London, England

Well, this is my final travel post. The title is slightly misleading because it actually includes two cities, Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England. However, I only spent a day in Edinburgh and they are both in the same sovereign state, so I thought it would be okay.

I left Paris and had a several hour layover in London on my way to Edinburgh, which gave me a little bit of time to walk around. I ended up seeing Big Ben. Well, technically, the Big Ben clock tower. I have since learned that Big Ben is actually just the bell. My bus for Scotland left at 11pm. It was a pretty full bus, so it wasn’t very fun (I guess they’re never that fun) and I didn’t get a ton of sleep. It was strange, I had a person sitting next to me for about half the trip. At one of the stops, we all got out to get food or walk around and I never saw her again. I don’t know if she missed the bus or moved seats.

I’m not able to pinpoint exactly why it is, but Edinburgh turned out to be my favorite place of the cities I saw. It doesn’t seem like there was anything too drastically different from other places. It was very medieval, which wasn’t unique, but it was more green than everywhere else. Here’s a picture of a hillside showing a pretty good picture of the scenery.

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And here’s one more of scenery, that includes Edinburgh Castle.

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Maybe it was just the atmosphere or a combination of everything, but I would like to go back and spend more time there. I’d especially want to see more places outside of the city, like the lochs.

I had a bus back to London 24 hours after I got to Edinburgh. My brother Richard was in town for work, so I was going to be staying with him for a few days. After a month of being by myself or seeing only strangers, I was finally able to see someone I knew. I was also able to sleep in a room that only had one other person in it instead of nine (in Edinburgh, I actually had, for the first time, an entire room to myself. It was supposed to be for 12 people.) Richard said he could invite some people to come sleep on the floor if I felt uncomfortable with so few people.

Well, Thanksgiving is not quite the same when you are not in the US. We didn’t have any turkey or cranberry sauce, but we did have Pad Thai and curry, as well as an indulgent three desserts. I still missed the stuffing and sweet potatoes, but it was a good tasting substitute.

As far as site-seeing, we had some leisurely strolling through some streets, ate some donuts, saw Hyde Park, visited Buckingham Palace, and perused Harrod’s, a ginormous department store with ginormous stuffed animals. The next day, Richard had work, so I walked around some markets and around London Bridge. It’s still there, it hasn’t fallen down. I don’t know why everyone says it has. We then had Nando’s for dinner, a delicious chicken restaurant that has an open soda fountain with unlimited refills, quite an unusual feature in Europe. I got to be all British by ordering chips with my meal but getting french fries.

 

I had a very long trip back to Austria before going home. It was about 36 hours of bus and train travel to get back to Villach. And I almost missed my bus to Venice in my layover in Paris due to the time change. Then I had two days in Villach before about 24 hours of traveling time back to Las Vegas.

I did some calculations. This trip in total, I traveled about 34,670 kilometers (21,539 miles), or 86.5% of the circumference of the earth, not counting walking and other intracity travel. This is broken down to 20,992 by plane, 9,545 by bus, 1,880 by motorcycle, 1853 by train, and 400 by car.  417 kilometers or 259 miles per day.

I can’t believe my trip is over, it was an incredible time. Now I have the wonderful opportunity of getting used to school again after not having classes for 6 months.

 

Scotland:

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London:

IMG_7110IMG_7076    IMG_7080 IMG_7100 IMG_7086  IMG_7070  IMG_7055IMG_7115London Bridge selfie with Tower Bridge in the background.