Reader,

This previous weekend, my flatmates and I traveled to London for a little adventure. I guess I can just start off by saying that it was an incredible journey. We left on Friday afternoon around 4:30 to catch a bus to Colchester North Train Station. The bus ride was pretty much what all of us had been experiencing up to that point: vaguely uncomfortable, but inexplicably exciting. The train ride, I’ll admit, was something that I was looking forward to for a time. I can’t remember if I’ve ever ridden an above-ground train before this instance, so it was a new experience for myself and for some of the others with me. Although it was a short 45 minute ride from Colchester Station to Liverpool Street Station, it was a good experience.

We then had to take the “tube,” the UK subway system, from Liverpool Street to a station called Penge East. There were a few different trains between the two, but all in all, it was like any other subway experience that anybody has ever had: cramped, uncomfortable, and slightly smelly. We finally got to Penge East and made our way to camp. When I use the word ‘camp’ here, I mean a beautiful little home that we rented for the weekend. Set in a little suburb, this place was miles above any hostel out there, and  it only cost each person (out of ten people) £22 for the weekend. Although the flat was nice, the real fun would take place that night and the next day.

Around 10:30 pm, we all left for a night club called The Zoo located right in the heart of London. We arrived around eleven and didn’t leave until they kicked us out at around 3:30 the next morning. Needless to say, we had a few drinks and danced the night away. The club definitely lived up to it’s name; that is to say: there were a LOT of people in there. And in short, some of them looked like they belonged in the clubs namesake.

Continuing on with the journey, the next day we actually hit the city as tourists. We took the tube back to Liverpool Street and sort of wandered off from there. We saw most of the pertinent sights which you’ll find on my pictures page. Big Ben, the Tower of London, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, etc. Be aware, though, this does not mean we saw everything. There is a followup trip planned for the spring so that we can better appreciate things, as it was pretty frigid out.

All in all, the trip wasn’t too terribly expensive, but my wallet did wince a few times at the prices of food in the city. I would recommend packing a light meal or a snack to save a little extra, but it’s really of no consequence. I do think that the most money spent was on the Oyster Card which is the thing you use to ride the tube.

One last thing to note: the people you travel with make the trip what it is. I’m lucky to have made so many good friends so quickly who were a joy to travel with. The group of friends, who I will write about another time, I traveled with were essentially the keystone to having a good time. That being said, pick your friends wisely.

-Shane

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