From October 23-25 I was in London with Norah and her two friends from Alaska. The first day we went to Stonehenge, which was 2 hours outside the city. It is exactly what it looks like in the pictures, which is to say some rocks on some other rocks. With this in mind, I’m not sure why we went other than the fact that it seems like something you should see when in England. But the weather was perfect and I snapped some pictures. We stayed in a nice Airbnb and used Uber to get there. Both services were ones I’d never used and I think they’re both great. The next day, after ordering full English breakfasts in a French cafe, we did a London bus tour, which was great because we got to see all of the important landmarks in the city and get oriented with it. We sat on the open-air top of the bus and it began to rain, but we’re from Oregon so we toughed it out (the Alaskans gave up and went downstairs to the ground level of the bus). After the tour we did a quick stop at the National Gallery and then went to Victoria Station, which was a tube station/mall. Then Norah and I went to Big Ben to meet Emily, who was also visiting London from Florence. We got there 20 minutes early or so, so we took pictures of Big Ben and the Parliament building from many an angle. When Emily showed up, we went to Chipotle, which we were all pretty enthused about. Halfway through dinner a police van stopped in front of the Chipotle and a whole squad came in to eat Mexican food. So that was fun. After dinner Emily went to re-meet her group and Norah and I went to a bookshop and then to a pub with the Alaskans. The next day we all went on a river cruise, then toured the outside of the Tower of London (it was 20 pounds to get in so we decided we didn’t need to see it that badly). Afterward we headed back to Cork, where I succumbed to a horrible cold for a few days.
Last weekend, or Halloweekend, we went to a haunted house in Cork. It was three levels and pretty fun, although Alison, who came with us despite the fact that she hates haunted houses, was not as pleased. In fact, she spent the whole time latched onto my back whilst screaming into my ear canal, which was actually more terrifying than the haunted house itself. The rest of the weekend was spent watching old halloween movies and getting my history essay written.
This weekend Norah’s mom came to town and we went to Dublin and Belfast. It was a really quick trip but we saw a lot. On Friday we took the bus to Dublin and toured the Guinness factory. At the end we got a free Guinness, which tastes the way gasoline smells. Then we went to the Trinity College library, which houses the Book of Kells. Although the book of Kells is cool I preferred the Trinity Long Room, which was an incredibly ornate room with really old books and is also the home of the oldest Irish harp, which dates to the 1400s and is the harp that every Irish mascot harp is modeled after.
That was all we did in Dublin (like I said, quick trip) but in Belfast we did a tour to a few famous Northern-Irish sites. First we went to the Dark Hedges, which is apparently an important place if you watch Game of Thrones, but I don’t so I just saw some cool-looking trees and not the Entrance to the Seven Kingdoms or whatever. The next stop was the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. I didn’t go over the bridge, because nonononononono noo, but the hike to the bridge was stunning. The hills had a thousand shades of green and the water a thousand shades of blue. The next stop on the tour was the world-famous Giant’s Causeway, which features a ton of volcanically-formed hexagon-shaped stone pillars. This is also a Game of Thrones filming location, which is understandable because it doesn’t look like a real place. It looks almost man-made. After Giant’s Causeway we went back to Belfast, got dinner, and went right to bed. That night my dad texted me to see if it was ok if he and Summer and Sean could come visit THIS THURSDAY. Which I’m super excited about! So I’m going to sign off to clean my room. We’ll see if I can keep it clean until Thursday.
P.S. I’m celebrating Christmas now because they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here.