Keep Calm and Carry On

I’m no stranger to making fun of myself at any point… and well the title to this particular post is aimed to do just that… it’s actually specifically aimed at showing how uneducated and retarded I can be… I once saw one of my bosses (originally from England) wearing a shirt saying “Keep Calm and Carry On”… and I made the very uneducated comment of, “Oh, is that a spin-off from The Chive slogan of  “keep calm and chive on”???

Yea…. enough said… I can be THAT blonde quite often in life really… and it’s usually ALWAYS when I’m trying to be impressive somehow… Goes to show you should ALWAYS be humble, otherwise stupidity (at least in my case) will always creep out!!!

Moving on, I flew over the pond on British Airways on a fairly cheap one-way ticket I found on my favorite flight site of skyscanner.com:)  Let me tell you, British Airways has it going on!!  The flight was comfortable, the food was actually tasty, and beside a little bit of a hiccup during my movie where it turned off and wouldn’t restart until hours later (which really forced me to get some much needed sleep) it was quite the pleasant flight!

After landing I did what I always do… Sat down and started searching for a place to stay for the night… You would think I would change my ways and plan SOMETHING ahead of time, but hey, that’s kinda part of the adventure of it all, isn’t it??  The only bummer here is that Heathrow airport only gives like 45 minutes of free WiFi to use!!  After that you have to pay for it!!  Seriously???  What if I had a layover there longer than 45 minutes??  Then I would have to PAY for WiFi???  Seemed like a total scam to me, but it was what it was…

Anyway after a bit of researching I did find a hostel that would potentially work.  What I really wasn’t expecting was how absolutely expensive everything was!!  Part of the reason it took me so long to find a hostel was because I was price shopping!!  I knew and had heard that in general Europe is expensive, but seriously London is out of control!! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

So after getting a place in mind to possibly stay, I headed for the ticket booth, got a map and ticket for the Underground tunnel train and headed off.  About 20-30 minutes later I was off the Underground and pounding the pavement of the streets with my feet.  I walked for about 15 minutes until I found the hostel that I thought to stay at.  Why did it take so long?  Well, the map I was given of the streets really wasn’t quite as accurate as it could have been.  So there were several times I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way as some streets were on the map, then the next several were not, then one would pop back up on the map… strange…

Anyway, I stopped into the YHA (Youth Hostels Association- they have a chain of hostels throughout  Europe… Red flag #1 in my book as I think hostels should be more private than corporate) which had prices advertised at 26 pounds per night…. Upon arriving however, it was 32 pounds per night… No thanks!!  That didn’t even include breakfast!!  So I asked about another hostel nearby and was shuttled in the direction of Generator Hostel London.

After another 20 minutes of wandering around somewhat aimlessly while attempting to follow the map but still needing to stop for directions I found the Generator hostel!!  Now, to my miracle, the days I spent in London were actually clear skies and warm!!  You all know by now how much I LOVE warm weather!!  However… when having to walk in it with a 40lb bag on back, it gets annoying quickly!  And I tend to sweat quite a bit.  So needless to say after the first mini-hike to the first hostel, then the second mini-hike to the Generator, I was looking forward to putting my stuff down and showering!  Luckily they did have room and though I was planning originally to stay 3 nights, I only went for 2 since the first 2 nights were 26 pounds each and the third was 40 pounds!!  At the time the rate exchange was $1.71 to 1 pound so 26 pounds was basically well over $40 to stay for each night… Oh and that amount was for ‘no breakfast included’ AND I was sharing the room with 11 other people and the bathroom with the entire floor (which was in the basement and probably had over 100 people at least per floor).

I was definitely missing the hostel prices I was used to in Central and South America!!  This was seriously a completely different ballgame financially!  In any event I paid for my room, headed down to my basement room, changed clothes, made a few calls and sent some emails then headed out for a beer!

 

On to Hostel Culture Shock

Back to United Kingdom

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