I am sure many of you are waiting for an explanation as to why I’m back in Canada, or didn’t know I was back at all. But reality is, I don’t have to explain myself to anyone. Regardless, a 19 year old girl can only take so many hits on her self esteem, personality and general happiness. I happened to hold out for 7 months. I don’t fit in a world where people see something good, and need to pick it to pieces to find something wrong with it to stand superior. My goal now is to do something useful, spend time with friends and family, embrace living in beautiful, welcoming, diverse and open minded Canada, and find a job where I can be respected. Thanks for reading my blog and following along on my European Adventures. This is the end of the road folks.
So I suppose I should start this long, massive post about my stay in England which was super lovely!
My travel itinerary was to take a train to A’dam, train to Brussels, train to London, however when I got to Brussels, I had to stand in this massive line to get through British Customs. These British Customs officers were also extremely rude. I didn’t know Lauren and Matt’s address because I was getting picked up and when I mentioned I didn’t have the address for my landing card the officer yelled at me, “Where you staying, the street?” To me rude comments like that are absolutely not necessary. After getting through my ticket scanned, my passport scrutinized twice, (didn’t sound too good that I was born in SA, am canadian, living in holland, currently in belgium trying to go to england to stay with canadians..) and got through baggage security I learnt that much to my dismay, my train had left without me. Yes, that’s right, little old, me in Belgium with a departed train. I couldn’t help but let an exhausted and frustrated tear out, just as an employee of eurolines handed me a ticket to the next train, so missing it really wasn’t my fault but due to the overflow of passengers all trying to get through security. So I sat and waited another hour to catch the train and eventually made it into the loving arms of Canadians!
I really did learn and appreciate the difference between being in the care of canadians in comparison to that of the Europeans, no offence intended.
I was welcomed into their cute place to a plate sized pizza that I couldn’t even finish, it was beautiful.
The next morning, we woke up and had amazing panakes with maple syrup which I haven’t had for 6 months, and headed out first to Camden market, the largest shopping market in Europe!
It was super cool walking around and seeing all the vintage stores and colours
and styles of everything, super neat. At one point we stopped to eat food and could choose from probably 50 different stalls selling food it was magic!
I had spicy mac and cheese made to order by 2 brothers from Winchester.
Next we hopped on the tube and went to soho/china town area of London which was pretty cool. I really just loved walking around and being shown around by friends.
Next stop was piccadilly circus. It didn’t entirely blow me away but I was told is looks spectacular at night!
A place I really did enjoy which I felt was a good representation of London and had a really nice vibe and was equally beautiful and nice enough to sit down and just take in was trafalgar square. I loved the water fountains and huge lion sculptures and double decker buses.
Next we made our way over to Parliment and the Big Ben. I didn’t think I would be that blown away by the big ben, but I was. Because it’s actually quite large and impressive and while we were there the sun was shining on the building just so, it made for really pretty pictures. Plus it was such a beautiful day out, we didn’t even need our jackets and we were just taking in the views and atmosphere of London it was great!
Also right there across the street was West Minster Abbey and I was told by Lauren that Shakesphere is burried there which I had no idea but found very interesting!
Then we swung a left and walked down what I think is referred to as the South bank and saw lovely views of Parliment and the London Eye, which I would be much too terrified to ever go on haha.
Then we headed home, it was a super busy day and I think I saw a lot of London in just that single day!!
On Sunday we got up and decided we would visit knotting hill to go to the portobello street market that has been around for over 20 years.
I really loved the feel of the market and knottinghill has the cutest colour schemes on houses.
After taking our time strolling around we worked up an appetite and after seeing someone sitting outside of a mexican restaurant eating nachos we just had to go in because Lauren has been on the hunt for those special nachos that are good enough to win the number one award.
I think all 3 of us really enjoyed them!
Next we took the tube and walked through regent park while the sun began to set.
I saw these little critters everywhere and was reminded about my brother haha.
Then we stopped by Oxford Circus and popped into a few shops and then headed home for the night!
