So I’m sure by now you’re aware that I’m in Europe for the summer. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been over here a couple of times but during the winter months and only to Italy, Spain, Portugal and Southern France. Only eh?!
Since those two trips I’ve had a desire to visit the Scandinavian countries thanks to my interest in modern design and let’s be honest, beautiful women! Then from talking to many of my friends who are well travelled, cities like Praque, Istanbul, Budapest, Zurich, Berlin, Munich and Paris have been on my list.
I had found a great one way ticket to London back in January and decided to book it. This would give me a chance to meet up with Sophie and Nico, my Buenos Aires roommates last year. We’ve remained in touch over the last year through Whatsapp and I thought it would be awesome to see them again.
It would also give me a chance to visit just engaged Emma and James. James has been my closest friend since grade 1. I still remember us having huge crushes in grade 5 and writing their names on the insides of our hats!
James has been living in England for almost 10 years now. He met Emma while travelling in New Zealand back in 2004 I believe and they decided to move to England pretty much right after. They both came back here to visit in 2013 and 2014 which was awesome to see both of them again.
So these three factors made it easy for me to book this summer Europe trip. And the fact my dating has really hit the snide. I think it’s partly to do with my travel mentality. It’s hard to want to jump into a relationship when I want to be able to travel for 2-3 months a year. At least this is the major reason why I still think I’m single!
None the less, let’s get into my travels!
So I flew into London on June 16th. I’ll preface and say that London has never been high on my list of cities to travel. After a weekend there, it still isn’t. I wanted to see Sophie and Nico so this seemed like a logical spot since Sophie was living here.
Nico flew in late that same night but I was pretty tired and went to sleep before he arrived at Sophie’s. The next day we met up and went to see all the typical tourist things. The London Eye, Big Ben & Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and the SoHo area.
More than anything I enjoyed the parks in London. I was staying at a hostel in Greenwich as it was close to Sophie’s place and Greenwich Park of course. The park is massive and has some nice rolling hills and beautiful trees. A great place to walk, run or just chill with friends.
At night, Greenwich Park has a green laser which shines to signal the point where East meets West. Pretty cool. But its the view at the top of the hill which is really something. We snuck into the park one night to enjoy some ciders and the view. It felt like I was 14 again growing up in Qualicum! It was something else during the evening with the sky all lit up.
On the last day together we all went into town once again as Nico and I didn’t get a chance to see Tower Bridge or the Tower Of London. So we did that, grabbed some food and chilled out by St Pauls Church before we said farewell to Nico.
It was great to see both of them and continue our friendship were it left off in Buenos Aires. The reason is thanks to Whatsapp and how we’ve managed to keep in touch over the last year.
I hope to catch up with Nico when I take this tour into Germany.
I knew nothing about Southern England outside of when James and Emma moved there a few years ago. They told me that some places in Cornwall are where people in London and Northern England vacation for the summer. So I had assumed it was a place that wasn’t grey and was warm.
My assumptions were right! I was pleasantly surprised with Cornwall and all of it’s little towns and villages. There was plenty of rolling hills and stunning views of the water.
The roads connecting these really small villages were so fricking tight. Many times when we were driving around we had to stop to allow a car to pass by as the width of the roads was only suitable for one car.
Even the roads wide enough for two cars was barley enough. The sides of cars become scratched because there are shrubs right off the side of the roads. These shrubs were growing over stone walls which guarded the roads but you couldn’t see them since the shrubs were so thick. It was a shame as the shrubs were so big that they obstructed many of the views.
Anyways, it was awesome to see James and Emma. I get along great with both of them and I’m obviosuly happy they’re getting married. They work really well together and from what I can see, they’ve both supported each other a lot over the years.
James and I have always got along but it seems as we mature, we actually become closer as we share a lot of the same interests in music, film, design and outlook on life. It was really fun chatting about films we had seen, or graphic design and music.
The first day, James and I decided to go for a bike road to see some of the old mines. Well we got lost quite fast and needed to get back on track. James sold this to me as a flat ride on trails that lead downhill toward the beach.
Yeah, not the case at all! We needed to work our way back on track which meant climbing a few steep hills. This turned into a hell of a workout in the end!
We got back on track and made it to a small village called Porthtowan and a small cafe/bar called Blue. It was a great spot to wash down a couple beers after our ride and to see the tide out while watching some surfers. No idea why I didn’t snap a photo but here’s a good shot. We chatted about a lot of things but I was interesting to hear about James and his experience in Graphic Design school.
One project of his stood out to me. It was a collaboration with a school in Germany. Outside of going to Germany and partying, there was a lot to do for this project. Just learning about the concept and then the execution was really interesting. It’s given me a greater appreciation for design and the creative process.
The next day Emma and James took me to St Ives. This is known as the village where everyone from London and North England takes their summer vacations. Although it wasn’t sunny, it was still packed. We walked around the village, peaked in a few shops and then grabbed some beer and cider and relaxed on the beach. Most of the pictures in the gallery below are from St Ives.
We also took a nice Kayak tour the following day. We were supposed to go on the Ocean and see some hidden caves but the on day we went the waves were too strong. So instead we took a tour down Fishermans Creek which has some pretty cool history which our guide relayed to us. I wasn’t expecting to see much but I was surprised at the land and terrain off in the distance.
After kayaking we grabbed some grub at the Ferry Boat Inn. With the sun baking down on us it was a nice way to relax. I had the Sausage and Mashed potatoes with some sort of green pee puree. Colin on Facebook said it looked like shit. Not sure about that but it was damn tasty!
I needed to get some much needed work done so James, Emma and their friend Clare ended up taking James and Emma’s dog Marley for a walk. They headed down to a pub called the Driftwood Spears after and started to tie one on drinking a cider known as Rattler. It’s easy to pound these back as they’re really tasty. I joined them a few hours later as Emma picked me up and grabbed some food Marley. On the way down she placed her Brexit vote which was quite the topic while I was there.
The pub was exactly what I had imagined for a small English village. Cozy, rich and with plenty of banter from everyone there to provide a nice ambience. It was a great way to wrap up my trip. We talked about meeting up in Jersey Island as they will be there during the end of August and early September. Hopefully I can as my plan was to fly out of Paris sometime mid August and Jersey is not that far away from Paris.
The last day there was of course the aftermath of the Brexit vote. A good time to leave the country me thinks! Onto Copenhagen!
I’ve now remembered from Argentina how hard it is to keep a blog going. There’s too much writing and uploading of pictures. So to save time, I’m going to record voice memos to and talk about some of the pictures in the galleries below.