Friday, Sept 10
It’s officially been one week since we departed on our journey.
For the past two days we’ve been venturing around London on our own, hitting all the major stops.
Yesterday, after a five hour bus ride on which we left a bag full of books and dry gluten-free pasta, we checked into our beautiful Victorian-style hostel. Our room had about 16 beds in it. It was the most bizarre set-up ever and ended up looking more like a tree house. Each level had it’s own platform – there was even a top floor.
Around town we saw the Big Ben, London Bridge (we ate dinner right below it which was pretty cool) and just wandered – much like Bridget Jones 🙂
We tried calling home from the hostel, but the internet connection was really weak. So we planted ourselves on the bathroom floor – for some reason the connection was stronger and the room was quieter (for the most part). We got some strange looks, but it was worth it.
Today we visited Buckingham Palace, where we saw the changing of the guards, walked through Hyde Park, went into Harrods – which was unreal, like a Charlie and the Chocolate factory for grown ups – and then went to Picadilly circus.
Everything in the city is under construction for the 2012 Olympics. I can’t imagine London with any more tourists than it has now – the Games are going to be a gong show.
This evening we took the train to Maidstone, Kent to meet my friend Catherine from university. Her family lives in a beautiful home and they have been so nice to us.
By now, we’ve figured out our roles in this trip. Matt does the heavy lifting and packing and I do the planning and booking of flights/hostels. I think it’s a fabulous trade. Matt thinks so too, until it’s time to pack 🙂
Now that we have the freedom to leave our clothes out for a few nights, we are super relaxed.
I can say in all honestly that I thought my back was going to break under the weight of my 40 pound bag. Since we’ve been lugging our backpacks around, we’ve found that some days they feel heavier than others. We are going to have to figure out how to distribute the weight. I’ve read that it’s best to put the heavy items in the middle – this time we accidentally put them at the top. It meant I couldn’t stand up straight and I could barely make my way through the underground.
Matt and I have quickly learned how sweaty and difficult backpacking is – lugging our bags around the underground in London has been the hardest thing, but we made it. So far we’ve learned an important lesson: always ask for help as it will save time and stress.