Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hello! This past weekend myself and 6 of my friends went to Cologne, Germany. It was my first trip flying somewhere and to a country where they don't speak English. On Friday morning we took the train to Edinburgh, Scotland. I was there just last weekend, but we found a really cheap flight out of their airport. I hate flying and the woman who held my hand during the turbulent flight from New York to London wasn't around, but I survived the hour and 20 minute flight. We got to Germany late so we just grabbed dinner and went to bed early. The next morning we galavanted around Cologne. We went to a gorgeous cathedral called the Dome. We were located right by this huge shopping street so we did a ton of shopping. Towards the end of the day we found out all the stores would be closed the following day because it was Sunday so by Saturday night we were rushing around trying to buy souvenirs. Sometime in the afternoon we took the train to a little town called Bonn. It was a short train ride away, but was still very different from Cologne. We visited Beethoven's house and I got my first crepe! We then spent the majority of the next two days eating.. We had a ton of pastries, gelato, german sausage. I wasn't expecting the food to be so good there! Saturday night we were so exhausted from running around that we just hung out at the hostel. We all played cards and tried some German beer. Although not knowing German wasn't a big deal.. we had a few issues. There were bowls of candy around the lounge in the hostel. Brittany grabbed a bowl and started passing some out to our group. Well a girl that barely spoke english jumped and told Britt that the candy was "not common". We still don't know what she meant, but we know we weren't allowed to have any. We went to bed semi-early after this very awkward moment. It was really cold and there wasn't a lot to do on Sunday so whenever we needed somewhere warm to sit we would go grab something to eat. We also made it our goal to find places where you don't have to pay to use the bathroom. A lot of places in Europe and England you have to pay to use the toilet.. even restaurants! It's quite odd. We flew back to Scotland Sunday at 9pm. I was nervous, but the flight was fine. We met a girl who is in the Army and is based in Germany. She approached us because she heard our American accents and she is from Florida. Since the trains stop running to and from Newcastle at 10pm we booked a hostel to stay the night. At this point we were all ready to get home, but had no choice. We got lost trying to find the hostel so we hopped in a cab. We went straight to bed, woke up at 8am and caught a 9am train back to Newcastle. Although we were all exhausted, we had such a good weekend! The next 2 weekends I will be spending my time around Newcastle. Then I will be meeting my parents in London and my friend Krissy from home will be visiting! It's scary that by that week I will be halfway done with my study abroad session..


For the record.. I shared this with someone!
Inside the Dome.
The Dome.
On the Rhein River in Bonn.
Our group- 6 Americans, 1 Aussie!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sick in Scotland :(

Hello all! Things have been quite crazy on this side of the pond. I spent all of last week being sick. Nonetheless we had train tickets and a hotel booked for Scotland for Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I planned on meeting Brittany and two of her friends at their place at 10am. Well.. I woke up at 9:56. Since I knew we probably wouldn't have time to shower in Scotland I decided to jump in the shower, attempt to make myself look human and be on my way. I met them in town and luckily beat them there. When we got to the train station we noticed our train was running late and knew we were going to miss our connecting train. Luckily we found out our ticket was good for any connecting train and not for a specific time. It was an hour and half train to Edinburgh.. in first class! We had no idea, but were very excited to find out we had first class tickets. Then another 50 minutes to Glasgow. Even though we were staying in Edinburgh we wanted to see some of Glasgow so spent all day Saturday there. We sat down on our connecting train.. found out it was canceled because of mechanical problems and had to run to another track. When we finally arrived in Glasgow we grabbed lunch, went to a few museums and went to the University of Glasgow. It was so pretty and looked like Hogwarts! We had to take a train from Glasgow to Edinburgh at night so we could get to our hotel. We did this straight after dinner because we were so exhausted from walking around all day. We got on a 7-something train that said the first two cars were to Edinburgh. Well... we didn't end up in Edinburgh. We ended up at a random station that looked like the Ronkonkoma LIRR station.. okay it wasn't even a station.. it was a platform. We traveled an hour and a half to the middle of no where! So we got back on the train (another hour and a half back), got on the correct train and took a taxi to the hotel. At this point we were far too aggravated to be searching for a hotel after 10pm in Scotland.. so much for getting there early and getting to bed! We spent the next day not wanting to get out of bed, enjoying a continental breakfast and galavanting around Edinburgh. I was forced to go hiking in leather over the knee boots and still wasn't feeling well! However, I must say it was worth it because when we got to the top the view was gorgeous. After some shopping, nachos, a cashmere scarf purchase and waiting in the freezing train station for an hour we were on our way back home! It's so odd to go on the weekend trips because I can't wait to get home.. when this isn't even my real home. Despite the occasional drama or two we had a very fun weekend! On Friday.. we leave for Germany! Good thing the only think I know how to say is I love you.. Shall be interesting...


