Studying Abroad - Manchester, UK

Weekend trip to London

I got a message a few days ago from a friend working a co-op term in Versailles saying that he’s visiting London this weekend. I figured, why not? It’ll be nice to see a familiar face, and to give London an actual visit.

After checking with my budget, I decided to take the bus instead of the train. It was about a 5 hour ride, since it left early Saturday morning, I slept through a good chunk of the ride.

London bus station
Victoria coach bus station in London

I met up with Alexandre in Trafalgar square, where we walked around, chatted for a bit and checked out the British Museum.

  • Me in Trafalgar square

I definitively need to come back and pay another visit to the British Museum, it’s huge. Essentially, all the artefacts found by the British Empire throughout history are here (plus some other stuff). Everything from the first grindstones used by the Mesopotamians to Iranian astrolabes, medieval chess sets, native American totem poles, and even the Rosetta stone.

  • Grindstone
  • Chess set
  • Marble statues
  • The Rosetta Stone

After visiting the museum, we decided to try some famous English fish and chips. Let’s just say, I was not disappointed.

Fish and chips
Tender fish, crispy batter and tasty fries. I did feel like eating a salad after though.

After stuffing our bellies, we walked around the Thames river, admiring the view of London at night:

  • London Eye
  • Colourful building
  • London Eye
  • Big Ben
  • London eye with nice colours

We said our goodbyes and parted ways to our hostels (the one he booked at was full). I was planning on visiting the Imperial Museum the next day, but saw an ad in the newspaper (yes, I read those) for an exhibition called “Moving to Mars” at the Design Museum, about human missions to Mars. It was only around until mid-February, so I thought it was now or never; one of the reasons I wanted to travel Europe in the first place was to visit as many space museums as I could, so this was a great find. I totally nerded-out with all the space stuff inside:

  • The design museum
  • Rovers
  • Space suits
  • Bioreactor and hydroponics
  • Mars base models

Sadly, I had to catch my bus back to Manchester. I stopped in Birmingham for a connecting bus and had the chance to walk around a bit:

Birmingham at night
I wouldn’t mind coming back to visit Birmingham, but also wouldn’t mind if I didn’t.

When I finally arrived in Manchester, I felt a feeling I haven’t had in quite a while: familiarity. “I’m back.” I then realized that I’ve been exploring the unknown this entire time, and for once, something felt like home, it was nice.

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