Peyton (aurora_aeterna) wrote,

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The sun never sets on the British Empire...

Well, once again, this weekend has been nothing short of incredible. Spent about 4 days with Chris, Andy, J, Jeremiah, Robert & Jay Wilson (djkfahlsdf) in jolly good London, England. Beautiful city. Better than I expected - I'd heard things from different people about London being "dirty" and "overrated"... um, it's the one city where I've had the most to do AND the most fun doing it. Being there with people I knew helped. And what the hell, it's not dirty either, there were street cleaners everywhere 24/7. It's no "dirtier" than any other huge, international city. Anyway, I'll defend London all the way to the grave at this point...

The journey started Thursday evening. Train to Skavsta Airport in Nykoping, Sverige and flight at 5 to the UK. Had my shampoo confiscated because it was over a 100mL. Cool. He almost took my toothpaste, but I begged him to let me keep it. He did. Flew into Stansted Airport around 7:30ish.

(Oh PS: Hayden Christensen was on my flight to London. No, not just a look alike. It was Hayden Christensen. If not Hayden, his twin. We were standing in security check line together, and we made this weird eye contact for about 20 minutes. I finally realized who he was, and I couldn't stop giggling. DARTH VADER.)

Stansted Express'd it all the way to the London Underground, which was really, really exciting for me for some reason, haha. I'd heard a lot about it from my mom's friends (all good things). They were right. It was damn fun. Hopped on at Tottenham Hale...

...exited at King's Cross. KING'S CROSS. Any one person who has read anything Harry Potter will realize the caliber of this train station. PLATFORM 9&3/4s IS LOCATED IN THIS STATION. Meaning... the magical entrance into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I've loved Mr. Potter for quite some time. So yeah... that was really epic for me, lol. There's a real Platform 9&3/4s that they have created in King's Cross. Awesome. I didn't get a picture of it because I was in such a hurry. :( Well I guess that just means I'll have to go back.
Anyway. Found Monto Water Rats so easily (the pub). There, I first experienced the ridiculous-ness of British pricing. The cheapest beer that I could find ANYWHERE, the entire time I was in London... was 3 pounds. THREE. That's SIX U.S. dollars. That's the only thing I hate about the UK... it's so. expensive. You have to go over there with double the amount of money you want to spend just to get around. But it was worth it.

This weekend was so epic for the guys. I could name drop right now... but I won't. Yeah I'm subtly bragging. I didn't even realize anything but show-playing was going on this weekend... but there was. A lot more than just show-playing. Vague, I know. Later that night Robert hailed his first taxi and the driver took Robert, Chris and I to the wrong hotel. Cool. I had to sneak in the emergency exit all weekend because they were already illegally keeping too many people in their 2 hotel rooms anyway.
So on Friday, Chris and I decided to walk around and explore. Ate sushi and this fantastic sushi bar in some mall area... it had trays of sushi on a conveyor belt, and you just had to sit down and watch for the one looked the most appetizing to you. Isn't that weird? Weird, yet amazing. I also found these:

That picture is pretty much just for Lauren. She knows why it made me laugh so much.
Anyway. Walked to this beautiful, upscale area of London called Camden, right near Abbey Road. The Jag in the picture is a perfect representation of the social class of the area.

One other amazing thing about London... it was a Friday afternoon... and where were the tourists? There were hardly ANY. Even when I went to the more touristy places the next day... not many at all. It was so great. I thought it was going to be like Florence, or Rome, where you just couldn't get away from huge crowds being EVERYWHERE. But London was so different and refreshing.

Aw look what we stumbled upon...

Just the original Abbey Road.

Couldn't get the cliche walk-across-Abbey-Road picture because there was a bit too much traffic. :( Hmm, another reason to go back (anyone? Please yes?) I almost passed out when we found Abbey Road Studios, just off to the left of the pedestrian crossing. I didn't realize it was that close. Makes sense though, lol. I cannot even list the amount of incredible music that has been generated inside of that building... you've gotta Wikipedia Abbey Road Studios. It's amazing.

Lots of graffiti on the outside of the studio. Supposedly "unsightly", but I think it adds character.

We had a really good walk. Didn't realize that Abbey Road was so far away from the hotel, but it was still really nice. Beautiful day. Got back to the hotel and I took a nap while everyone else was in meetings or setting up or doing something other than being in the hotel. Later on, I took a taxi to the club and had coffee at a place called Costa Coffee, right across the street. A man, late 30s, early 40s, bought me coffee; no ulterior motives, nothing. Just handed the cashier his extra change while I was in line behind him. I remember looking at him, astonished at such a kind heart, and he just said "Aw no love, don't mention it." I'm so accustomed to the Swedes' coldness, I guess. I think I thanked him 3 times.

