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Saturday, May 28, 2011

They're singing in the streets

I'm sitting in the St. Paul's YHA cafe in London having just watched Barcelona win the European cup. I've never sat through an entire soccer match before, but I think if I spent more time with such excited people I would certainly always be interested. The most exciting sports event that happens in my part of the world are Red Sox/Yankees games and the entire day today was more exciting than anything I've seen at home (including the 2004 American League Championship). Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus were in song all day and so many had blue and red flags around their necks. Barcelona certainly had more of a presence in the city than Man U. This was a special match, but I'm definitely curious about what it's during a normal match. At pubs around St. Paul's the game was played on big screens and fans sat in the streets to watch. It's pretty cool to be around.

In regards to other parts of my trip, we've been in London since Thursday and have seen a fair bit. Our hostel is in the shadow of St. Paul's Cathedral and though it is clean and the people are nice it does not make it to my top 5 and may just make it to my top 10 due to its location only. There is no kitchen, only a cafe, and that's probably the biggest downside. The pricing at the cafe is reasonable, but I'd save so much more money if I cooked for myself. The cafe is only open from 7:30 to 10am and 6 to 8:30pm, which isn't entirely convenient either. The other downside is the beds. They are triple bunks (will post a picture later) without ladders. There's a place on each bunk to step, but these spots also serve as cabinets and slide when you step on them. Slammed one shut by accident the other night and definitely woke some of my roommates up while I scrambled to the top bunk. It's price and location are spot on though. I've paid £103 ($169.67) for 5 nights, which I think is pretty reasonable for a big city, at least those I've visited. The Millennium Bridge is just around the corner and it's about a 20-30 minute walk to Trafalgar Square in one direction and an equal amount of time to the Tower of London in the other. There's a visitors' center right on the corner and lots of shops, pubs, and restaurants. If you're not interested in cooking for yourself and are far more capable of scaling bunk beds, then this hostel is certainly a worthy choice.


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