Posts Tagged With: Trip

A Trip to Hell on Halloween and other fun activities of the past weeks

Hello everyone!

Apologies for not posting anything lately, but I have to write so many essays for uni that I don’t really have any energy left to write my blog.

Anyhow, lots of stuff happened since the movie review. I went to Berlin to attend a conference, saw fireworks in London and finally registered with a GP. I had planned to write a huge post about Berlin on itself, but since that is already over two weeks ago, I’ll just summarize that trip for you.

I travelled with my friend (and former study colleague) R. and we started out from my place on a nice Wednesday afternoon, not thinking about anything that could go wrong. However, when we arrived at the Coach station to catch a bus to the airport, I knew this trip would not go quite as smoothly as we thought. There were many people waiting and apparently had been waiting there for quite some time already. The coaches were all delayed and everybody was wondering whether they would make it in time for their flight. We managed to miraculously get on a coach only about 15 minutes later and started to relax a little. But oh no, more trouble was to come. We were unlucky enough to get stuck in a traffic jam because there had been an accident on the road ahead. We had been in the coach for an hour already and technically should arrive in about twenty minutes when I looked at my google maps app to check where we were. I was shocked. The app told me, we were still an hour from the airport!

I shouldn’t have looked. From that moment on I was convinced we would miss the flight. Of course we had calculated a bit of puffer time, but an hour delay? Nah, we didn’t have that big of a time cushion. So when we finally arrived at the airport at 6:12 (technically, the gate should close at 6:10) we ran to the check-in counter to get them to call at the gate and wait for us. The staff told us that we were too late and had missed the flight and that we could purchase new tickets for the next day.

But we thought “Hell, no!” and ran for security check anyways. No harm in trying, eh? Of course, I had to go through a very thorough security check, beeping all over and taking off shoes and belt. Duh. My friend got through without beeping and started running for the gate, me following on her heels as soon as I was properly clothed again. When we arrived at the gate (which said final call, not closed, btw!) we were completely winded and ready to drop dead. There was quite a long queue, so we asked the people which flight they were waiting for. Guess what – IT WAS OURS! IT HAD DELAY!

We were quite glad and happy and smug that we had actually made it and NOT believed the staff at check-in. However, the happiness quickly diminished when the flight departed with over an hour of delay. When we arrived in Berlin it was only about 35 minutes delay, so we must have flown very quickly, but it still meant that we had missed two of the three train options we had selected to get to our hotel. Then we had to wait for our little suitcase, which technically is hand luggage but was taken from us anyway.

I went ahead to get the tickets for the train, but unfortunately there was a French couple in front of me, unable to properly use the ticket automaton. If my French would have been good enough to help, I would have done so, but Je ne parle plus le francais. My friend ran past me to stop the train from leaving, but even though we STILL missed it!

At that point, as you all can well imagine, we were furious, exhausted and depressed and just wanted to get to that hotel. So in the end, we took a taxi (we were internally crying about the amount of money that cost us and debating whether we should have just travelled without tickets) which then finally brought us to our destination.

The hotel was very nice, we got our room cards and then – oh glory! – we were able to sleep in very comfortable beds. It was after midnight at that point. We had started in London at 3pm. We had anticipated this trip to take us about 5 hours – not almost 9.

The next day however was quite positive, the conference was interesting, the people friendly and our presentation went well. In the evening we enjoyed a gala event with champagne and butter-filled Brezeln. On Friday, we headed home again and this time everything went well – almost too well, since we had allowed enough time for anything to go wrong and we ended up having to wait at the gate quite a while because we were so early. But we didn’t mind.

Yep, so that was our little horrifying trip to Berlin. It’s not my favourite city in the world and I was happy to be back in London again. It was Halloween that day, by the way and I had planned to go to a party, but I was too exhausted so I ended up doing a Halloween movie night with my friend (watching Scary Movie and Twilight. Both horror movies, yep! 😉 ).

Then Saturday evening, I went to see fireworks at Alexandra Palace with the au pairs from my neighbourhood. One of them had her birthday on Sunday and we were celebrating into that by watching the fireworks. It was quite lovely. Unfortunately, I had to work on Sunday so we didn’t stay out long afterwards.

