Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back from Britain

So, I'm back from London and Oxford! It has been a wonderful holiday! It wasn't as packed with events like last year, but it was busy all the same. First we arrived in London, early early in the morning. Our plane left Norway at 6:50, and because London is one hour behind, it was close to 8 when we landed. So of course we couldn't check in to the hotel at King's Cross. Sticky with sweat, tired and hungry, we wandered around at Piccadilly Circus to find something to eat.

We had six nights in London, Friday morning to Thursday morning. We saw Mamma Mia at the huge Odeon Cinema on Leicester Square, we saw a Grease musical (which was awesome, 200% better than the movie), we saw Kung Fu Panda at IMAX. Not 3D, but still, it was a wonderful experience. The bad thing about the IMAX movie was that we who saw that particular performance of Kung Fu Panda, got a free pass to The Dark Knight pre-pre-premiere right after Panda. Ann-Marie really wanted to see it, but Marion, Ragnhild and I wasn't so excited about it. It was late, and we'd probably have a problem getting home, since the tube would most likely close before we were out. The next day we ran straight onto the pre-premiere of Dark Knight on Leicester Square. It was so closed off, impossible to see anything, so we gave that up and went to dinner. And today I found out that Tom Felton was there. Darn.

Other than that, we shopped at Waterstones, Zivvo (the old Virgin Mega Store), Top Shop, H&M, Camden Market, and other shops I can't remember the names of. We walked all around between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square to find a costume shop, almost got lost in Chinatown. That was a freaky place. We were a Madame Tussauds, London Eye, took a tour bus, visited Tower of London and took a river cruise.

Then on Thursday, we went to Oxford. That was a sweating experience. Dragging all that luggage on the tube, then back and forth to find the right platform at London Paddington train station and then up the stairs at the hotel, to the third floor (or second floor in England, because of the Ground floor thing). The hotel in Oxford was excellent. Breakfast was served in the room, we had a small kitchen with a microwave, fridge, water-boiler (?), cutlery, plates and glasses. Bathtub, shampoo, conditioner, showergel and two towels each plus one handtowel for all of us to share. Table and chairs, closet with extra pillows and blankets, hairdryer, safe...

Well, in Oxford Ann-Marie and I were at Accio. It wasn't as fun as Sectus last year. Sectus was more fun and not so serious. Accio was all about people presenting their PhD papers and stuff like that. A bit too deep for a HP-conference in our opinion. But it was okay. We shopped a bit more at Waterstones, spent some time in the Botanical garden. That garden is so beautiful, so perfect. The botanical gardens in China was beautiful too, but they were too much. This one was perfect, enough plants, enough trees, benches everywhere, perfect size and lots of grass to lie in. The best part was that we found Will and Lyra's bench, from that sad and beautiful ending of His Dark Materials... Took lots of pictures of it.

So it was a great holiday!! We might just go back to Oxford, even though there's less to do there, and the shops close around 5. In London everything is open all day long all week.

There was some bad stuff. Ragnhild forgot her toiletries (sp?) at home. Ann-Marie might have forgotten her hairstraightener in London. I forgot the feather on my quill, there was one evening with ants in our room in London, there was a huge spider in our room at Oxford. But it was all good fun!