I was sort of nervous for the next day, Monday as both Lauren and Matt would be working and I would have to fend for myself, but I forced myself to just DO IT and I concoured the London Tube System!! I found my way to the Natural History Museum and was blown away by their large collection of Animals and Dinosaurs, although it has nothing on drumheller. :P
Afterwards I went down the street and stopped in at Hyde Park for a bit.
Since I was feeling brave and really enjoyed Knottinghill I strolled through there afterwards for the 2nd time just taking in the area.
Cool fact is George Orwell lived on Portobello road!
On Tuesday me and Lauren went through Green Park and up to the Buckingham Palace and the Marble Arch.
And also road on the top level of a double decker!
and went to Oxford Circus and bought matching travel bags from Primark!
We also stopped by Knottinghill for the third time to run a personal errand. Mwaha.
Then I headed over to the British Museum while Lauren headed back home.
This Museum was stunning and has the largest collection of Humanity’s history I’ve ever seen, and a ton from Egypt which was so impressive to me.
I would recommend the British Museum over the Natural History Museum, but both were lovely and both were free!
I went back home and Lauren Matt and I headed down to “Hell’s Pizza” via top level of double decker where they had meat, veggie, vegan and gluten free pizza and every pizza had a different insane name, mine was purgatory. Basically we ate ourselves silly and returned home for our last evening together.
I appreciated the fact that I could stay with Lauren and Matt so much. Just being with Canadians was amazing but with such nice ones even more so! I talked their ears off half the time and slept on their couch for 5 nights in a row, but yet somehow they spent their ENTIRE weekend endlessly showing me around, being moral support, made me supper every single night, let me watch episodes of the office with them and I never lifted a single finger for 5 days. I can’t even begin to thank them for the kindess they showed me.
Basically I had an amazing time in London, and I was super happy I got to see the city where my parents had their honeymoon.
Thanks for reading!
Well I’m off to London tomorrow to stay with my lovely lovely friends. I am actually really excited to take the train instead of flying. I go to Brussels and then to London. It’s 6 hours but I love sitting beside the window and staring out so I better have a window seat or I may go a little crazy. I just have to get through 6 more hours of work, and then I’m free! I still need to pack and charge my camera and my ipod and shower mwaha. I like the hustle and bustle of getting ready to go somewhere, it feels like I’m accomplishing something. I will be back Wed night and you know me, I’ll have tons of pictures and stories. <3 Stay tuned!
Hey ladies and gentlemen, friends and foes.
Dee asked us over tonight to chill after work, and I owed one of the girls money, so I wanted to get it over with so she could get what I owed her,
however, this required biking to the next town over at night.
I did this before, while biking to Erin’s into Blarcium, and it really wasn’t too bad, and google maps got me there the entire way, so I thought this time would also be a cinch.
I hopped on my bike to start the 8km each way journey. I was doing fine until what looked like on google maps to be a forest road.
This road literally had like, zero lights, and there was a warning for cars to “think about your lights”. So that was the first concerning sign I saw. I stopped my bike and called my friend shannon to ask if she’d ever gone down this path at night since she recommended it to me in the first place and she said she hadn’t only in the day, and she said that I should just power through it.
So I was like whatever, lets do this. I cranked my ipod and sped past the light warning sign into PITCH BLACK OBLIVION. Seriously, so dark, if I lifted my bike lamp higher into the distance, it had zero affect and would get lost in the darkness, so shining it directly on the ground in front of me seemed the most handy as I could see if the path curved, exactly as it did so… as I continued biking at fast speeds trying to get through this place, without trying to die I had my ipod cranked and talked outloud to myself to hopefully scare any animals when my light shon onto a sign that said “Wild Roosters!” I was like uhm what!!? Wild roosters, what the heck!??! So I kept biking and kept biking and saw a sign with a leaping deer, so now I also had to watch out for deer.
I continued biking and came to a resturant all decorated up and provided nice light, which only blinded me for my journey back into the darkness. I finally plundged through and found Dee’s house and told them about what I had to get through, but I don’t think anyone grasped how seriously horrid it was.
I’m not scared of a lot, I am scared of heights and water, but other than that, hey, not much. I walk around and come home from work late in etown, and I walked my friends home in vhoof and there aren’t many situations where I was scared, but this was pretty freaky. I asked 2 of girls there if I could stay and sleepover and bike home in the morning but they just avoided the subject. Real nice of them.
