Thursday, July 30, 2009

London! Part One:

(written last night)
So I arrived in London totally ‘knackered’ but strangely haven’t suffered from jet lag yet, simply exhaustion. Alicia was there to meet me all set with my Oyster card. Despite the ridiculous name it is a wonderful invention: Pay as you go for all London transit so once you buy the original card you just top it up as needed and it keeps track of your trips and will never charge you more than a day pass.
We dumped my stuff off at her flat and grabbed a bite to eat before heading off on a Jack the Ripper walking tour. Which was awesome, history is so much more interesting when you can really well uh, experience or touch aren’t perhaps the best words but anyway…
The next day (yesterday the 28th) we slept in (much needed!) and then took to the streets again. I am the most spoiled tourist, I have my very own personal guide! And good thing too or I’d be completely lost two steps from the front door. I will never be very good at navigating cities, it’s a challenge just to follow someone!
We wandered all over starting in the City of London from the newer Gherkin tower (that’s not its real name but I can’t recall the real one…. It does have some other less savoury nicknames though) to the historic Tower of London and across Tower Bridge. Then we meandered along the Thames passing the Globe theatre and stopping by the Tate museum of modern art, which is free so we checked out some of the cool, interesting and just plain bizarre ‘artwork’. By this time we were starving so we grabbed ourselves a picnic of baguette and cheeses with berries dipped in double cream for ‘pudding’. To die for, I have finally found a friend who truly shares my love of dairy products =) and is willing to indulge before I am forced to go without fresh dairy for the next couple months.
After our lunch/dinner on the banks of the Thames, we headed back across to the North bank but most things we were going to see were closed by then so we’ll go back another day. Instead we wandered about forget-the-name-which-is-silly-since-I’d-been-there-last-time…. Will get back to you on that. Anyway, neat marketplace with street performers including one who threaded himself though 2 squash rackets and a toilet seat before juggling knives on a 12-foot pole. And then weaving ourselves back through Trafalgar Square that pretty much ends our day of London on foot for next to free!
This morning I slept in again, excellent. Then re-packed my backpack and got myself down to Victoria station, onto the train to Portsmouth and from the train station to the ferry port virtually sans problemes! Quite proud of myself or my luck whichever it was. I am now in the ferry port (memories of 3 years ago…) nibbling on Hobnobs for dinner (I got the plain ones at least!) and have another 4 and half hours to wait here before my overnight ferry leaves… No internet unfortunately so I will hopefully post this tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Touristing Vancouver

So flying out of Vancouver, I decided to extend my travels by spending a day there. It was a fabulous day as well! (Thanks to you Liz!) I fit in househunting with Andrew, lots of walking, delicious sushi and Beaver Tails, sky train and sea bus. Then off to see HP (finally!) and we overcame navigational and parking difficulties for the reward of fireworks in a thunderstorm, perfect finale! It was sunny all morning but of course it has to rain while I'm in Vancouver so we were hit by the craziest storm in the evening.

I flew out the next day for London, pretty smooth except we were delayed for over 2 and half hours in Atlanta, there was some boarding, de-planing and re-planing... something involving a battery charger replacement...

London has been just as wonderful so far but will update that later. I'm exhausted (relaxing in Alicia's flat watching Flight of the Conchords....) and heading off to France tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PrĂȘte? Set? Jet!

Oh great, I'm rhyming already...
Well not sure about the ready, set part but the GO is happening regardless! Though I do think I'm more prepared this time than some. Check out the hair, it is travel-proof! Aka way shorter than I have ever had it before (I donated 13") but I've adapted quickly and am loving it for now.

Been relaxing in BC all July from the island to Nelson and now in Kelowna. Visiting the family, studying Spanish and planning like the crazy planner I am. (see photos - clockwise : before, after, west kelowna fire, camping) It's been so wonderful to just relax for the first time in .... a long time anyway!

I'm heading down to Vancouver on Friday for the first leg of my journey and will be flying out of there Sunday, really hasn't sunk in yet! Perhaps it will on the plane if I'm lucky.

Not sure how often I'll be able to update this but I will try my best and sorry if it ends up being rather impersonal, I'm writing for a diverse audience. Believe me, I would write to each and every one of you individually if that were possible. Please know that you are in my thoughts and will quite likely be having a conversation with me in my head while I'm waiting in a train station somewhere! (Hey, a little bit of insanity never hurt anyone!)

First stop: London

See you there!