Is it a story if you only go an hour away? I'd like to think so. Though this is in the Albania story folder, it is actually the last UK trip I will make pre-Albania.
I've just returned from a four day trip to Leicester, UK, with my friend Selly. We spent the four days walking down rivers and canals and through the city centre being pesky tourists (taking photos, feeding birds, smiling).
Here is a photo of myself in Abbey Park, under a little archway. Excuse the messy hair/ general shabbiness, we went out walking as soon as we woke up; in nature, nobody has to smell you (but yourself).
We tasted the nightlife on the first two nights. Our first pint, however, came at lunchtime, in a karaoke pub called Squarebar. I sang 'Your Man' by Josh Turner and 'Only the good die young' by Billy Joel. That first night we visited a club called Republic, where we began talking to a man stood on his own. He started preaching fascist ideals so we left him to it, we are two far more liberal souls. We pulled an all nighter the first night, hoping to catch a Leicester sunrise, which we were fortunate enough to do. Walking back down Narborough road (a popular student district) at about 6am, we decided to stay another night, having orignally only gone for one.
The second day featured the mentioned walk, doing a huge loop taking around 5 hours. When we returned to the friend's house we were staying at, more friends from around the country had gathered for a reunion and we caught up, having not seen some of them for almost a year. As a large group, we went to visit more friends at another house, where we clinked bottles and danced around. I spoke for a while with my old best friend, we stood in the long grass under fairy lights talking philosophy and time. We went to a club called Mosh, which was uneventful, and then to another club called Basement, which was highly eventful. I drank many 'Jam donut' shots, and Selly got in an argument with a bouncer. He was barred for life and I left with him, no great loss. Again we waited for the sunrise, though this one I don't remember so well, but we were all in high spirits.
The group assembled in the morning, heading to a riverside pub for some nourishment. I had a full breakfast, though it was fully shite. Salty bacon, cold beans, no sausage, burnt edd and warmed bread! The hash browns were acceptable. A dozen loaves of bread between us, we fed an army of swans (huge amount of swans not clearly shown by following picture).
This time in a large group, we walked down the river, looking for a sun trap or a decent spot to loiter. Sadly the clouds covered and we headed back to a friend's house. We pulled all over the furniture to the garden and sat around telling old stories of growing up together in the tranquil countryside.
Friends left, and it was only Selly and I, as well as our host and his lady. We found a nook in the house and filled it with cushions, duvets, even a beanbag, and watched some documentaries. The first one was about a Chilean gaucho, it was interesting.
Later in the evening we were taken for a night drive, to see the lights of the shopping centre and feel the current of night air from a passenger window. We bought some fried chicken. The end destination was another friend's house, where upon hearing 'can anybody think of a good film to watch', I suggested my eternal favourite, 'Into The Wild'. They loved it.
The fourth day, we drank tea and listened to Jerry Reed and The Police whilst a storm raged on the other side of the window.
Our lift arrived and we left, pleased we had extended out trip by two nights and days. Selly and I grew closer, which was nice, I rarely see the man whilst we are at our respective Universities. I'll try harder in future.
Highlights: Abbey Park. Basement Club. Squarebar. Soar river. High Cross shopping centre. The derelict buildings along the river, as shown below
Photo courtesy of Dhaywood
As this is only my first post, you will no doubt see my low morals, poor decision making and use of soft drugs/alcohol, so here is an embarrassing picture of me, drunk.