Like I stated in my introduction, my first traveling experience was in 2013, and it was out the country. I think for this to make sense for me, I am going to have to give you some background information. This was not a Vacation! I repeat this was not a vacation. I do not want to exploit this experience as such, but this is how it went.
2013 has been the worst and best year of my life. The sole purpose of this trip was to spend time with someone who was grieving, and I too was grieving. This time allowed us to lean on each other, and get to know each other in different ways, as we were not close before. To say this trip was easy or fun everyday would be a lie. I took some great experience away from this trip, and I experienced new things.
Katie (Person I spent 3 weeks with) was already in England. I made this trip from the Birmingham, Alabama airport by myself. I had never flown on a plane by myself. I was terrified. My cousin, Jennifer helped me through security, then after I stepped on that plane I was on my own. It was a very small plane, I mean tiny, two seats on one side and one on the other. I reached my layover in Miami. Miami is a big airport, you have to take a tram to get to your gate! I had to have help from an older couple. They helped me on the tram as they were taking the same plane as me. Then I was on my own again. This was the big plane taking us all the way across the ocean to England. I found my seat, at least I thought. I was beside a boy from Denmark. He was nice and offered me a piece of gum, turns out I was in the wrong seat, so I had to move. It was not too bad. The whole flight I did not eat anything and only used the bathroom once because I was nervous. Finally, I reach Heathrow. I cannot forget to mention it’s no joke going through a foreign airport.
I grabbed my bag and went through another security person, and I stepped out into the lobby, I saw Katie and made my way to her. Let the adventure begin. (Did I forget to mention they ask you every time what is your reason for coming to their country.) We made our way to the platform where everyone gets their Harry Potter picture.
At Heathrow, right off the plane, Harry Potter picture!
(I cannot lie, this trip was over two years ago, I cannot really remember every detail). So for the next few days we did the Londony things. We went to visit the Buckingham Palace (Changing of the Guards), we went to Hyde Park, we ate some fish and chips, visited Big Ben, The Eye, and went over the London Bridge. At some point we also went to a comedy club, I believe this was the address: 99 club Leicester Square Comedy. Ah, we also made a visit at Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. ("Hey look kids! There’s Big Ben and Parliament!"-European Vacation.)ß Because you have to. I want to throw in it’s hard to find drinks cold and ice is far and in between haha. Also, if you want to use the bathroom you have to order something or pay. They really do not like you just running in and using their bathrooms, if we have to go here in the U.S. we can run in anywhere and use the bathroom without question. You also do not really tip. So you won’t get your over the top friendly waiter.
Now, this is where things really started to heat up. We rented a car, don’t worry Katie drove! We visited a lot of places down south. There are only a few I can remember off the top of my head, but I made a list of every little town that we went through. (I will leave the list at the bottom of the post.) One thing I so desperately wanted to do was find a little town way out in the country, you know the kind you picture Old Europe being, where people still fetch water out of wells. The closest thing we got to was a little town called Avebury, but I will get to that later. One of our first stops was East Bourne (Beachy Head), this place had The Seven Sisters, beautiful white cliffs.
The Seven Sisters, they are these beautiful white cliffs.
(At this point I was still wearing good shoes, some point in this trip I decided to wear a couple of different pairs of shoes that ruined my feet and there was a lot of walking to do.)This place was really nice because it was like we were far out into the country. I loved it! It was one of my favorite cities compared to London. (Sorry I am a country girl at heart) We made our way through some other small cities, and at one point we had to sleep in our car overnight. It was a tad bit scary. This driving trip was over a three day period and we did not sleep in any hotels.
Making our way through some other small towns, there was a point where we just needed a break, Katie had been driving the whole time, it was raining and it was hard to see and didn’t help that we were driving on the other side of the road. We couldn’t find a hotel to stay in, so we found a late night super market, got us some food, slept in the car in their parking. Let me not forget to mention how early things close over there. Everything was closed early.
Now, on this drive I just want to state how many wild foxes England has, there are a lot. You will not see many homeless cats or dogs like you do here in America. There was no telling how many times I scared Katie because I would get so excited every time I saw a fox. We made our way through some small towns again and visited two more places, one was a tourist spot, Stonehenge and the other is Avebury. I think a lot of people see Stonehenge as a meaningless stones in a circle, so when you get there sometimes it is over hyped but I loved it. I even tried to get Katie to dare me to run and touch the stones, not knowing what the consequences were. I decided to just step over the line. (I was such a dare devil) The next place, Avebury, I really loved. This town was the cutest little town I have ever seen. It was probably as close to an Old European town I was going to find, at least on this trip. This place was special because you could actually go and touch the stones here. I am not sure of the history at this place, but I think it is worth looking up and visiting. Shortly after all this, our wonderful road trip ended and we were back in London, awaiting our next country, France. To be continued on my next post…
To find more information on Avebury
- · Wear proper shoes
- · Try to appreciate where you are
- · I don’t know, maybe practice on small roads before you get out and drive on the opposite side of major roads
- · Look up their road laws
- · Know the tube map well
- · Helps to know the lingo
- · Stay on the right side of the stairs and escalators
- · Know how their bus schedules run
Cities/Towns we went through: London/Abbey/Harlow/Little Canfield/Essex/East Bourne (Beachy Head)/Dover/Wathom?/Sand (something)?/Folkstone/Dym Church/Old Romney/Brooklyn/Whitesand/East Sussex /Rye /Winchester /Iclesham /Guestling?/ Thorn/ Green/Hastings/ Bexhill/Brighton/Stonehenge/Avebury
I cannot be sure of all the spelling, and I know we went through more towns, but I have seemed to have misplaced the rest of the towns or I stopped writing them down.
Article first published on: ChasaTravels.com
Published by Chasa Fulkerson