Posts tagged ‘Zoo Bar’

March 28, 2011

Stratford, Oxford, Bath, Castle Combe, Salisbury, Stonehenge

Does that title seemed like I crammed a lot into a small place? Funny, it’s sort of like our past weekend.

We left Thursday afternoon from London to Stratford-upon-Avon. It was absolutely beautiful. The birthplace of Shakespeare had the quaint atmosphere that most would expect. We checked into our bed & breakfast, Craig Cleeve House, and had free time to wander and eat dinner before King Lear. Sarah, Laura, Kelly & I found a cheap pub, and I had my first pie in England. I deemed it appropriate to finally have one in an English village. We saw King Lear Thursday night at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the show was amazing. Afterwards, Charles Aitken, who played Edgar, came to talk to us about the show and his life. He was so outgoing, friendly and played the part really well (plus, he was really cute!) Since the show was about four hours long and he talked to us for about an hour, it was after midnight and we all conked out for the night. We woke up in the morning for a brisk tour of Stratford. We first went to Anne Hathaways cottage (No…not Anne Hathaway the actress.) Shakespeare’s wife, Anne, had a cottage right in the city and it was so cute! Not to mention that the absolutely amazing weather continued to this weekend. After the cottage we went to a the Holy Trinity Church, saw where Shakespeare & family is buried, and then went to Shakespeare’s birthplace. We grabbed a quick bite to eat for the road and hopped back onto our coach. Next stop…Oxford.

Oxford was not what I was expecting. In a nutshell, I expected Harry Potter. (Don’t blame me! It’s based off of there.) Instead, Oxford is it’s own city with massive amounts of colleges making up the university. We went on a two-hour tour and learned about the history, getting in, tuition, different colleges, etc. Speaking of tuition…while we were gone this weekend, London decided to be the home of intense protests. Rioters were lighting things on fire in the streets! I got some worried/curious phone calls from my parents earlier tonight. No worries, we are all safe because we were tucked away in Bath. We all grabbed our Oxford University sweatshirts (of course) and got back on the bus yet again. Next stop…Bath.

Bath! What a beautiful town. We got there around dinner time Friday night so we found a vegetarian pub called The Porter. After eating and drinking for a long time we made it back to our bed and breakfast. Hallelujah, our bed and breakfast had the nicest showers, ever. Such a refreshing thing to have, and how appropriate, being in Bath! Saturday morning we woke up and went on a double-decker city sightseeing tour. After that we had an hour to browse and then did a tour of the Roman Baths. After that we had a free day. Laura, Sarah & I did some shopping and wandering, and after we decided we’d had enough, we found a river walk that we decided would be nice. That was the beginning of an adventure. We get down to the river and there is an outdoor pub, entirely full with a crowd, half in blue, black & white polos and the other half in green, orange and white polos. “Hm, there must be a game going on.” As we keep on walking, we run into the Bath rugby stadium. We asked the ticketholder if there were any for sale, and as we expected, there were not. We found a little hill that we could see the pitch perfectly from, so we decided we would come back there when the game started. We asked the guy checking tickets if we could just sneak into the field to take a picture (since the game didn’t start for another hour.) We took our picture, thinking that was the highlight of the day. Scan ended up being alone and was meeting up with us, so we went back up to the street, found her, and then decided to go to that outdoor pub crawling with rugby fans. A few drinks later we headed over to our hill. We stopped, just to ask, to see what happens to the tickets that people do not claim. Long behold, there were 5 tickets left, and another group of 4 was headed to the spot we were standing in. An impulse decision to the best day of the weekend! We ended up getting third row seats directly next to the pitch. Rugby games are a thousand times better than American football. I’m just throwing it out there. After the game (Bath lost…by a lot) we waited around the locker rooms to get autographs! There we were…a crowd of mostly 10 year olds and the four 19-21 year olds. I really didn’t mind, this was a big day for us. After getting every single autograph and finding out that half of our dream men were, in fact, married, we went to meet up with the rest of our group who were out to dinner. We picked up Kelly because she hadn’t eaten yet and went to Enzo, an Italian restaurant. After a very delicious margherita pizza, we were on our way to go to a bar some of the rugby players said they would be at, when we ran into some people who lived in London, went around the corner to a big bar with them. We only lasted for about one drink due to exhaustion. We went back to the bed & breakfast and fell asleep for a great night’s sleep. Daylights savings time finally happened in Europe, so we lost an hour.

This morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and then took the bus to Castle Combe, a quaint little village that has nothing really going on in it except for the fact it is picturesque. After a couple of photo snaps, we got back on the bus and went to Salisbury. We got to the Salisbury Cathedral, and were expecting to have a guided tour or audio guides. Unfortunately, they did not provide either on Sundays, so we had an unexpected two and a half hour slot in Salisbury. Nobody was really in the mood to shop and there wasn’t much more going on, so we basically ate for two hours. We sat at a place called The Boston Tea Party, and there were great paninis and pastries for us to last for those two hours. We got back on the bus and drove 20 minutes to Stonehenge. What is Stonehenge? Why was it put there? Who made it? These are questions you come to Stonehenge with and you leave with as well. The audio guides basically ask the questions right back at you, and throw possible myths and reasons as to why Stonehenge exists. It is one of the world’s most famous sights though, so I’m glad we got some pictures. After Stonehenge we got back on the bus for the last time this weekend and came back to London! Here we are, the amazing weather still waiting for us when we returned 🙂

Coming up this week: Ecstasy for theatre, Taylor Swift concert on Wednesday, a tour of the Olympic Sites Thursday and Paris on Friday!