In Edinburgh.
In town in Glasgow.
At the top of our hike!

Climbed 134 steps for this view!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hiya! (a TON of British people say that instead of Hi.. I'll never say it, but I'm willing to type it) I feel like I've left you all hanging so long without posting! Have no fear.. I'm taking time away from my studies to update you on my life.

On Friday I went to London for the first time! It's a 6 hour coach ride away or a 3 hour train ride. Since we are poor University students Britt and I took the coach. It's only $32 round trip. We went to the coach stop 30 minutes early to be sure we would get a seat next to each other. We realized as the bus was boarding we were sitting on the wrong line! We waited in the wind and rain for nothing and got to the back of the line for the London bus. Our bus didn't leave on time because it was overbooked and no one was willing to get off and take the train ( I was.. but I decided I guess I HAD to stay with Brittany.) It took us 8 hours just to get to Victoria Station in London! We hit so much traffic and almost died because the bus was swaying in and out of lanes on the highway.. plus we were driving on the wrong side of the road! By the time we got off the coach, took the tube and got to the hostel it was 11pm. This was my first time staying in a hostel and it wasn't too bad. Well at first it was.. They give us the keys to the room and told us we were in beds 4 & 6 (out of 12 beds of all females) When we got into the room there were women in both of our beds! Got a little scared that we weren't going to have anywhere to sleep, but we found out the woman didn't want to climb up to the second and third bunk so they just took our beds.. nice. Britt and I got ready very quickly and went out with three girls we met up with that Britt is friends with from her college in Maryland. They are studying abroad in Spain and planned on meeting up with us and staying in the same hostel. We went out (and found out that the tube stops running at midnight.) We took a bus home and all was fine.. only got a few hours of sleep though because it's kinda odd sleeping in a room of strangers.

The next day - our only full day - we filled in as much touristy London activities as possible. We woke up at 9am ate breakfast and left the hostel right away. We got home around dinner time, ate and went out again.. this is where we almost died a second time. We went out.. all was fine - until we tried to get back to the hostel. We knew we would have to take the bus, but couldn't find a bus to take us back to our stop because it was after 3am and only select night buses were running. We decided we were going to get on a bus that was near our stop and walk the rest. We got to a stop that Britt's friend thought was closer to us.. but it wasn't. We ended up in a sketchy part of London with a used bus pass and no jackets. We looked for another bus, but none were coming and we would still have to walk a lot. After Britt was trying to hail a cab unsuccessfully I went into the street and stuck my hand in the air. Luckily, the cab driver drove past a group of people and came to me (still got it from my cab hailing days in NYC) We finally got home around 4am and went off to our bunks to get our daily 4 hours of sleep.

The final day was spent in London casually. We woke up at 9 and walked around to the last couple things we didn't see. Of course Britt and I had to bring our backpacks because we wouldn't have time to go back to the hostel. It wasn't too miserable and provided us with a fabulous workout. We caught the coach back to Newcastle at 5:30pm (FYI a lot of places in London included the coach station charge you to use the bathroom.. odd right?) We got home early because the driver had road rage and did about 90mph the whole way home. In the end it was a lot of fun. I'm glad I finally got to go on my first trip even if it was just to London. I'm looking forward to March and April when both my parents and my sisters are going to be meeting up with me there.

It's 1am, just discovered my bag of clementines has began to rot and my library books were due Friday so I owe a fine.. I guess on that note it's time for bed. Goodnight my loyal followers!


Platform 9 3/4 from the first Harry Potter film.
Big Ben and Parliament.
On the Westminster Bridge.