Durham Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 24 › view all entries
Wow, so I just spent an entire day just travelling from Minneapolis to Durham. Since I left MSP at 7:00pm on the 25th, I arrived at London Gatwick around 9:00 in the morning. The ideal would be sleeping the whole flight—which happened for the most part, considering how uncomfortable it is to sleep on a plane. Additionally, when people are constantly pressing the flight attendant assist button, it eventually wakes you up and you have to resituate yourself anyway. Thankfully, the seat next to me was empty, so at least I was able to curl up on 2 seats instead of half-lying on just one. There was also a really cute 17 month old girl in front of me who was a lot of fun and didn’t fuss at all! After getting off and going through customs (which was CAKE by the way…except apparently perfume isn’t allowed across borders, even in checked luggage…so they took it from me….
jerks!). Anyway, so then I had to find where the heck National Express busses were so I could hitch a ride to Stansted airport. It was like a 2 hour bus ride from Gatwick to Stansted because they stopped at Heathrow, and then the driver passed his hourly daily limit and the replacement driver was stuck in traffic, so we didn’t get out of there until noon. Finally I got to Stansted, where I had to wait an hour before I could check in for my Newcastle flight. Then I came to find out that when you register a second bag, it doesn’t increase your weight allowance. So I had to pay £120 for the second bag! Well, it’s still cheaper than shipping it, but still! That was NOT clearly outlined on the website.
Besides, at that point, what other choice did I have? I couldn’t cancel my flight, because 1) that costs money too 2) the university was already scheduled to pick me up from that flight 3) where would I find a bus or a train to take me to Newcastle at THAT point? Anyway, it was really neat when they got us all, I met people from Germany, Greece, Iran, Canada, Switzerland…all over! So far I have unpacked my bags, awaiting my dad this weekend to bring the other two, rearranged my room (photos soon) and hung out at Fisher House (where us post-grads chill). I still haven’t gotten used to everyone drinking…I dunno, maybe it’s just not my thing. We’ll see as time progresses. I met a girl who is studying to be a museum curator, and a guy who is studying marketing, but originally went to school for Religion & Philosophy and has been a diving instructor for the past 4 years. I can’t remember either of their names (oops). I have a Chinese girl living across from me named Guo Yi Dan, but she goes by Rita. Otherwise, here are my first impressions of the UK. 1) Everyone smokes! It’s disgusting. 2) They apparently don’t know when to use the word “that” (see photo below). 3) It’s dang cold in my room! 4) In typical British fashion, it rained today J p.s. everyone loves my boots…but then again…who wouldn’t? ;-)
travelman727 says:
Congratulations on taking the big step across the pond! I know you'll have a fabulous time living in the U.K. and roaming sensational Europe :-D
Posted on: Oct 05, 2007
zachmtb says:
Well all I see is arrival with a question mark. Did you make it? Are you alive?
Posted on: May 24, 2007
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photo by: sarahelaine