Yesterday (the 17th), we had the joy of waking up at eight o’clock for a nine o’clock breakfast and any remaining time left to explore what bits of Bath we may have missed. With a train at 11:30 instead of 9:30, we split into a couple different groups and wandered our ways to the train station for a couple hours. One group found a little shop with masks of different celebrities, including the Queen and One Direction. (I bought the Queen mask, which Courtney later used to taunt Amara.) Amy, Courtney, Christina, Jessie, Andrea, Gretchen, and I found a little spot of grass (which was actually just turf, much to our disappointment) and took a little time to relax before meeting up with the group for our train.
We all made it to the train station on time and found seats for the train ride, using our BritRail passes for the last time. An hour and a half later and we were stepping onto the Paddington station in London! Dr. Clark purchased some Oyster cards for us so we can travel the underground and use buses without paying for a new pass everyday, and then we were on our way to the hostel. Thankfully, our hostel is less than a block away from St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is only a block away from the tube (subway) station. Yay for simple travel! We dropped all of our heavy bags off in our rooms, took a little time to cool down, and headed back into the tube to head over to King’s Cross station. After a fairly long yet entertaining queue wait, we each got our pictures taken in front of Platform 9 & 3/4, the famous platform from the Harry Potter movies. Because of our long wait and the time we were able to spend in the nearby gift shop, we didn’t have time to make it to the portrait gallery. Instead, we took a train to the Trafalgar Square area and went to an extremely posh grocery store. And by posh, I mean the Queen gets her groceries there and I was scared of breaking things just by looking at them. The street views are amazing though, considering the older architecture mixed in with more modern bits.
With all the bus, train, and underground rides we took throughout the day, we saw a pretty decent amount of London (and what lies beneath it), but it also drained us of any energy we started the day with. By the time we had all settled down into our designated hostel rooms, most of us were ready to sleep or lie in bed and just relax. We gathered enough energy to wait downstairs for some dinner from the hostel and sing Kesha in our rooms, probably earning a groan from the other group on our floor. To the dismay of room 10, the bells of St. Paul’s Cathedral ring every hour on the hour, including the wee hours of the morning. With a six o’clock wake-up call from these bells, we started our first full day in London.