Peak times

Backpack packed, out the door by 5, at Luton by 6, flight to Barcelona canceled by 6:05.  Oh, lovely.

That snow I thought would melt by morning, turned out not only to be the kind of snow that doesn’t melt by morning, but also the kind that cancels flights to warm, Mediterranean destinations.

Well, Shelly and I suddenly found ourselves with a whole lot more time to spend in England, as nearly all flights were grounded and trains through the Chunnel were standing room after hours of queuing.  So then the question was: what are two friends to do in London, having already exhausted all potential ideas?  The answer: Bookshops.  (a-haaaah!  bet you didn’t see that one coming!)

My personal goal was to find a book by P.G. Wodehouse, a task which ended up being just too simple as Wodehouse is both a popular and prolific writer.  “Carry On, Jeeves” now sits proudly on my shelf, a bit taller than the others (as all French poches are the same, small size).  How distinguished!  Haven’t cracked the spine yet, but I will soon, I say!  I say!

Foyles at Charing Cross Road was a particularly fun place to spend the day.  Shelves and shelves of books, and a great café upstairs that serves wonderful lattes and vegan food!  Ah yum!

And I found a nice, linguistic-y fifty pence piece (complete with IPA notation)!!  What a nice day!


Snow day

I knew that by heading north for the winter, I ran the risk of encountering snow.  And in a way, maybe I wanted exactly that.  Snow piling on the ground, snow falling from the sky, walking around in the snow.  Well, wish granted!

And perhaps even more precious than a bright, wintery morning, is the adorably naïve belief that it’d all melt by the time your flight was scheduled to take off the following morning.


London is a big place, and during my time there, I found myself on several means of transportation.  And after spending so much time navigating the tube and rushing to the front of double-decker buses, I decided to take out my camera on a few of the trips.  Not to mention, inside buses and underground were some of the only places where my hands were warm enough take a photograph.


Well, well, I’ve made it back to Nantes in one piece!  After a full month of traveling, I’m back sitting in my little French dorm room, getting ready for classes which resume in just a day.  I’m quite excited about it actually, because this semester I am taking real classes with real flesh and blood (and cigarettes and nasalized vowels) French people!  Youpi!

Mais avant de crouler sous les devoirs, I’ll try my best to make some posts about the past month of travel…First stop: London!

I took a short flight from Nantes to London and met my friend, Shelly, at Victoria Station.  From there, we were off and into the night (3 pm sunset!), with mandatory stops at Buckingham Palace and a lovely pastry shop.  Missing France already, Sar?  Oh laaa…

By the time we had finished roaming the streets, it was late and I was sleepy, so we hopped on the tube to Pinner and called it a night.  But then we were up early the next morning to go back into town to explore some more.

At the Apple Market in Covent Garden, Shelly and I found a stand selling some beautiful desserts.  I couldn’t pass up one of these raspberry and orange tarts (Shelly had a tiny tiramisù!).  Delicious!

But let’s keep in mind, of course, that the day’s temperature was in the “definitely-not-remotely-warm” range, so between darting into museums (the National Portrait Gallery had an amazing collection) and various bookshops, cafés and bookshop-café hybrids for warmth, Shelly and I decided to hang out at…the ice rink at Somerset House?  Well, we didn’t lace up our skates or anything, but we did find a place by the window in the heated (aaaah!) tent nearby to comfortably watch people skating (and occasionally falling).

What a lovely start to the trip!  There’s more to come soon!