Adventuring with Alia

Chronicles of a distance runner



Yesterday, I was lucky enough to meet up with an old teammate who has been studying abroad in the England for the past year: Mr. Donald Truesdell.

I had my small navigational test. It’s slightly sad, but I was incredibly proud of myself for getting myself to the train station on time, purchasing the correct ticket, and meeting Donald at the right stop. He took the travel from there. My first day actually navigating without a “guide” in London will definitely be interesting.

Anyhow, Donald escorted me through a bit of a whirlwind day in London. I saw Big Ben (the clock tower), the London Eye (world’s highest “ferris” wheel), Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace (home of the queen), and lots of other iconic architecture.

Though the buildings were amazing (by the way, I need some new adjectives. I’m getting sick of hearing myself say amazing, awesome or cool. The British have much more sophisticated slang, and I’m starting to feel a bit like a valley girl in comparison), one of the highlights of the day was going to Abbey Road! The real one! That The Beatles walked across for their album cover! Donald, noting my giddiness, but not quite as enthralled as I, asked if I wanted to be one of those people. He meant the embarrassing tourists taking pictures walking across.

My answer?

Of course.

He’s just lucky that I didn’t take off my shoes to mimic Paul McCartney.

After I got my picture, we got individual pizzas (for only 4 pounds! He knows how to do London on the cheap, which was perfect), and then proceeded to a pub, where I had my first taste of true British beer: lukewarm ale sans fizz. Sounds disgusting, tastes delicious.

If that wasn’t enough for one day, I met Barbara on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the evening (yet another amazingly awesome cool, etc. building) to see her ring bells. Not little hand bells, but the enormous bells in the old bell towers that ring for weddings and such. The bells that require an individual person per bell to pull the ropes that extends several stories into the ceiling.

The “bell master” insisted that I give it a try, so I ended up getting my very first bell lesson. Turns out, I’m almost too short to ring without a step stool, as the rope extends fairly far overhead on the upswing. But I managed on my tip toes, along with encouragements like, Brilliant! and Just Lovely!

We had some time to kill before catching the 11 p.m. train back to Cobham, so we accompanied a few of the other ringers to a pub for a half pint and some crisps (more commonly known as chips, but apparently ‘chips’ here are French fries).

Not quite your average night in London.

Currently, I’m in Scotland, about to go grab some dinner. Definitely an entry coming on that soon, but we’re already late. Finding time to write is proving to be a bit tricky!

Until next time.


Author: Alia Teixido Gray

I like reading, writing, running, and drinking coffee. Lots of it.

5 thoughts on “Ohmygodidontevenknowwheretostart.

  1. Out of all the touristy things you could do… I would agree Abbey Road has to be the coolest/awesomest/amazing-est! Love the picture. Sounds like your travels are filled with fun adventures!! But warm beer is questionable.

    • Hahaha yeah, I was pretty excited. I got my dad a poster size of the actual Abbey Road picture for Father’s Day awhile ago, and he said that we should blow this one up and put them side by side.

      And I thought the same thing about the beer! A little weird, but still really good. Just different…

  2. question! are you going to amsterdam???

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