratuitous OB-lust we turned it off and went to sleep, surprisingly quickly considering my body thought it was 6 PM.
Up super early the next morning as was supposed to catch 9:00 coach (not 'bus'!!!) to Stonehenge and Bath. This is a sort of long story involving me booking a trip to Stonehenge while I was completely shattered (=exhausted) and forgetting to book two seats instead of one. Anyway we had to change lines like three times before we realized the tube was shut down between where we were and where we needed to be (we realized this at, like, ten to nine). So we jumped out and grabbed a taxi and sped off to Earl's Court underground station, where the coach was still waiting.
...Unfortunately, it had been overbooked, so they offered us a free tour to Rochester and Leeds, which is near where Hallie lives when she's not at school, so off we went and rescheduled our Stonehenge tour to Tuesday (I still must call and check if they booked Hallie a ticket as well, and purchase her ticket if they haven't). In Rochester it was the Dickens Festival! I know, how cool is that. I know yarn_demon may actually be jealous! Or not, I don't actually know if Andrea likes Dickens, but. (NB: Do you know how long it took me to find the " key on this damn thing?) Leeds Castle was having a Food and Wine festival but since we stayed in Rochester with Hallie's parents/sisters/aunt/cousins for a bit we didn't get to experience that; then her father drove us to Leeds to meet our coach (because we'd left our luggage on it).
Then I got to experience the full horror of the British rail system, but not after wandering about hopelessly looking for Buckingham Palace. Remember that at this time Hallie and I each had about five hundred thousand pounds worth of things to carry and several large blisters apiece. Eventually we gave up as we're going back to London tomorrow. Anyway, the British rail system - we got on at King's Cross for Cambridge, and were about a half an hour into the journey before we stopped. Then our driver came on the PA and announced that we'd stopped because the train in front of us was experiencing technical problems and we had to wait for it to clear the track. So we waited half an hour and then the driver came back on again, announcing that we'd be returning to London and that alternative transportation would be provided. So we turned around and started back to London, and then ten minutes later he came on again and said that we would be going to Lexworth or something, and from there we could catch the next train to Cambridge! Anyway a 45 minute trip took us just over three hours to complete. Then we had dinner from the local greasy spoon (Gardenia's, aka Gardi's), "a Greek place masquerading as a chippy", as Hallie called it. It was greasy and delicious.
And NOW, I am sitting in Hallie's "set" typing this as she writes an exam. I am afraid to go out because I will get lost. The reason? Someone apparently forgot to tell me that "Hallie goes to Cambridge" actually means "Hallie lives in a castle". Am I the only one who didn't clue in? This morning I had breakfast in a mini Great Hall!! (Not the Great Hall, which is anyway actually at Oxford, but tell that to a Cambridge student!!)
I was going to go on MSN to see if anyone wanted to chat at me and then I realized it was still five thirty in the morning, so I suppose you'll all have to make due with this. Pictures forthcoming, possibly soon if Hallie's USB cable will fit my camera, otherwise you'll have to wait.
1GB is totally not going to be enough memory. Luckily we can put photos on CD at Boots the Chemist (aka drugstore)!
P.S. leave me your addresses if you'd like a postcard, as I totally forgot to bring any written down.