And to England as well, but oh well, it’s the Scotland bit I was most excited about 🙂 On our seventh day, we drove down from beautiful Oxford to rainy, rainy London, in a very Wicked (the musical!) atmosphere, and suffered hours of traffic as we made our way to (another!) YHA Youth Hostel, this time: South Downs, near Brighton!
I’m absolutely not sure whether anybody cares about what we did while on this holiday, but as at least one friend asked, this seemed like an easy way to get it all down at once – one day at a time.
This was our last but one day of England, and as Wicked was to be seen by the third of our company, we had to get into London. We left about 2 hours early, because, let’s face it, apart from rain, delay and traffic had been some of the biggest constants of our journey, but for once, we actually got lucky: we got into London in exactly an hour and a half, and as such, we had more than enough time to find the underground, go to the right stop and then find the theater – oh, and to go back to the car for me to change shoes because, of course, the minute we got outside, it started raining.
By the time we’d reached the Victoria Station, raining had turned into pouring, and so we were very happy to find that the Appolo Victoria Theater, where Wicked was playing, was right across the station – cross the street, and we were there. After dropping off the Wicked watcher, me and my bf went in search of a Starbucks (or any cafe, really) with wifi – making the same mistake had finally taught us our lesson, and we were determined to look up, in the greatest detail, where exactly our YHA for that evening was supposed to be. Even if we had 3 hours to spare, we just weren’t gonna risk it…
Of course, that wasn’t taking into account that, apparently, London is just about the worst place in the world for finding WiFi…. Eventually, we grew tired of getting liters upon liters of water thrown upon us, and just hid out in a nearby Costa for the rest of the show (we’ll just ignore that, in walking out of the station, we passed a WH Smith and, although I promised myself I was just going to look, suddenly we had 5 extra books to carry along).
Long story short: by the time the performance was done, and we had to get back to the car, the underground station was closed off (still don’t know what that was about) and we got to walk through the, now somehow even heavier, rain to St. James Park – of course, when we got there, the train we were supposed to take drove away right in front of us and the next one got delayed…. We did eventually get to our car, but it took us about 3 times as long as it should’ve – and at that point, we hadn’t actually even begun driving out of London yet!
The original plan was to get to the youth hostel, dump our stuff there, and go to Brighton, where we would eat something and enjoy the view of the Pier. In reality, we managed to almost get out of the centre of London by the time we were supposed to get to the youth hostel, by 21h, we were almost out of the outer city, and by 21h40, when we had all of 20 minutes left to get to the YHA and check in, we realised the GPS had, yet again, not come to an agreement with the address on where the youth hostel was supposed to be. Of course, the fact that it was raining so hard that our visibility was reduced to about 5 meter, really didn’t help either…
If nothing else, at least at this youth hostel they actually picked up the phone, and not only that, but they gave us some of the most exquisitely detailed directions I’ve ever seen or heard in my life, as well as a guarantee that “of course they’d wait for us to arrive”. Needless to say, by the time we got to the youth hostel, we were so tired and hungry, that all we actually managed to do was eat some cookies, get into bed, and fall right asleep – exhausted, but so happy to be free of London.