Hello all,
Sorry I have been lazy about updating. My Christmas Eve was fun as you may know. I went to a party at my friend Arturo and Monica’s house and we had make your own burritos and drank, so it was fun. My Christmas was kind of lame. I just watched Christmas movies and thanks to my grandparents had a present to open Christmas morning:) (Thanks Grammy and Lumpy!) Then I just kind of moped around until the 28th when I set off for the UK to meet up with Paul.

My journey went well and I had no problems with the plane to London Gatwick or the train to London Victoria station. Paul and I met up in London Victoria Station and then took a train to our first hostel, which was way out in the boonies. It was in Crystal Palace, which is in the outskirts of London, but our hotel was decent and cheap so we couldn’t complain. It was about a half an hour train ride into the heart of London, so the ext day we visited Westminster Abbey(which was beautiful). We took the audio tour and I listened to it in Italian in hopes to improve my understanding of the language and I understood a lot of it which was awesome. When we were waiting in line to get in the family in front of us was Italian and I was totally creeping on the conversation trying to understand what they were saying and for the most part I could. Now I just have to work on speaking the language lol. Then we took a walking tour of London but didn’t ave time to visit any other attractions. We did go to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch which was nice(we ate like true Americans the whole time we were in the UK, but I did get Fish and chips in both Liverpool and Scotland so I didn’t feel so lame). I didn’t get any souvenirs because there was a line out the door of the gift shop, which is fine I just love the fact that I have eaten in Hard Rock cafes in so many different places.

Next we took the train to Liverpool and I loved taking the train because the view was amazing. Paul and I were laughing because there were sheep everywhere in the UK, but the countryside is beautiful. We took a cab to our next hostel because it was pouring rain and we had the nicest cab driver ever. After being in Milan for so long it was so nice to 1) meet people that spoke English and 2) were really nice. Our hostel was amazing. It was like a little apartment and Paul and I agreed that it was definitely the best place we stayed. If you ever want to go to Liverpool stay at the Everton. It is cheap and a really amazing place to stay.(See the pictures page for pictures of our room) The rain followed us to Liverpool(in fact it rained every day we were in the Uk for at least part of the day lol) but we still walked into the city center and went to the World museum which we only stayed in for about 10 minutes because it was clearly aimed towards little kids. Then we went to the Walker Art museum, which was really nice. The art books of Henri Matisse were on exhibition and it was a very interesting exhibit. Then we went and got some lunch at this place called Slugs and Lettuce(don’t ask me why we chose this place lol) but it was actually pretty good. I got fish and chips and tit wasn’t quite as good as Captain Scotty’s, but still good. Then we walked to Albert Dock, which houses the Beatles Museum. really enjoyed the Beatles museum even though I got a little overwhelmed by people and I didn’t learn too much that I didn’t already know, but it was fun and they did a really good job putting it together. We had a lazy New Years eve night and stayed in and ate junk food and watched movies. The next day was also really lazy because it was cold and rainy and nothing was open on New year’s day.

The next day we headed for Glasgow, which again was a beautiful train ride. We checked into our Hotel, which was nice but really far from the city center. The rooms are small but cozy and they deliver breakfast to your room every morning in a paper bag. It was the most hotel-like experience we had. Unfortunately we had some extreme weather problems in Scotland with really strong winds and heavy rain so we didn’t do too much. On Wednesday we went on a Rabbie’s tour(that’s the name of the tour company which I thought was funny), which was great. It was probably my favorite day on the trip except for walk back from the tour in extreme weather conditions(I’ll talk about that later). Our tour guide was really funny and our tour was really small(only 16 people) so it felt more personal and we got a beautiful tour of the Scottish Highlands, Glencoe, and Loch Ness. I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked because it was raining and I wasn’t sure how my camera would hold up. But our tour guide told us the whole bloody history of Scotland dealing with the wars and disputes between the Scottish Clans and England. I say bloody because it seemed that there were lots of slaughters and battles and stuff. We also took a nice boat ride on the Loch Ness to an old Castle, but we didn’t actually get to go to the castle we just took pictures from he boat and I didn’t get a good picture because it was too windy and cold on the top of the boat and the window was too foggy to get a good pic from inside, but oh well. We didn’t get to see Nessy unfortunately:( But then when we gt back, the tour dropped us off in St.George’s square, which is n the center of Glasgow and our Hotel is about 50 minutes walk from there. It was freezing and pouring rain and the winds were extremely strong and made the rain really hurt. It was a terrible walk back(I still don’t know why we didn’t just take the bus or a cab) and we got completely soaked and blown around, but other than that the tour was amazing. Then the next day we had to leave:( My first flight got delayed because of the strong winds, but luckily my transfer in London wasn’t until a couple hours later so I easily made it and even that flight got delayed a little bit. But I ended up getting to Milan only 20 minutes later than I was originally supposed to so it was fine. I don’t like landing at the Milan Linate airport because the only way I’ve found to get back to my residence is to take a bus to San Babila then take metro to Lambrate station, switch to the green line and get off at Piola, which really isn’t fun with a large suitcase. There is supposed to be a bus to Centrale, which is a lot easier for me to get home from than San Babila, but I could only find buses going to San Babila. I tried asking people including the bus driver on the San Babila bus but they all said take the 73 bus get off at one of the stops and then transfer, which takes even more transfers for me, so it isn’t worth it. If you come to visit me, please land at the Malpensa airport because it is a lot easier to get back to my flat from there.

Anyways, that was my UK adventure. It was also nice to see Paul since I have been missing him and everyone in America. Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!
xoxo,
Alyssa

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