I get by with a little help from my friends

Nadia was due to arrive a week after coming back from my Barcelona getaway. After having such a terrible time in Barcelona, a much needed visit from one of my best friends from home was exactly what I needed!

I was running late meeting her at Paddington Station due to my sprained ankle. A gift from my Barcelona trip. So rushing as fast as I possibly could, I made it to the station. Amidst all the people, I spotted her quite quickly. Being as short as she is, to spot her amongst the masses was a miracle! I ran clear across the station to give her a massive hug. I was so, so happy to have her in London for the week!

We talked for hours once I got her back to my flat. She brought gifts from home, mostly birthday gifts since my birthday was coming up shortly. I was most excited for my crunchy peanut butter! Oh the random and weird comforts from home….you don’t realize how much you miss them until you don’t have access to them.

Sadly, I had to work all week. Since starting my job at Moorfields just shortly before Nadia arrived, I couldn’t take off the time to explore the city with her. She seemed to manage fairly well on her own. I gave her a map and highlighted how to get to and from our flat without using the Tube. She got lost mostly, but she seemed to enjoy that.

I’ll never forget the text message I received at work one day while she was visiting. She said she had gotten lost and didn’t know where she was. She was actually quite close to the flat, out on Tottenham Court Rd,  but wandered a bit off track. She said she was walking towards a big crowd thinking she had found her way back to Oxford St. Being stopped abruptly by police tape, she found herself right outside a building that had reported a bomb threat just moments before. Police were everywhere and all stores/cafes/restaurants had been evacuated.

Texting me the whole time, I immediately got on the computer to Google what it was she was talking about. I just remember texting her back saying, ‘what are you doing there! Get out of there and get back to my place!’ I think she stood around a bit longer and eventually continued on her adventure in the city.

We laughed about it later, although the situation was not a laughing matter. I was happy the police were able to apprehend the guy before anything terrible happened!

Finally we were able to have a sightseeing day together. We made our way to The Tower of London. Having arrived just as it opened, we were making our way to the Crown Jewels first. I knew that area would get quite busy with tourists later on in the day. To say it was incredible would be a complete understatement. I was blown away by the jewels. They are truly breathtaking to look at. They’re absolutely beautiful.

I was so glad we were able to see them without a horde of people being around. It was an intiment setting. The room was darkened, and the cases holding the gems were brightly lit. There was a moving walk way that you stood on to slowly float by the jewels. Smart move. I can just imagine standing there for far too long staring in to the cases and having people get upset.

After the Jewels, we wandered the grounds. It’s a must see/do in London. The history of this place is vast and haunting. The size of it will keep you there for hours. There is so much to explore in the Tower of London!

After a couple of hours on the most stereotypical day in London (dreary, rainy and cold), we made our way to Tower Bride. It’s so close to where we were, why not go! We wouldn’t let the rain dampen our spirits, or our adventure!

We crossed the bridge, stopping along the way for photos. It’s a stunning structure. It was windy and wet, but we loved crossing this spot off our tourist list of things to see/do in London.

Having not eaten since breakfast, we stopped in at Wagamamas. This is one of Nadia’s favourite spots, and it soon became one of mine after living in London. It sits next door to the Tower of London, with massive windows overlooking the property. Doesn’t get much better than this!

A week flies by when your best friend visits you across the pond. The day we spent at the Tower of London was Nadia’s last one in London. She was on her way to Scotland the next day to visit her family. Having her there for that week was exactly what I needed after having such a difficult time in Barcelona.

It was sad to see her go! But I was so happy she was able to visit while I lived abroad. Friends are never far away when you think about it. What with today’s technology in our hands, we can literally see our friends any day of the week. Having said that though, it’s just not the same as having them in your flat having coffees and catching up.

Feeling refreshed after that visit, the next few months would, or so I hoped, be fantastic! Until next time…

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