Visiting the U.K. – Part 8

(Back to our regularly scheduled programming!)

After Madame Tussaud’s:

We got back to Dover [the hostel] just before 7 PM and we were so cold and tired that I only had time to fire off a few messages on my phone before we crawled into bed and fell asleep.

View From Hostel Room

And there’s the view from my room…

When we’d left Dover Castle that morning after checking in, we had stowed our luggage in their back room, which looked something like a luggage storage room, honestly. Everyone had dropped their stuff off so they could go out for the day without having to wait for their rooms to be ready.

So when we came back around 7ish, we found out our room was on the 3rd? or 4th floor? I forget which. But we labored up the stairs with our bags and finally found our room. And if I recall things properly, the key didn’t work.

Kyle ran back down all those stairs to get another one. Except, I think they just told him a trick, something to do with a wonky door or lock. Whatever the issue was, he managed to get us inside.

Turns out there were 3 bunk beds, so 6 beds total. And it was just the two of us. Sometime during the the night one other person appeared in one of the other beds.

But it made no difference to us since we had to wake up at 4AM to head to the airport.

I took the pictures with my camera at probably around 7:30PM – though it looked pretty much the same at 4AM, so I could’ve taken then when I woke up too. It would’ve made no difference.

Now here’s what you need to know about these pictures… you can just barely see the windowsill and from the image you can take a fairly educated guess that these were rather large windows. If you don’t want to take a guess, then shut up and listen to me: They were rather large windows.

They also had no curtains. They also had very little seal. They also let in the frigidly cold air, making the room impossibly uncomfortable.

So, here’s a fun fact of the day!

This here is called a “duvet” – which is what they use as bed-clothes in Europe. (We’ll ignore the fact that calling them bed-clothes kinda weirds me out.) So, I grew up in Oklahoma, and we had a mattress cover, a regular thin sheet, and then either a comforter or about a half dozen different types of blankets: quilts, afghans, knitted wool, and I’ve even had my fair share of electric blankets. But I’ve never once in my life seen a duvet prior to my trip.

You know they’re like blankets with innards? They have little snap buttons that clip the two sides together…

But here’s the fun fact. That’s ALL they use in Europe (don’t quote me on that, my facts aren’t actually very factual.) And in London, where it was something like 30 degrees, one single duvet in a room with no heating was practically worthless. I slept in my socks, scarf, and with my coat on – and I didn’t dare change into my PJ’s because only my jeans were thick enough to keep me warm. I also slept in my sweater.

I think my brother was already used to the weather there – or maybe it’s because he’s always been more hot-natured than me. I can’t handle the cold – I can manage in Oklahoma’s 100 degree summers but come one of Oklahoma’s 7 degree winters, you might as well let me hibernate because I’m not going out if I can help it.

And I only assume that this duvet usage is common in Europe because even when we were staying in Germany, there was nothing on the beds but a single duvet.

But I get carried off on my tangent.

I was curled up, fully clothed, beneath my duvet, shivering in my sleep:

Both of us woke up 2 hours later feeling wonderfully refreshed but thinking we had slept tons more than we had. When we found out it had only been 2 hours, we were really shocked. I thought my phone hadn’t updated to the local time properly and was still incorrect.

I remember first off thinking how weird it was that we both woke up at almost the exact moment, as if a silent alarm had gone off.

Kyle asked, “What time is it?”

I grabbed my phone and said, “Hm, that can’t be right. Says 9PM. Maybe it didn’t update. Check yours.”

So he looked at his UK phone and it was also displaying 9PM. We were like… “WTF, mate?” But there was nothing to do til 4 Am, so we shared some laughs over the absurdity of being awake almost two days straight and feeling so well rested after only a simple nap. And then we just went back to sleep.

When I woke up again, it was around 1 or 2 am and I was ready to get up. We had to leave for the airport at 4, so I decided to get at least one more hour of sleep.

And of course, when I woke up the third time – we got ready and checked out and that’s when we learned the tube station was still closed.

This is where my story gets most disjointed, chronologically speaking, since I already posted the story of the closed tube station, the bus ride, and nearly missing our flight to Köln, Germany. The next entry will continue following the landing in the Köln/Bonn airport.

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