To recap: I’m in London with no plans!
If we’re being honest, I rarely ever plan ahead for things, so this situation is right up my alley. I like to go with the flow.
Before leaving New York, I reached out to one of my old bffs from high school, Mallory. In our younger years, Mallory had opened up my eyes to the roller coaster world of interracial dating, and her connections once got me out of getting a second ticket for possession of alcohol underage.
I have a lot to thank Mallory for, and even more now! Mallory lives in the lovely English town of Peterborough, about an hours train ride from London, with her Air Force husband and absolutely delightful 8 month old baby boy. She graciously opened up her home to me and my three travel companions.
I was hesitant, mostly because she had essentially no notice that she would be receiving four new house guests, and I didn’t want us to be a burden in a tiny, English home. What I didn’t know is that she lives in a little mansion and had plenty of space for us, not to mention a garbage disposal which is evidently unheard of in the UK. (Plus more towel warmers.)
I could have spent every single day of my trip waking up and sitting in her modern kitchen sipping coffee with all the doors and windows open with my good friends, past and present. And, in fact, I did that quite a bit. Considering our cushy accommodations, full service coffee bar, and our inevitable jet-lag, it took us all quite a bit of effort to get up and around in the morning.
Plus we’re all just really indecisive and didn’t really care what we did or where we went. One day we decided just to troll around Peterborough to see what the city had to offer. We took taxis while we were there either to get into the City Center or to the train station (which was actually pretty much in the City Center), and they ran us 5-7.50 pounds ($8-$12), which, divided by four, was an acceptable price for us. We won’t talk about the train rides which were $25 to Peterborough and $38 back to London. Goodbye, money. 🙁
One notable site to visit in Peterborough is definitely the Peterborough Cathedral. Hot damn, it’s nice, and it’s located right in the center of town. We had lunch outdoors, and if I had looked up from my phone at all during the meal (free, mediocre wifi everywhere!), I would’ve had a lovely view of it.
We headed straight to the Cathedral after lunch to bask in its glory. There was a fee to take photos inside, but it was pretty reasonable. Strolling through an old building looking at old things has never really excited me (omg, history major, what??), but I felt a new breath of life when I stumbled upon a tomb with a familiar name.
And by “stumble” I mean there was a wall of poster board alerting me to her presence but I was busy staring up the architecture of the ceiling.
The body of Katharine of Aragon is laid to rest in the Peterborough Cathedral, whom you may or may not know as Henry VIII’s first wife (and Queen of England) who was “divorced” from King Henry because of her inability to produce offspring (only one of six children lived, a girl). Technically her marriage to Henry was annulled as divorce was illegal under canon law, which is probably for the best as two of Henry’s other wives were beheaded.
Mary, Queen of Scots’ body used to be at Peterborough Cathedral as well, but was later moved. There’s still a small shrine to her there.
After we visited the cathedral, we wandered around a bit and settled at an Italian cafe and just chilled there for a couple hours. Well, Spencer and I chilled while Ashley and Lexi participated in my least favorite activity, shopping. I sipped an espresso and booked a flight to Romania during part of the time I’ll be in Turkey because I just hate money so much.
We wrapped up the day at a pub in town because we just love eating so much and when we got home, turned on The Other Boleyn Girl to continue the Henry VIII trend.
Overall, our time in Peterborough was great. Mallory and Shane really offered us a nice situation and it was very helpful to have someone with a little knowledge of the area. Hopefully I can get back to visit before their time in England is up! THANKS, GUYS!