Anyhow, Shannon tells me randomly that there are WHITE WILD COWS in that forest. She said she saw them biking during the day, there were 5 and they came up to the side of the fence by the bike path, but she guaranteed me that there was no chance they could get over the fence.
Eventually I had to bike back and it was just as awful the second time round, now I constantly saw large white blurs in the forest to my left most likely my imagination, taking turns in the road immediately as I saw them. Travelling like a cautious bolt of lightning through this dark forest path with images of
In my head the entire time.
Eventually I made it through and never again will I be nervous to bike in a well lit area of holland. I will save my nerves for dark forest roads with random animals and zero visibility.
When I got home I searched this wild rooster thing because it was really weird, and apparently that’s how the dutch call cattle grids. I guess it was comforting to know there weren’t wild roosters all over the place, however it was actually less comforting because that meant that the cattle really could get past the fences.
Anyhow, I survived and made it through alive my 16 km biking journey this evening, but I don’t really reccommend it to anyone. There are probably better ways to spend your friday night than in absolute terror.
Have a good one, xx Kyra
haha, I’ve been treated to some jokes in Dutch over supper this evening, told in Dutch by L, translated into English by me:
"There was a little boy and his grandma walking down the street and the little boy sees 25 euro on the ground and went to pick it up, and his grandma said no, "anything that’s on the ground is dirty don’t pick it up." Later on the woman fell on the ground and asked her grandson to help her up and he said, "Sorry, anything that’s on the ground is dirty and I’m not to pick it up."
Hah oh my goodness haha.
The other one is a woman goes to shower and therefore gets undressed when the door bell rings and she sees it’s her blind neighbour, so she answers the door only to hear him say, “Good news! I can see again!”
Oooooh dear. At least I get entertained while I eat. ha.
Anonymous said: Haha oh I get it! People are just ice-skating crazy here I guess. As you've probably noticed ;P And true, Saturday/Sunday was the last days skating was possible.. def not safe right now! And you're not offending anyone. I find it interesting to read :)
Hah only in Holland can it rain and snow in one week span. Hah! I saw 4 kids biff it off their bikes this morning. :(
The news I have been withholding from everyone is….
I’m going to be in Belfast, Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day 2012! Haha wooh!
Land of the irish for their special day! I am looking forward to this view in Belfast.
I’ve always been interested in UK, Ireland, Scotland area, so I’m excited to be able to go to Ireland. (:
Anonymous said: I saw your post about the canals in Amsterdam & I felt like I needed to explain :) The canals like the last picture you posted look the way they do cause of 'icebreakers' (boats that break the ice). They do this so it's not possible to just skate everywhere you want to and they can monitor the canals on which skating IS allowed :) The other canals are completely safe! They even held a skating race on one yesterday! I really love your blog btw and hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Holland!
Thanks, I realize that other canals have been broken by boats etc, however, I still don’t think it’s safe because I saw people skating on Canals whose edges were half melted onto one side and solid on the other, I don’t know, I come from Canada where people just don’t go on the ice at all if there is any possibility for it not being frozen the whole way through! The weather on Saturday in my opinion was quite a bit warm, and today it was raining on top of that, so in my opinion it’s not safe, but hey, everyone else can do what they want. But thanks for reading my blog and offering some insight. I’m glad you like it, and hope I’m not offending too many Dutch people while doing it hah.
Today walking through Amsterdam was interesting, because it’s been my first time there since it snowed!
The canals were frozen over, but just barely!
Some places the water was showing, or the ice was cracked and people were still on the ice. Really dangerous if you ask me, but whatever, to each their own?
The edges of the canals looked like this in some places! Really sketchy!
And then other canals looked like this, so I just don’t know why you’d risk going on one canal because it seems solid when other ones look like this!
My shopping proved to be fantastically successful!
I got this vintage bag from Episode with a back zipper and divider inside for only 15 euro!
Three pairs of pants grey, black and dusty rose from Vero Moda for only 46 euro all together!
and these 5 amazing scarfs from a stall at Waterlooplein Market in Amsterdam 1 euro each!!
Needless to say I am very happy with my shopping results today! yay!