So...without further ado, the second to last post about Europe!
Tuesday (Day 11)
Leaving Hannah's is never easy, but leaving her to see family made it slightly easier ;)
To get to my cousin's I had to take the train into London from Grays, and then back out again on a different line to my cousin's. I also had to find my way from Fenchurch Street station to Liverpool Street, and I completely lucked out...somehow my GPS and Google Maps worked even though I didn't have my data turned on! I'm not even kidding...I was blown away that I could still use it!
|Getting up close to this building was on my bucket list! Check!|
|I was RIGHT THERE!!!|
|Catching up on some note taking.|
|I loved this bike rack at the station...it would be so cool to see something like this at my office, full of bikes! I hope to be a cycling commuter some day!|
I was very excited as well, because the weather was stunning and we (Katie, her boyfriend Matt, and I) decided a beach day was in order. After some breakfast and a trip to the shops, we piled into the car and started on our way to Aldeburgh, a seaside town in Suffolk.
|All the places I visited are on this map. Just for kicks I put a red dot at Grays, where Hannah lives. And I spend my last day with my aunt in Harlow, just a few clicks south of Saffron Walden.|
We finally got out of traffic, stopped at a petrol station (for petrol and potties) and then continued on our way, arriving with enough time to have some lunch, bathe in the sea, and make the walk to Thorpeness (next town north) and back.
Per the usual with my trip, I have lots of photos. My phone never rested!
|It all looks so English and seasidey!!|
|Because why not just have sailboats sitting around?|
|This dog looked like Nigel's twin, only blonder!|
|Had to snag a selfie with my cuz!|
|Ohhh rock beaches...|
|Funny story...the sun was out ALL DAY and then we got to the beach. Oh England... -_-|
|Artistic and stuff.|
|I kept this rock.|
|I was lucky enough to get to use one of the boys' Bart Simpson towel...that you can wear.|
|Trying not to bust a gut laughing.|
|I feel like these multicolor houses define every English seaside town I've been to!|
|The trek to Thorpeness! (You can see the town in the distance, a bit to the right of the path.)|
|Apparently I like to take pictures of other people's dogs.|
|He was so cute!|
|Peter Pan lake (I'm positive that it's not actually called that).|
|Katie breaking the rules for a cute picture.|
|Another selfie, this time with the sea in view as we walked back to Aldeburgh!|
|I love this picture...|
|Fun fact: They used to burn 'witches' outside this church.|
|Walking back into town to find some fish and chips!! (Katie and Matt taking the lead!)|
|While Matt queued for fish and chips, Katie and I found a pub to grab a pint. This is definitely a traditional English pub, complete with outdated booth fabric and everything! I love pubs like this :)|
|I don't drink beer, so it was cider for me :)|
(Naturally) I fell asleep on the drive home. I'm not a person who excels at staying up late, especially in cars during long drives. But it was all for the best, because the following day we were planning a nice bike ride!
Wednesday (Day 12)
I don't have many pictures from Wednesday because we were more focused on riding! I'd brought my tri shorts with me because I figured I'd be riding in Germany (note that I did not, haha), but they came in use in England! It turns out Matt is really into cycling, and Katie has picked up interest as well. He happened to have an extra bicycle that I could use - it was a tad too big for me (the frame was both a little high and a little long), but for a short ride through South Suffolk it did the trick!
I was the first one up on Wednesday, had some tea and did some blogging, then hung out while Matt and Katie got up. When the time came we loaded up the car, then popped into town for a few necessities...like a new helmet for Matt (though he let me use it for this ride, and he used his old one).
|Everything just fit, including us!|
Notes on cycling somewhere with completely different 'Rules of the Road': Our average speed wasn't super fast, but I was kind of grateful since I was on a bike I wasn't familiar with and riding on the 'wrong' side of the road. I told Matt he had to take the lead otherwise I'd end up turning into the wrong lane and kill myself. We had a few close calls on extremely narrow roads with vans and SUVs, but for the most part we had the roads and trails to ourselves. There were a few times that I wanted to 'open up' on Matt's road bike and see how fast I could go, but it's probably way better that I didn't!
We stopped for a light lunch (some delicious marrow soup and salad with homemade bread for me!) and then made our way back to the car so we could get home in time for Katie to get to work.
When we got back to the car I snagged this picture with Katie so I'd have at least something to show for the day!
After that it was off to bed for me, using the time difference to catch up with Anthony (and I didn't need the time difference to catch up with Hannah, but I did that anyways :P).