The Spring Break here in Switzerland is actually a week off for Easter. I’ve been going stir crazy, waiting for the break to come, especially after seeing pictures and stores from my friends at home during their break. It was worth the wait. I booked a trip with two of my neighbors and one of my roommates for a few days in London! We got left Friday night and got a nice early start Saturday morning.
I usually don’t like to be clumped in with other tourists, but this time I didn’t mind. I was happy to be in a country that spoke English and to see the sights I’d only seen in movies. I took pictures of everything until my camera battery died. We experienced London as only a tourist on a budget could. We ate a pub lunch of traditional fish and chips, walked what seemed like mile after mile, and figured out how to use the underground to get where we wanted to go when our feet were too tired. We visited the London Eye (for those who don’t know, this is basically a giant Ferris wheel for tourists), Big Ben and Madame Tussauds which had a haunted dungeon section that was properly scary.
As I have studied in Oxford, Mississippi, I’ve always wanted to see the real Oxford, so I took a side trip Monday afternoon to have some alone time. I have to admit the original is absolutely gorgeous. I love the medieval walls and buildings that are throughout the city. I spent a lot of time walking with my little map, figuring out what I had time to see before heading back. It was a nice peaceful few hours as I walked through the streets, did more shopping and took even more pictures. Of course there was real English weather; one second the sun was shining and the next it was pouring rain. During one of the downpours, I ducked into a pub called the White Horse for some ale and to dry off. Having a pint in the afternoon made me feel like a real English person as I’ve noticed that they tend to drink at least a pint with their lunch. I eventually made my way back to London and met up with my friends at one of the places they were most excited to eat; Shake Shack.
I experienced so many little adventures during my London time, including getting separated from my group while shopping in the giant Primark store. I searched for them throughout every floor of the store multiple times and even at the McDonalds and Burger King next door. I eventually made my way back to the hostel and, hours later, we found each other! As it turns out, they had been looking for me while also trying to take care of one of our friends who had gotten sick. We searched for each other as if we were all walking in a circle, never crossing paths at the right time. Although it was a little frightening being separated in a strange country, it was also a bit exhilarating. I was left with no map to get home, a phone that wasn’t working and hardly any money, but it was one of the best days of the trip and it gave us all quite a story to tell.
We were supposed to return to Fribourg really late Tuesday night, but an unexpected problem left us nearly homeless for a night about an hour out of Fribourg. Around two in the morning, we found a hotel to hold up in for a few hours before finally making it home to have a nice long nap, a bit of food and to think about unpacking (which I still haven’t really done). Now that my break is almost over, I’m reminded how little time I have left and, more importantly, that I should probably start studying for exams…