Its another long one so clear your schedule or just simply don't bother to read it.
10.07.2010 - 02.08.2010 22 °C
So after Contiki its fair to say my body was broken. Minimal sleep, a lot of food, even more beer and alcohol is not a sustainable lifestyle. Funny you think I would have learned that lesson properly at Tensing but apparently I needed to be retaught.
So its been a bit more than three weeks since we returned triumphant back to London and once again there is too much to bother recounting every detail but here is a bit of a breakdown of my time spent in London and Maidenhead.
After the tour a few of us stuck around London for a few days. We walked further than I care to recall but already my jandals (bought after the tour) are wearing thin. Watched the World Cup final with Wells and the Contiki family actually have spent quite a lot of time lately in London with the few that still remain from the tour. Its been awesome having people to explore the city with even if sometimes we walk in bemused circles.
Had my share of fun with hostels: wrong bookings, wrong directions, constant changes, hostel breakfast toast where the only option is jam, 10am checkouts, carrying my bags around London, carrying other peoples bags, sleeping in hot stuffy dorms, showering in jandals, combined guy/girl toilets and showers. Like the drinking its definitely not a sustainable way to live.
London Ed’s Club Day. Great to have a run around although my legs hurt for the next two days. As for the hockey I was still in reasonable touch but the sand turf quickly ate my knuckles so have to adapt to that. Good social group and that meant I missed the last train back to Maidenhead. Slept on a pile of doormats in what I think was a church yard for a few hours then found a train. With only a wallet and a dead phone I couldn’t get into M&Ts place so slept on the lawn for a bit then eventually went back to town to charge my phone in a random shop. Eventually got in touch with M&T who had just left for the evening so I went and watched Toy Story 3 in 3D to kill the time before they got home. Good movie I can recommend it. As for my weekend I don’t recommend you try that.
So went in to London on the Tuesday to get my hockey stuff off Ed who had looked after it. Someone once told me that if you stand in Piccadilly Circus long enough eventually you will see someone you know. Its true. 5 minutes after walking off the tube and Luke and Dave from tour walk past. Small world. So spent the day with them and ended up at another Hole in the Wall pub in Waterloo with Leanne and Beck from tour as well. Caught the train this time. Fell asleep on it though and missed the stop at Maidenhead so had to kill 30minutes waiting for the return train from Reading. I think it’s the result of sleeping on the Contiki bus but now any public transport just makes me want to fall asleep. Maidenhead has been my place of rest. M&T know it but really I am so grateful for the chance to relax and detox.
This has got quite long so heres a list of some of the other things I can remember and feel are worthy of a mention.
Speakers Corner – listened to some dude claiming to be an angel but speaking in the voice of the devil and watched some drunk deconstruct the ramblings of the fanatical Christian. Plus a cowboy screaming blasphemy and condemnation on anyone that walked past.
West End – Saw Oliver which was amazing. Huge cast, huge stage and set, huge everything. Even from way up in the cheap seats of the balconies it was an amazing spectacle. Avenue Q the following night was a pretty contrasting performance. Small and simple stage and cast with puppets as well but probably the funniest performance I have ever seen. Bad taste funny but brilliantly hilarious. “In the lift when someone yells ‘Hold the door’. Schadenfreude Fuck off lady that’s what stairs are for”. Some of the best lyrics ever, look them up.
St Pauls Cathedral – Offers amazing views of the city from the Golden Gallery and the Whispering Gallery was incredible once we got the fucking kids to shut up. You talk into the wall and everyone in the 30m gallery can hear every secret. The walls have ears might well be true but these ones had mouth and tongue too.
Camden Market – That place is mental! I can’t think of much to compare it to at home. Its basically every type of market shop you can imagine: clothes, art, food, music, movies, bric-a-brac, tattoos, junk and theres about 100 of each type. Fill the area with as many people as possible. Now cram in more people and more shops. Lots of eccentrically dressed weirdos. There is only so much you can say about Camden, it really is one of the places you have to see to believe. Plus we found an amazing milkshake shop that had over 200 flavours. Mmmmm jelly baby milkshake.
Imperial War Museum, lunch outside Westminster Abbey, walk along the Thames, Hamley’s toy store (played with Lego for the first time in ages, still enjoy it!), National Gallery, Pineapple Lumps from the NZ shop behind NZ House in Trafalgar Square, got a Camden library card, British library, Freemasons Hall, Covent Garden, Kingston …
It’s probably more than anyone will want to read but its not even the start of it. I try my best to put words to it all but words and even pictures are simply not enough to properly recount the experiences.
You want to know what its like?
GET OVER HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anyways now I am fully committed to the next 2months around Europe. Goodbye money, hello stories. It is what I saved for so I plan to do it properly. Leave for the hockey in Dusseldorf on Wednesday and then on the trains and seeing as much as I can. Cologne, Zurich, Cinque Terre, Lyon, Bordeaux, Paris, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice, Pula, Split, Dubrovnik, Munich OKTOBERFEST! Hopefully I make it.
To everyone back home miss you all and hope you’re all well.