For the past 20 years, I spent Easter with family with activities of going to church and eating lunch. And though I don't have that opportunity now, I'm happy to spend Easter with one of my families, AIESEC. Adding to that is a very good consolation, spending it in Britain.
Started our journey on Black Saturday in London. We were hosted by Csenge's friend, Albin, an AIESECer from Hungary. Then, we went to the centre after for a tour. It's not my first time in London. I was there last December and I only stayed for one night, that's why I went back again.
After joining the free tour by Sandemans' New London Tours (Try it, very well recommended). Carla, Csenge and I walked along River Thames where we saw everything that we feel is London - Big Ben, London Eye, Trafalgar Square, double decker bus, the tube and the London telephone booth.
After walking the entire afternoon, we gathered in Oxford Circus for some shopping then dinner at Garfunkel's. We went directly to Brixton (where Albin lives) after to get ready for the next day. :)
STONEHENGE, THEY ARE NOT JUST ROCKS!
Next day, we took the tour of Hampton Court, Stonehenge and Oxford. We were supposed to go to Windsor Castle but it was closed, so we went to Hampton Court instead. I went out with Csenge and Carla, along with Tina - FilAm and Microsoft Intern in Paris and also Dan, Tina's friend who was also an AIESECer in the UK.
First stopped at Hampton Court Palace, a royal palace south of London. It used to be the resident of King Henry VIII. The place was rich in history and we were lucky that when we were there, it was costume day so people around were dressed in their Tudor-time costumes. Particularly like Henry's kitchen, the fountain court, the labyrinth maze (seriously, you can get lost) and of course, the gardens. The weather was cloudy, but still manage to "play" in the garden. I also saw a swan, which was nice. :) CLICK HERE TO KNOW MORE - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampton_Court_Palace
After leaving Hampton Court, the bus went for a 1,5 hour drive to Stonehenge in the Wiltshire country. Everyone knows Stonehenge, but for those who don't know, it is these rocks, arranged in a circular shape, and believed to have been there for more 4,000 years ago. It was believed to be either a monument, a burial ground, a temple, or an alien landing pad (?). It's a UNESCO world heritage site.
Seeing stonehenge for me is a dream come true. I felt really blessed to see this place. There are some that say that these are just piles of rocks, but for me, it's more than that.
Two hours past, we went to see the city of Oxford - famous for its university. We were there for only short while though. It's just strange for me that a university can also be a tourist attraction, possibly thanks to its fame and its history. :)
Highlight of the tour was when we visited the outsides of ChristChurch, famous for our generation as one of the settings for Harry Potter movies. We didn't go inside though. Also in Oxford, I manage to taste a Cornish Pasty, or as I names it - English empanadas. :)
AIESEC DANCES TIL 4AM!
After the tour, we went back to London for Albin's Easter barbeque. Nice hefty food and chats with Hungarians and Polish. After the barbeque, we went out to the centre for a drink, but went back to Brixton as the bar that we were supposed to go to was closed. So, we went back to Brixton for some cocktails in this place called Mango Landin. not your typical english pub, but is very English still (at some point).
After drinks and mild drunkenness, we headed over to Albin's house for some drinks again. We were just chillin' in the house, talking about AIESEC, our experiences etc., and then we decided to do some AIESEC dances. From Tunak-Tunak, LeLe, Cotton-Eyed Joe, and even Life in a new Millenium (danced it last on NLDS 2006) and we were dancing til 4AM.
Next day, we continued our tour around London. We went to Tower of London, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, St. Paul's, Camden Town then back to Oxford Circus. We also went back to Embankment to see the city at night (House of Parliament was nice!).
Unfortunately, we have to cut our trip short as we need to go back to work. :-( So early Tuesday morning, we went back to surprisingly sunny Brussels.
5 BEST MEMORIES OF MY BRITISH EASTER:
1. Topman - Shopping Galore!
2. AIESEC Dances til 4AM - It's nice to reminisce on AIESEC dances! Life in a New Millenium
3. Stonehenge, of course - a fantastic place
4. The Maze over at Hampton Court. I got lost actually, seriously. :)
5. London Buses - 2 to Marylebone. :)
I promised myself that I will be back in London or somewhere in the UK.