And now a much belated post about my romp around the UK.
On Friday April 22nd, I arrived in Edinburgh. It was not cold, but not quite warm. I set my stuff down in my hostel on the Grassmarket and headed straight for a pub, The Bow Bar, I’d been recommended by a guy I met in Prague. I hadn’t had a good ale in months. There I met some nice scots there and they bought me a beer and told me I found the best bar in town.
In the morning I took a free walking tour of the old town of Edinburgh. My tour guide, Kate, was awesome. She had some amazingly terrible jokes, and she told a great story. I took her Ghost Tour that night. Edinburgh considers itself one of the most haunted places in the world, and its got so many stories to back it up. We stood in an old mausoleum, and she told us stories of ghosts, and monsters, and people buried alive.
Though it rained most of that day it cleared up just in time for me to sit inside and watch the premiere of series six of Doctor Who. The next day it was flawless outside, sunny and just the right amount of warm. I walked the enirety of the Royal Mile twice. I visited the Castle, and had a guided tour from a man in a kilt. I walked back down to the other end and climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat, which was definitely a feat. I also did a hokey tour of the old underground closes.
The cheapest way to get from Edinburgh to london is on the Knight Bus, okay not the Knight Bus, but the bus that runs at night. I left Edinburgh at 10:30 and arrived at Victoria bus station at 6:30 in the morning. Unable to check into my hostel and get any more sleep, I put my stuff in luggage storage and headed for Hyde Park Corner where i took a walking tour of Royal london.
My guide, an irishman named Thomas, was one of the funnier ones of the trip. I saw the main sites around Westminister before it got too crowded: Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Trafalger Square, Westminister Abbey, and the Houses of Parlaiment. I walked around old London that afternoon and along the Thames. The next morning I headed to Olympia to got to the Doctor Who experience, which for any fan is a must. The actual ‘experience’ part was a bit hokey, but fun. The best part is the exhibition afterwards with many of the props and costumes from the series.
I did a Jack the Ripper tour that evening, the whole thing was fascinating. The idea that there are cold cases from that long ago, and that there is still no lead suspect. Just as I arrived back to my hostel in Kensington, Jennifer was arriving to St. Pancras. After catching up, and checking back into the hostel we realized that there wasn’t enough time for us to go out to eat, so we ended up getting some food at Tesco and chilling in the hostel.
We spent the next few days hopping on and off the tube seeing museums, and shops and parks. The highlight of thursday was most definitely the our traditional high tea at Tea and Tattle, a tea shop around the corner from the British Museum where we had the most amazing scones in the world. Seriously, if I could just eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be those scones. That’s how good they were.
We ended our time in London by catching a little bit of wedding fever. Thursday night we went down to Westminister and walked along the parade route, where all the hardcore Royal Wedding fans had set up their tents. Everyone was in such a great mood and the crowds were pleasant to be frolicking among, we decided that we would indulge the next day and go to Hyde Park to watch the wedding on the big screens they had set up there. Us and 150,000 other people.
Jen and I parted ways as we headed to separate train stations. I left Paddington station headed towards Cardiff. Cardiff was awesome. Not too much to do tourist wise, but it was beautiful there, and apparently its always beautiful there, it hardly rains. The castle in Cardiff was my favorite of the castles that I’ve seen, it also helped that it was 75, sunny, and not terribly crowded when I showed up.
In addition to seeing the castle, I also went on a Doctor Who locations tour. Soon the BBC is moving nearly all of their production to the Cardiff, but alot was already filmed there and alot of the most iconic sets are just places around Cardiff.
I left Cardiff and took two buses to Oxford, where Allie played host to me for a day (I had my fourth Bacon Sandwich of the trip, bacon bread there’s nothing I don’t like about this meal). After my visit with Allie, I had to head back to Prague, but I absolutely loved all of the places I saw in the UK. I definitely want to go back.
Look out for a video soon!