I’m alive!

Hi everyone! Just a small post to let everyone know that I’m alive and well! I’m going to try and do a proper post in the next day or two. Lots to tell! I had an amazing time in Ireland. Tons of stories and pictures!

Anyway, my Internet time limit is about to expire so I better run! I’m sitting in the Dublin airport awaiting a flight to Prague. Excited!

Talk soon,
Spencer

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This one time we went to Scotland and didn’t meet any Scottish people…

Okay, that’s not completely true. I think we met one, possibly two Scottish people. One was a tour guide who I’m not entirely sure was actually Scottish since was acting in character. But, anyway!

We just spent 4 awesome days in Edinburgh. We mostly wandered, seeing the sights, and in the evenings went to shows at the Fringe Festival. It was great. We saw two comedians, One Man Lord of the Rings, and an insane show put on by some drama students from Cambridge called When In Rome. We visited Edinburgh Castle and went on an underground tour. There was so much going on with the Fringe, it was almost overwhelming! Thousands of shows, street performances, and people everywhere. It was a great atmosphere. You could really spend weeks there during the festival and still not have seen nearly everything. We stayed at someone’s home, through Festival Beds, which was good. We were a little out of the way, but still walking distance which was great. Staying anywhere right in the city centre would be insane, price wise, this time of year. So, we were happy enough to walk!

The weather was lovely. We had rain a couple times, but overall it was great!

We’re in Belfast now. We’ll be spending the next few days exploring around Northern Ireland. I’m so excited! This is the first leg of the trip that’s new to me. Well, I did new things in London Edinburgh, but had been there before. Belfast is completely new! I’m looking forward to Giant’s Causeway and just driving around the coast.

Today we’re just taking it easy. We’re going to go to a local market and wander around some shops. I need sneakers from hiking tomorrow.

Better go get ready now though! Talk soon :)

~Spencer

And we’re off!

Ello, ello!

It’s our last few hours in London. So sad! But, we’ve had a fantastic time. We were able to fit in much more stuff than I was expecting, which is great. If anyone is visiting London I highly recommend The London Pass. It was so handy, and saved us a ton of money. Win, win!

On Monday we visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, Downing Street, Churchill’s War Rooms, Harrods, Westminster Abbey, and Parliament.

(If you click the photos you can see larger ones)

St. Paul’s Cathedral: We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, but it was gorgeous!

10 Downing Street: Orla’s unimpressed with David Cameron face

Inside Churchill’s War Rooms:

Westminster Abbey

Parliament

Shopping at Harrods

And, finally, the highlight of my day: Banoffee Pie! (Kidding, kind of. I’ve been waiting 5 years for this!)

I haven’t uploaded pictures from yesterday yet, but there isn’t much to see (didn’t take many pictures), so, no worries. We visited the British Museum (saw the Rosetta Stone, and some original columns and plaques from the Parthenon), the National Gallery (Renior, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Picasso, general awesomeness!), I had more banoffee pie, and then we went to A Conversation with Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish BFI centre, which was great. Edgar Wright is a director (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and most recently, Scott Pilgram). The show was so funny. I’m really glad we went.

We leave in few hours for Edinburgh. The weather is gorgeous in London, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have the same luck up there! It’s the Edinburgh International Festival, so there’s a lot happening in the city right now. Should be exciting! Maybe we’ll spot some celebrities. I think Angelina Jolie drove by us the other night as we were eating dinner. We were a few blocks away from the Salt premiere, and a car drove by with papparazzi chasing after it.

Anyway, I should get packing. My things are a mess at the moment.

We won’t have Internet, I don’t think, until Sunday. So, talk to you then!

~Spencer

London, Part 2

It has been a busy couple of days here in London! I’m pretty exhausted and I probably won’t be too detailed in this post. But, I have pictures!

Saturday, August 14th

We started the day out by walk to Trafalger Square, visiting an info centre there, and grabbing some breakfast:

We then took the tube up to Nothing Hill to visit the Portobello Market:

We then took the tube to Earl’s Court to visit one of the city’s few remaining Police Public Call Box’s (Because we’re enormous Doctor Who nerds. Don’t judge!):

After that we got on the tube again and went to Picadilly Circle and wandered around. We then strolled over to Buckingham Palace:

After that we wandered around some shops, got some dinner, and walked along the Thames at night:

Sunday, August 15th

This morning we walked to the Globe Theatre and took a tour:

After that we walked to the London Bridge to go through the London Bridge Experience and Tombs. It was terrifying! I didn’t get any pictures since they weren’t allowed.

We then walked down to Tower Bridge:

Followed by Tower of London:

And finally a 2.5 hour cruise down the River Thames. I took too many pictures and can not decide what to post! I did get a picture of the 500 year old pub where we had dinner:

We have another busy day tomorrow, so I really need to get to sleep. I’m so tired! But feeling great.

Hope everyone is doing well!

~Spencer

London Calling

Greetings from Londontown! After a long and somewhat painful journey, I finally made it! Exhasuted, cranky, and sore, but, still, here in one piece!

The trip did not start off well, unfortunately. My bags were too heavy and I was charged quite a lot to check them. Thankfully the guy working at the counter was very nice and lied about the weight to save my about $45. That made me feel a bit better, until my debit was declined when I went to pay for the baggage charges. Not what I want to hear when I’m about to board a trans Atlantic flight!

Can I also just mention how much I absolutely hate Toronto Pearson Airport? It’s ridiculous. I kept getting turned away at security lines because my gate wasn’t in that section. Fine, but there’s no signs telling you that you need to enter from certain ports for certain gates! And then, of course, I misread my gate as C23, instead of C32, and start to panic because C23 doesn’t appear to exist! Good news though, I used my debit to purchase a bottle of water and it worked. So, I was relieved about that.

I also forgot how much I hate trans Atlantic flights. Long, and cramped, and noisy, and just, ugh. Not fun. I had a window seat though! Not that you can see anything at night over the Atlantic, but, it meant I didn’t have to get up to let the people next to me up. Which made me happy enough.

My view this morning. I wasn’t able to sleep much, but the clouds were lovely to watch this morning. And then of course they start playing Two and a Half Men on the cabin televisions. That annoyed me more than it should have. But, I know a lot of you understand ;).

I had some more stress once getting to London, including getting on the wrong train (the ticket checker on board was very nice though! He didn’t fine me, and told me what to look out for next time.), and having my Visa not work at the hotel. I’m hoping it’s just their machines. I’ll try it out somewhere tomorrow. The last thing I need is to be here with a Visa card that doesn’t work!

I’m feeling much better now, I’m happy to report. I got the hotel, napped, showered, and wandered around for a bit. I just picked up some dinner, and am anxiously awaiting Orla’s arrival. If she ever makes it! Her flight was delayed, so I hope she isn’t stuck too long.

Anyway, I took a few pictures today on the Waterloo Bridge:

Today is pretty overcast and cool, but, since I can’t stand the heat and humidity at home, I’m loving it! I can’t wait to explore the city again. I can’t believe it’s been over 4 years since I was last here. I’ve missed it! Tomorrow Orla and I are going to Portobello Market and possibly starting a hop on, hop off tour. It’s funny, for all the time I’ve spent in London, I’ve never done most of the touristy things. I’m excited! So long as my Visa works…

I think that’s about everything from this end! Hope all is well with everyone!

Cheers, Spencer