Let the last month fly by…

February 6, 2011

Brighton & Greenwich weekend

I’m going to make my titles more witty once I update this regularly, I promise. I’m going through my head right now everything that has happened since Wednesday so for now you’ll just have to enjoy summaries & stories 🙂 Prepare yourself for a relatively long post!

Thursday mornings at work are usually a breeze…3 1/2 hour days fly by. I had Pret for lunch at had an amazing sandwich, as usual. Finding that I eat a lot of avocado here (no complaints!!). For Communication, Diversity & Pop Culture we watched a programme (hehe) from the BBC called The Prisoner, it’s a series that has about 18 episodes. I tried to find a YouTube clip to show you all but I can’t find the episode we watched, sorry :(. For our outing we went to the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, a gallery that Princess Diana supported and was at a lot. The exhibit was by Philippe Parreno and has 4 films set up throughout the building. After the gallery we walked through Hyde Park and saw the Princess Diana memorial fountain, a fountain that’s supposed to represent her life and how it was similar to a roller coaster, lots of up and downs. It was dark by the time we got there so my picture is a little blurry, but when it’s warm out people can lay out by (or in) the fountain or you can walk through it.

Thursday night we had a progressive dinner at Madhouse (Madison House) and had an “Around the World” theme.

  • Flat A-Turkey: kabobs
  • Flat B-Mexico: chip, dip, salsa, layer dip
  • Flat C-Italy: spaghetti & meatballs, garlic bread, caprese salad
  • Flat D(us)-USA: ice cream sundaes
  • Flat E-France: french pastries

After dinner we went to a pub/club (=plub) O’Neils and had so much fun. The ground floor was just a regular bar setup, the second floor had a bar and a DJ, the third floor was a bar and a live band and then there was a rooftop for the smokers and a ground floor with a coatcheck. The band was a cover band and played some music we didn’t know and then all of a sudden played music that we LOVED, ie..Blink 182, Sweet Home Alabama, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cee Lo, stuff that we couldn’t get away from. Eventually, though, we had to leave and that was the end of our night.

Friday we woke up and took the train to Brighton. The Brighton trip was so much fun! We got there and went to the Royal Pavilion. Our tour guide was hysterical and the building was insane inside…no pictures allowed. 😦 After our tour we were set free for the rest of the day (minus the Children’s Lit class who had lunch with Emily Gravett!), so some of us went to the beach, played and ran from the waves and then went to a pub for lunch. After we ate we browsed a little bit, shopped, and then took the train back to London.

Friday night we went to a place called The Rocket, another place geared towards students. All of these places we’ve gone to have all ended up being within a 10-15 minute walk home, it is so nice having our house so centrally located with so much going on around it, especially when the tube closes at 12:30.

Saturday we took the ferry to Greenwich, which was about a 45 minute ride. We went to the old royal navy college, toured around there briefly, and then headed up to the royal observatory where we went to the prime meridian. We got to take pictures being in both the eastern and western hemisphere at the same time! We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Cafe Sol which was delicioussssss and then went to the Greenwich Market. I got a coin purse and a new satchel, and Erin got a churro injected with chocolate. The food at these markets is insanely good. Last night we went to Zoo Bar, a hyped up club that we didn’t really like. The boys had fun, but we weren’t particularly fond of the expensive drinks and 40yrs+ crowd, so we left and ended up at a pub called No. 7 for the rest of the night.

This morning we had to wake up for a group outing again but it wasn’t until 11 so we got to relax getting ready this morning. It was nice not having to chug down my coffee and actually sit and eat breakfast. 🙂 We went to Speaker’s Corner, a part of Hyde Park where people can come and speak their mind. We listened to a speaker talk about God/Jesus/religion and another one just had a conversation/argument with Sarah. He was up on a podium but not talking, and she heard that he had very strong views against women and got into a heated argument with our Politics teacher last week, so she basically instigated the fighting with him. After we left we found PRIMARK, which is the only place I will be shopping here from now on because it is dirt cheap. Pair of leggings, 1 pound. Shoes, 8 pounds. I can deal with that. Annalina, Erin & I walked home instead of taking the tube to explore and we ended up eating at a really good sandwich place in Soho on one of the off-the-map roads. We stopped in Snog, a frozen yogurt place, and then kept on venturing home. We had time to relax & nap, and then we went to the FMIR (Faculty Member in Residence) aka Joan’s house in East Finchley for dinner. The food we had delivered was incredible. We had pasta, bread, salad, lasagna, pizza and tiramisu. We snagged the leftover tiramisu and I’m actually eating it as we speak. Ah.May.Zing.

The weather this week has been relatively warm. We’ve gotten into a pattern of leaving the house saying, “Wow it is so warm out today” and then freezing when we’re out and about, but it’s really not that bad. Knock on wood but it hasn’t rained STILL! A little gloomy, but not complaining about the weather at all like I was expecting.

Looking forward to this week so much-my birthday and going to Italy this weekend!!

Updates soon