Uni Winter Break
The British education system results in a month long break prior to exams in order to study. Our exams were being proctored back in the States and we were heading home for good just before Christmas. Obviously we chose to spend our last 2 weeks of our semester abroad traveling. James and I booked flights to hop around Europe over 12 days at roughly $600 each. That includes flights, accommodations, transportation, food and attractions. Thank goodness for the cost saving strategies we used that allowed us to book this amazing trip! Our first stop on this tour of Europe was London. Obviously flights are airport hubs are cheaper so we booked our flight to Warsaw from London. Throughout the next two weeks we hopped from Budapest to Amsterdam and all throughout Europe.
The full list of countries we visited include:
Transportation from Exeter to London
Since we’ve been to London a handful of times we opted for a different route – a more local route. A friend of mine from primary school was actually studying in London. After years of little communication we reconnected all the way in London! Who would’ve thought?!
Krystal was kind enough to allow James, Jocelyn, Eli and I to stay at her apartment for a night so we could head to the airport the following morning. It was extremely helpful because Exeter is a 3-hour train ride from London, and then the airport London Stansted airport, was another hour or so from the city center.
So, Jocelyn, James and I managed to find a killer deal on Trainline. We found tickets costing £15 from Exeter to London! Typically tickets go for £40. In contrast Eli opted to take a bus from Exeter to London since he bought tickets after us.
Eating out in London
Our plan was to get to London on Friday night and meet up with Krystal. We decided to check out ‘Roti Joupa‘ that served traditional Trinidadian food. I was obviously ecstatic because it meant I got to introduce my friends to food from my homeland. James had tried Trini food once before and enjoyed it.
Orders of doubles, roti, aloo pie, stew chicken, macaroni pie were placed. We all scarfed our food down and mmm it was so good. Now it’s not the same as getting it homemade but it’s good enough when you haven’t had it in months.
Photo Credit: https://goo.gl/images/uKSUgU
After dinner we went back to Krystal’s flat to wait for Eli and hang out with her friends. We spent the night hanging out and enjoying wine James’s parents got us from Bilbao, Spain. It was nice to be surrounded by my native tongue and culture for a night.
Prior to that night I never realized how strong of an accent a Trini-accent actually is. I immediately switched to translator mode, to explain ‘Trini Speak‘ to my friends. It was quite amusing for me when I saw the stupefied faces of my friends who couldn’t understand the Trini accent.
Transportation from London to London Stansted Airport
Since Krystal lived quite centrally in London we hopped on a tube to Liverpool station. From Liverpool Station you can get the Stansted Express train which delivers you directly to Stansted Airport. The train takes about an hour. We purchased our Stansted express tickets prior to the trip via the Group Offer. Since we did the Group Offer option we each saved about £4 ea on a ticket.
Once we got to Stansted Airport I was pleasantly surprised to see that this airport was very small, efficient and quick. Since we were flying Ryanair and had non-EU passports we went directly to the check-in desk to have our boarding passes stamped. About 15 minutes later we were through security and strolling through duty-free.
As we were waiting I realized I had lost the fastener for my belly button ring. James and I went searching through the random shops to find a replacement. We came across Accessorize where I bought a nose ring as a quick fix for the ring.
Roughly 30 minutes later and we were finally in our plane seats waiting patiently to start our adventures! The quick trip to London was the perfect way to start our Euro-Trip before we made it to Warsaw.
Miles Walked: 4.1 mi, 12/9/16.
Total Cost: £73.80
- Pounds spent: £73.80
- Beginning balance of Euros: €800
- Ending balance of Euros: €800
- Transport: £63.80
- Train tickets Exeter to London: £15 ea = £30 total
- Tube tickets: £4.90 ea = £9.80 total
- Stansted Express Group Offer: £12 ea = £48 total. £24 for James and I.
- Food: £10
- Roti Joupa: £10 total