So the venue we all were at that night was literally the best club I'd ever been to in my entire life... possibly will ever go to. It's called Koko, and it's an old theatre transformed into a club. Four stories high, classy, big stage, huge dance floor.

I video'd for MO while they were playing, so I didn't get any pictures. This is the second band that played.

God. There were so many beautiful guys. I have decided, that British boys really are the devil incarnate. Their charm, wittiness, accent, and generosity are impeccable. I was looking at pictures on my camera, and this guy came up to me and told me to take his picture... so, well, I did. He was blowing smoke out of his mouth, even though you can't see it. He just walked away after I took the picture... hahaha. Awesome.

Now this boy was a bit more forward. Very forward. Said "Pay-ten, I fancy you. I fancy you a lot." So we're dating now. Kidding. He was hilarious though. Don't fall for British boys' pick-up lines, even though they're adorable. Strangely enough, he wanted a picture, too. Of course I obliged.

This is what my brain looked like, trying to process everything that was going on Friday night.

Oh my Lord, check that club out. It was absolutely incredible

This was the ridiculous ride back to the hotel on Friday night. I had to squeeze in that little space between the seat and the actual door. All the while, Jay is driving on the left side of the road, and he's not accustomed to it, and he almost runs into things because his perception of the width of the vehicle is off... hahaha

Saturday finally greets us after a long, fun night. Chris and I take a stroll through the beautiful Hyde Park... NO TOURISTS!?

Hellooo film poster of Big Fish?

The Serpentine River, flowin' through Hyde

London IS capable of having beautiful weather.

After our stroll through Hyde Park, Chris and I parted ways and I was left alone to conquer London by myself. All day. I Mapquest'd my route that I took - I walked over 5 miles around that city. That's a fairly long way. And it was amazing.

This statue was in front of Buckingham Palace. Why can't we build cool things like this everywhere in the States?

Hey Heeyyy Prince William's house!

London, I love you.

By the time I made it to Big Ben, the sun was going down fairly quickly. Ahhhh


So, in other news, I love my camera. And Big Ben. Parliament and Big Ben are the most elaborate things I've ever seen.

Oh the River Thames... and the London Eye. Beautiful.

Can't. Stop. Taking. Pictures.

All I did all day was just roam for miles, listening to the Beatles. It just seemed appropriate. Such a damn good day.

Oh hey, what's up Westminster Abbey


Richard the Lion-Heart statue in the courtyard of Westminster Abbey.

Silhouette of Parliament/Westminster Abbey/Big Ben, as seen from the other side of the Thames.

London = party. Oxford Street.

Well that was my roam around London. Made it back to the hotel, sat in the lobby and rested a bit. Took a taxi with this older man who taught math in Africa. Uhh, I hate taxi fares. 10pounds 80pence for a 10-minute taxi ride? What the heck. At least he was nice. So club Skala...

We have good times. Yes, there is probably something in my nose. Damn, I probably just made you look harder.

"Is that a sore subject?" "Your face is a sore subject."

This is called "Peyton Creepin' on Andy Version1.1"

So on Saturday night, we all got back to the hotel at about 3am. No one that I was in the room with (except Robert) went to sleep. I couldn't go to sleep, since my flight out was at freaking 8:15AM. So around 5ish, I walked to one of the Underground stations (very thankful for Chris tagging along, protecting me from the night-dwelling evil-doers aka Jack The Ripper), but ALAS! Twas closed. Meaning we had to walk back, and I had to take a taxi to King's Cross. It is now 6:15am. I realize from there, I must take a bus to the Liverpool Street Station, since the Stansted Express does not run from King's Cross. Bollocks. Hello 6:45 by the time I reach the Liverpool Station. It takes 45 minutes to get to Stansted from Liverpool Street. So I reach Stansted Airport at about 7:50... yeah. I still have to check-in AND go through security AND get to my terminal. As I was going through security, RyanAir Stockholm was announcing final boarding call. Good news. Almost didn't make that flight... buuuut I did. Landed in Stockholm, realized 3 hours later than my clock had been on London-time the entire time I'd been waiting on my train for Orebro. So yeah, I missed my train. Had to take one that left about 2 hours later. Finally made it home around 9PM... hadn't slept in almost 36 hours. Wild. But an incredible trip. Those boys truly have a special place in my heart.

And I can't wait to go back to London. SOMEONE PLEASE JUST FREAKIN GO WITH ME
We'd have the best time.

Anyway. Time for shower, then bed.
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