So I came back. The two and a half hour flight from Valencia to Birmingham was long and torturous, especially because of the turbulence, but at least I had Laura for company and I knew I would find a hug from my mum at the other end, so it wasn’t too bad.
The first days that we were back we just relaxed, as Laura had just finished university for the year and we hadn’t had time to chill out still. Then on Tuesday we went to Blackpool…
It was raining. But seeing as I had booked the train tickets about two months earlier, and Laura had been excited for about the same amount of time, we still got up at 7 and caught the 4 hour train up north. It seemed to take forever to get there, not least because Laura fell asleep after an hour. We took in all the sights, the fake Eiffel tower included, before Laura turned around and told me that it was her favourite England town because it was like the American films! Then it was time to take her camel racing which I had spent two months telling Laura she had to do it without entirely explaining what it actually is… Oops.
Needless to say she had spent weeks telling me that she was worried she would fall off, until she realised in front of the machine what it actually was. However she really enjoyed it and we returned twice, winning two teddies in the process! Another highlight was when the guy on the throw-the-ball-at-the-cans game heard us talking between ourselves in Spanish and started talking to us as well, “yo trabajar en Mallorca por siete años”. We also spent a while in the arcade where we kept finding abandoned tickets which gave us enough to win three whole Lego pencil sharpeners, stop the press!
Then it was a brisk walk to the train station to get the four hour train back home, which was running late woohoo! Also, couldn’t understand anything anyone up north said to us… Maybe having been in Spain for so long has affected me more than I realised! But at least Laura had a quintessential English day, topped of by us being attacked by chip hunting seagulls!
Having arrived home at midnight, the most logical thing to do would have been to relax the day after, but no… Up at 8 to catch (just) a train to London, where, unknown to my Jordanian cousin I had arranged with my uncle to meet them at the zoo! Any last vestiges of tiredness were immediately forgotten when I saw him and his face immediately lit up! It’s hard being far away from people who you love but hardly ever get to see but the time you do spend with them is the best!
We started the zoo in the reptile house (me in my geeky harry potter fanzone right there) before heading towards the tropical rain forest and the giraffes. We saw an okapi desperately trying to reach the leaves on the trees in vain, even though there was a lower branch right next to him before seeing the hunting dogs playfighting and then moving towards the penguins, but not before a good cup of tea (yes! English tea can’t be beaten!). Then we headed back to the main part where we found a monkey playing with himself and lions sleeping in an “abandoned Indian train station” before moving on to the (sleeping) tigers (which woke up in the end) and then heading out into regents park, where we went to the boating lake to have a go on them. My aunt and cousins went in one boat while Laura and I took another and with my uncle watching on we set off on a grand adventure around the island, trying our hardest not to fall in or crash.
We then went to baker Street to eat at pizza express before going on the metro to Charing cross to see the formula one event, where we saw Bastille and loads of the drivers, and even got to see this year’s cars! It was then time to go home, putting an end to an amazing day. Next week we return to London before embarking on our UK tour…