The United Kingdom: England and Wales

This last trip to London was my 6th. The fun thing about visiting places when you have already seen the tourist traps is that you can experience normal life there. I land with my carry on bag ready for the next 12 days in the UK.

London is the first stop for Tessa and Joe’s wedding. After a red eye in the last row I step off the plane in the first class pjs. Not because I was upgraded but because I had wine spilled all over me. I take the various trains to the Oval where Tessa lives ready for any wedding tasks we may need to do. We spend the day crafting and packing and the evening drinking at a local pub celebrating the couple and catching up with old PVI friends.

The rest of the wedding trip would take place 3 hours and 2 train rides away in Hereford. In what can only be described as a compound we take over this 10 bedroom property for the next 5 days, which included a 40 person international thanksgiving feast.

While the wedding party heads to finalize some things and rehearse, I am left with some new friends who are heading to Cardiff, Wales. I do love a good spontaneous trip crashing so on we go. Just an hour away on another train we head over to Caerphilly to explore a castle and Cardiff to have our own pub crawl.

Unsure whether I am allowed to count Wales as my 30th country or not I start posing this question to everyone I meet: “Do you consider Wales, Scotland, Ireland etc their own countries?” Most say yes but they are also apart of one larger country. As the beer flows I am only more confused so you can draw your own opinion but I am counting them both. Checking off countries 30 and 31!

Wales has a cool vibe and some place I’d definitely like to explore more. Their language is crazy different from English and they seem to be very proud of their Welch heritage separately from England. We train back to England drunk and happy that we took the chance to hope the border and see what Wales had to offer.

Saturday brought the wedding in a gorgeous Benedictine monastery followed by a dinner party in a tee-pee. 100 points to Gryffindor for such a unique idea! We closed out the 6 day celebrations with a silent disco dancing ourselves warm until 2am.

After crashing a ride back to London with some German friends, I took another 3 trains to Heather’s in Hackney for the night. Desperately trying to fight off the cold and stay away after 6 days of swimming in red wine. I go to sleep that night not physically ready but excited to head to Scotland the following day. Also apart of the UK but also it’s own country. Sure. Whatever you guys say.

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