Monday, 16 December 2013

The Chronicles of Christmas: A Very Tired Backpacker and the Sights of London

The Chronicles of Christmas:
A Very Tired Backpacker
The Sights of London

The train to London wasn't too bad but I was utterly exhausted due to the fact that I got maybe two hours sleep tops? I did, however, manage to finish my paper and hand it in but unfortunately didn't have the time to get a proper sleep.

Which reminds me, I have a funny story to tell you about that! I called my mom right after it happened because it was just too hilarious (and so typically me) to keep to myself but I think it is just as good to tell you guys as well :)

So it is 3am, I finished my paper and I am on my way to the library to print it off. I also needed to check in to my flight so I had to bring my passport as well.

I was just heading out the door when I figured that I should take out the garbage as well because I wouldn't have time to do it before I left. I was holding my passport in one hand and the garbage bags in the other and I had this thought that I might accidentally toss my passport in the bin along with the garbage but then I figured that I am in no way gonna be stupid enough to do that...because seriously? I'm not that daft! And I warned myself so now it is impossible to make that mistake. 

After I threw away the trash I headed to the library and I am almost at the doors when I realize that my passport is missing. Yes. I was that stupid apparently. 

So here I am rushing back to the trash bin, riffling through the bags in the early hours looking for my passport thinking "how could I be so stupid?" freaking out because if I didn't find it I wouldn't be able to travel! I would be screwed! OH MY GOODNESS I AM GOING TO MISS CHRISTMAS! NOOOO! 

Melodrama aside, I continued searching through the bin using my phone as a torch when I realized that it wasn't there (and I really hoped that it didn't fall to the bottom of the bin). I stepped back in defeat and decided that maybe I might have dropped it on the way to the garbage bin, so I retraced my steps. Sure enough I found it just outside my bedroom door! So I was the idiot that riffled through trash at 3am when I didn't need to...staying classy as always Jocelyn! Anyway I found the passport, crisis averted.

Thought you would enjoy a little laugh at my was just a taste of some of the idiotic situations that I am constantly finding myself in *sigh* oh what a life I lead.

Anyway back to my trip...the train ride was long but it went by pretty fast as I was lucky enough to snag a window seat next to a power outlet. This way I was able to watch movies on my iPhone and edit videos on my computer without all my technology dying on me...oh who am I kidding! I wasn't editing videos, I was playing Candy Crush.

When I arrived at Kings Cross Station I headed to the hostel that I booked called Click78, as it was only a 5-10 minute walk from the station.

I had chose this particular hostel not only because it was cheap and within a short walking distance from the station but because of it's fascinating history. The hostel was once the historical Clerkenwell Magistrates Court which Charles Dickens worked in while he wrote Oliver Twist. But more importantly, the famed and amazing London-based band The Clash were held on trial in the cells of this Courtroom for shooting prized pigeons. Hahaha Classic! Since I am a huge music buff and The Clash are one of my all time favourite bands, I felt that staying at this hostel was a necessity.

The staff at the hostel were very friendly and helpful. The man who check me in was such a sweetheart! He upgraded my room from an 8 girl dorm to a deluxe 6 girl room with an ensuite. I know that this may not sound like much but if you have ever stayed at a hostel before you would revel in any excuse for more privacy. I once had an experience in a hostel where I woke up to someone staring at me, clearly watching me sleep. It was incredibly creepy and so you can see how I was happy to have the security of a more private setting. It was also at no extra cost which didn't hurt.

This was the first time that I was upgraded for anything so I was very happy about that as well. After all the bad luck I seem to attract it was nice to finally come into some good fortune.

While I unloaded my heavy backpack in the room and made my bed, I met these two lovely Australian ladies (Alexandra and Lucy) who were also staying in the same room. They had just arrived that day from Australia and were staying in London for a few days until they started their Contiki tour. We agreed to go out for drinks later that night after a much needed siesta as they were also really exhausted from being on a plane for hours and had terrible Jet Lag.

After the nap we got ready and went down to the hostel bar to grab a few drinks. Since we were all very hungry and it wasn't smart to drink on an empty stomach, we went to a nearby Italian Restaurant to grab a nice meal. I had bruschetta to start, cheese cannelloni for my main dish and a tall pint of Peroni. The food hit the spot and I scarfed my meal down so fast I burnt my tongue! Even still, it was a great night.

After dinner we went back to the hostel bar, had a few more drinks and talked about life, love and being young and stupid. At about 12:30am we decided to call it a night.

The next morning I woke up early, took a shower, got dressed and met the two girls for the buffet-style breakfast. A nice hot cup of English Breakfast tea was the perfect solution to my drowsiness and I can officially say that I am starting to really like tea...well not all teas but one type of tea is a start!

When we finished brekkie we returned to our room as I needed to pack up my stuff and check out of the hostel. The girls wanted to go sight-seeing that day and since I had a few hours to spare before I needed to be at the airport for my flight, I decided to join them.

We took the tube from Kings Cross to Victoria station and I locked up my backpack so I wouldn't have to carry it around all day. Then we headed over to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard, which I am sorry if you actually enjoy this extremely touristy tradition, but it was BORING and there was just WAY too many people. Seriously!? This happens every other day! What are you people waiting for? The Queen? Goodness! I just couldn't take it. It was just a bunch of guards marching around and looking ridiculous...BORING. Sorry London but this wasn't really my cup of tea.

I felt really bad for one guard in particular as he just looked absolutely depressed. He had to stand still as every single tourist within a 1 mile radius took a picture next to him, and after a few minutes turn around and walk to the other end of the building, repeating this action for who knows how long. I know that this is what he signed up for, but my goodness! I would hate my job if I ever had to do that!

After this exceedingly boring display, we walked around the river to see a few more London sights. As soon as I saw Big Ben I fell in love immediately. It is just so incredibly beautiful! All the pictures I have ever seen of it does not do this fascinating clock justice. Ahh! It reminded me of why I love London so much. The combination of old and new; a city engulfed in history and full of dreams. I hope to live here one day! :)

At about 2pm, we went back to Victoria Station and parted ways. It was so nice to meet such lovely ladies and spend the day with them! I wish them all the best on their future travels and hopefully have the chance to cross paths with them again someday. As for now, I have a plane to catch.

Bye Bye London. See you soon :) 
Deutschland, here I come!

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