I also went to see a movie last weekend at the International Student House. They regularly show movies for free, though nothing that is currently showing in the cinema. I went with my friend R. and the Norwegian girl (H.) I have mentioned before to see Pompeji (also known as Pompe II 😉 ). Not because we liked the movie but because of Kit Harrington who also plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. If you have never heard about Pompeji, the story and especially the ending might come as a shock to you. But I remember reading quite a lot about Pompeji when I was younger so I knew what would happen and could simply enjoy the Hollywood story they made out of it.

I guess this is all for now, I’ll have to tackle the next essay now. And what a choice I have: Taylorism, a case study about Luton Airport or comparing income inequality in Germany and the UK. Yay!

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A bright day in Brighton

Hello!

I figured I should use the few hours I have this evening to write about my trip to Brighton before the impressions get layered over with uni experiences.

Friday and Saturday evening, I had the au pairs over for movies and pizza – we ordered from Domino’s for the first time! Pizza, cider, a good movie, that’s all you need for a good evening. I went to bed at 4am on Friday and 1am on Saturday, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately, the alarm went off at 6.30am due to the Brighton trip.

Geez, I was so tired I was basically sleepwalking to the meeting point at Baker Street. I wasn’t the only one who had some problems with getting up early on a Sunday, so we mostly slept on the way to Brighton on the coach (it took about two hours).

When we arrived, all tiredness was forgotten for the sun was shining and the sea provided a lovely breeze tousling our hair. We walked along the pier for a couple of minutes and then decided to have lunch in one of the parks nearby. There was a motorbike festival of some sorts, so the place was completely crowded with machines and leather-clad people. We kept looking out for a motorbike we would like to have for ourselves and discussed the different colouring (since none of us have any real knowledge of the technical stuff).

After lunch we went to the Royal Pavilion – it just looks so graciously grand! We didn’t go in, however. It seemed a bit pricey to do so. So instead we took a look at the shopping/pub street and then strolled back to the pier along the beach. There is a small amusement park on Brighton Pier with a few rollercoasters, merry-go-rounds and that sort of thing. Obviously, we went for the rollercoaster with the looping! It was fun, but rather short and bumpy. Still, worth it!

Some people in my group got hungry again after that, so we went in search of a restaurant where we spent the last hour of our stay. We sat outside of course, relishing the sun burning down on us. (I actually got sunburn on my nose, as always…)

At around 4.30pm we got back on our coaches to return to London. This time, it took almost three hours! I fell asleep again for there wasn’t much else to do. Back at Baker Street I took the bus (weekend closure on the Northern line, yay!), so I was home at half past eight. Since I had to get up rather early today again, I went to bed almost straight away.

In summary, I really enjoyed the trip to Brighton. It wasn’t guided, so I probably didn’t see much of the city itself, but being at the sea was nice and the weather just perfect. Actually, it hasn’t rained a single drop since I arrived in London. I’m completely amazed! Brighton is a lovely city and the Brighton Pier is one of the main attractions. Apparently, people go there to eat fish&chips. Since I don’t eat anything from the sea, I didn’t try it, but a few of the students did, I think. If you get the chance to go there, you should do it. There are trains and buses going directly from London.

Here are some pictures:

DSC02019 DSC02021 DSC02028 DSC02031 DSC02041 DSC02061 DSC02065 DSC02067 DSC02072

Well, so that’s basically what I wanted to tell you. Today started the first week of introduction to my course. But I’ll write about that at the end of the week, I guess.

Stay happy and healthy until then! Cheers!

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There and back again

My dear readers, I have embarked on a new adventure. Guess where I am – yet again!

London has called me back and I have followed that calling. It has been over a year since I left and I remember telling my lovely host mom and the neighbours that I would come back.

Well yes, I did. And I’m staying with them once again. Yay! https://i0.wp.com/www.fanboysoftheuniverse.com/images/uploads/Yay.jpg

The journey here was relatively eventless. Possibly because I have by now made the trip to London a few times and I no longer get overly excited by that. Everything went smoothly. The flight arrived only about ten minutes later than planned and I got my suitcase without waiting (I actually had to walk quite fast to catch it – otherwise it would have gone around the belt a second time!). The queue in front of the bus was longer than I had hoped but not as bad as last year when I first arrived (remember my very first post?).

