What are my overall views on London? It doesn't feel like a city on the other side of the world. It's too big for me. It's like any New York or LA. Well, it would be if it wasn't full of british accents. But I very much enjoyed my time there, so much that I stayed an extra week and almost didn't leave at all! Why, you ask? Let's just say I met some truly amazing people. I made new friends, good, real friends, the kind I'd like to continue seeing and drinking with (along with everything else), the kind I could live with, provided they got some better appliances! I wish I could show them to you! Nearly all of them work at a hotel called the Ramada Jarvis. I'm ashamed to say that part of the reason I became friends with these people is because a hotel is the only place to continue drinking after 2am, and I found myself in the lobby of the Ramada Jarvis many, many times because it is only one block from my brother's flat.
Funny enough, there are only two actual Brits among these people that I really got to know. There are also three fantastic Danes, all cousins, all very cute *winks knowingly*, three wonderful gals from Trinidad, one from Nigeria, all of whom were nice enough to let me dance with them, and a Canadian guy with a healthy and fun drinking habit that might rival our own Wisconsin one. The Brits were wonderfully charming too, I couldn't leave them out! But I won't embarrass everyone too much! You'll all get to see some great blackmail photos when I figure my camera out!
Aside from these folk, I met a range of other people by doing the impossible. I managed to muster up enough courage to actually walk up to a group of girls in a bar/club and ask if I could hang out with them. It worked! I didn't look like a complete loser alone in Soho on a Friday night. Drank with them, then as they left, was invited to dance with a different group of guys and girls.
So yep, I hit the bar scene, and had a blast. It all got better when I had people to go out with, but all in all I loved the fact all bars were all packed all night long. I spent most of my time wandering these areas during the afternoons too. It's all called the West End, and it includes some major art galleries, the theatres, and Soho - the main restaurant scene, among other parts I didn't explore. I saw three plays (I guess I can't call them broadways in London): a music performance called Contact, the Lion King, and Tell Me On A Sunday. They're all great!
What else, what else? Oh! Of course, I made certain I saw one castle before I blew off the United Kingdom for Ireland. I went to Leed's Castle, "The loveliest castle in the world." I'll be the judge of that when I start traveling! It was very pretty, it had a huge array of yards from a duck pond to flower gardens to a hedge maze. The castle itself is just a manor built on a lake, so that means no battlements or moats per se. It was built hundreds of years ago and used by Normans, Tudors, and many others, ending up in the hands of one rich old lady who gave it to charity before she died. I was a little disappointed as I expected a tour to let you wander around, but they had everything roped off and a trail to follow. They still use the castle as a meeting place for the rich or executive, and some of the bedrooms are used by these people.
So in the end I did like London. I hope to go back there a few times to visit my brother and new friends. I doubt I could ever live there though, despite the fantastic night life, because it's far too expensive. £6-£7 for a rum and coke is a bit much for me!