At Golders Green I was challenged by the fact that it is indeed no longer possible to pay for your ticket on the bus. I actually had to get an Oyster card for that 20 minute trip, but oh well. I probably won’t get my student oyster card before next week, so now I’ll just use the normal one until then.

I made a quick stop at Waitrose to get something to drink and cereals for breakfast tomorrow – the Waitrose hasn’t changed a bit! I found everything in the same lanes as last year (or maybe they changed it inbetween but are now back to the old way? Who knows…)  https://i1.wp.com/media.tumblr.com/tumblr_macgdfyqFW1rwmb58.gif

At my new home I was greeted by my neighbours, since my host mom is on holidays. I was treated to a lovely dinner (lasagne and cake for desert!) and now I’m sitting in my room, the suitcase is empty and most stuff at the same place as last time I was here. There aren’t many changes around the house, the biggest and for me most tragic, however is: The flatscreen in my living room is gone! Imagine my face when I saw that: https://i2.wp.com/www.troll.me/images/sad-guy/why-just-why.jpg

 (Of course, I’m exaggerating. It would have been nice to have, but I’ll live without it.)

Well people, that’s it for today. Over the weekend, I’ll go on a few reconaissance missions around the area, see what has changed. On monday, uni starts with that whole orientation stuff (or in German, because I love the word: Gedöns.)

I’m pretty sure that will be exciting and I’ll tell you about it. So stay tuned! (And subscribe, if you haven’t done that by now…)

 

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Summarizing the weeks

Hello dear readers, it’s time for another blog entry. I will attempt to sum up all that happened in the last month – since I’m terribly behind. After I came back from Amsterdam, I finished my essays and thus finished the semester at uni! I don’t have the results yet, but I’m positive they will be good. I was also on sitter duty for over two weeks – both my neighbour’s son and my other neighbour’s dog. I earned good money doing this, but babysitting is exhausting and I didn’t do much else besides that. I read a couple of books, some of them are reviewed on my book blog (mickysbookuniverse.wordpress.com), so feel free to look at them. I spent some evenings with the people from number 7, the dog owners. They are all quite lovely and we watched DVDs and went to a Pub Quiz. That is the best thing ever! You built a team of around 5 persons and you get an answer sheet. The quizmaster then asks questions and the team has to write the answer down, if you know it. There are some general knowledge questions, some about movies and soundtracks or sports. My favourite is “Which show/movie does this theme feature in?” It is very hard to know all the answers, because the questions range from the 50s to today and if your team is not diverse enough, you normally don’t know everything. It is still great fun and I learned a lot. The first time, our team got second place and last week we got third. So I guess we aren’t so bad, after all! The Pub also has this awesome coke, called “Curiosity Cola”. I like it a lot, but I don’t think you can get it in Germany. Pity.

What else happened? I went to a couple of museums, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was interesting and even fun, but I have to say that I have now seen enough cultural exhibitions. After Amsterdam and now London, I guess I need a break. I know I promised my uncle to go and see the Bowie exhibition, but when I was at the museum it was sold out, so I couldn’t go. If I have time, I’ll try again next week.

My last entry already told you about the Les Mis experience, I am so glad I did that. Last Monday, I went to a flash mob at St. Pancras, to celebrate the DVD release. Hundreds of people gathered and we all sang “Do you hear the people sing” together. There is a video, so check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxl7SxPvRD4&feature=youtu.be. It was very exciting, and an amazing experience, even though it was rather short.

Another very exciting thing was the trip to Canterbury and Hever Castle on the 4th. The weather was not the best, it was raining in between, but when we were outside, it was mostly dry or even sunny. We went to see the Cathedral, which is an impressive building. The organ was playing when we were inside, it was lovely. We also took a look around the city and had a cup of tea in a nice little café. I had an apple muffin, freshly baked. Yummy!

Then we went on to Hever Castle, the home of Anne Boleyn back in the Tudor dynasty. Anne Boleyn is one of my favourite characters from that time so I was super excited to see her home! During the Coach ride, it hailed on us, but luckily when we got there, the sun came out again. Since it was May Day, there were some festivities going on. Right in front of the Castle they had a May Pole and people in historic clothes were dancing around in traditional fashion. The visitors could join too – and of course I did! It was great fun! Of course most of us did it wrong so the ribbons around the Pole ended up being twisted, but everybody enjoyed it. Hever Castle also has extensive gardens, and I took some pictures of them. Inside, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, such a shame. The Castle is still decorated like in past times, it is so beautiful and I wanted to move in. Especially the Drawing Room was lovely, with a piano and many sofas and small tables and all that.

Surprisingly enough, I didn’t buy anything for myself in the souvenir shops. I looked around and was tempted to get some stuff, but in the end I decided I don’t really need it and that the memories and pictures should be enough. I will put up another gallery to share them with you.

Well now, I have only 1 ½ weeks to go before I’ll leave London. It’s hard to believe that five months are already over! But of course, I won’t abandon this blog. After about a week in Germany, I will move on to… BARCELONA! I got an internship there and I am very excited to live in Spain and see the sun. I will keep writing about what I do and all the exciting things around me, so don’t run away!

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Dia dhuit Ireland!

For this year’s Easter, I journeyed to Ireland, more specifically to Galway. It started at 4am in the morning, last Thursday. I had booked a flight at 6:30 going to Dublin, so I had to leave really early. My lovely landlady drove me to the Coach Station where I had planned to take a Coach to the airport. I even bought a ticket in advance.

Well, as I was waiting, a Coach came in. It was 4:30 already and the Coach was supposed to be there at 4:25, but I thought that’s fine. Unfortunately, it was not my Coach. It was the one before that, which was supposed to leave at 4: 10. So the incredibly nice driver (cough…) just told us to wait for the next one. That’s when I started freaking out. I had for once calculated with not too much buffer time, so this was a major problem. I waited and waited and texted my poor friend that I was afraid to miss the plane. When it was close to ten to five, the girls standing next to me took matters in their own hands. They went over to the cab station and asked what that would cost. Since 52 pounds divided by four is less than by three, I barged in and asked to join them. I was really, really afraid of missing the plane at this point. So we decided to take the cab and go. The driver was very nice and drove really fast, so it took us only 40 minutes to get to the airport. Phew! The girls were on their way to Sweden for a holiday. I don’t remember their names but they were nice and I was so happy we made it in time.

I have no idea when the Coach actually arrived, but I think it is unacceptable that it was more than 20 minutes late (they are supposed to run every 15 minutes, for god’s sake!). I’ll try to get my money back, but that will be a story for another day.

So I was jogging to the security check – it’s a good thing I know the airport by know and don’t have to stop for directions. But of course it would have been too easy to just pass through there. They had to check me. Well, I beeped and they checked and then I walked through again and I still beeped. I have NO idea why. I have never had a problem with my necklace or earrings, so it can’t be them. Really weird. Well, they let me go in the end to get my stuff and then they had another surprise in store – they checked my liquids. Seriously, why me? I didn’t have time! Luckily they are not too strict about the amount of liquid you’re transporting, because I bent the rule of 5x100ml a little bit. I had about 7 different items in there, but not one of them had 100ml. So it was ok.

Finally through with all that checking, I looked for the gate number and jogged again. I made it just in time; they started boarding when I arrived at the queue. Finally, I had some luck, because I didn’t have to squeeze my suitcase into that box thingie. It wouldn’t have fit. Phew!

I had a seat next to the emergency exit, which was not the one I had reserved before, but since I was a bit late, my seat had already been taken by somebody else (that’s Ryanair for you). I didn’t really care either way, so I settled for that one. Those seats don’t have tables, but since Ryanair doesn’t offer free drinks, I didn’t need one, anyways.

The flight was uneventful, no problems with my ears or anything. We landed on time and I made my way to the Dublin Coach Station. Oh, wait. Before, I bought a bottle of water and a chocolate roll. To have some kind of breakfast.

Then I found a Coach going to Galway. It was not the one my friend had advised me to take, but I didn’t really care, because I just wanted to go into a Coach and sleep. The trip to Galway took another 3 hours. I had thought it would be only 2, so I tried to text my friend several times. Later, we found out that her German number is not in use and she didn’t give me the Spanish one. Great! But facebook works everywhere and I spent a couple pounds on roaming in Ireland. I have enough balance to spare, anyway.

My friend’s aunt picked me up at the Coach station and we went to the hotel where she and my friend were having a business lunch later. Finally, after three months, I was reunited with my little sheep (aka R.).

I will tell you more about the days in Galway soon, but now I have to go to rehearsal for theatre. See you!

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