Meeting UK: The Day I Visited Norwich Part 1

By Elie - 7:00 AM

Days since my last post: 3

Yes, another UK update because I opted to blog instead of clean my room. And I think I'm always cleaning my room or something but it never gets "clean". I live in a sty.

Now about Norwich; pronounced Nor-rich, it felt like a complete change from the sights of London and after 4 days of city bustles, I felt like it was a good switch. And the reason I decided to hop on that 2 hour train, costing £28 back and forth?

I really missed this one. 

I know, we had just parted ways for about 2 weeks when he left back to uni but I was over in UK and it felt right to just reunite. Again. And now I can officially say that as best friends for 15 years and counting, we have travelled abroad together. But more on what we did in part 2. Maybe.

Located in the East of England, Norwich was the largest city after London in the 11th Century and became England's first UNESCO City of Literature in May 2012. Accessible via flight or trains, I was honestly really looking forward to the trip especially since Terrance told me he lived in an area with nothing. "Nothing" was subjective.

Abellio Greater Anglia trains.

Hello yes, that's me. 

My 2-hour ride began from the Liverpool Street Station, taking me all the way up to the Norwich Railway Station with no stops. What I suggest if you're in London and wish to visit Norwich is to check out websites like Qjump that provides you cheaper ticket alternatives with different timings and stretches in between, because that's exactly what I did. It's a no-brainer if you're trying to travel cheap and the only train that runs through that line is the Abellio Greater Anglia train anyway, and tickets are collectible at most train stations in England as long as you have your reference number.

Inserting irrelevant selfie, because I think it's okay. 

Pretty sights along the way!

It was a comfortable ride and if you pick a window seat, you'll even get a plug point that supports your phone and laptop chargers. There's no WiFi unless you're in the premium coach, but that obviously comes with a premium price and I was too much of a cheapskate for a premium coach.

Built in 1844.

I arrived Norwich at noon feeling completely lost because Terrance wouldn't be able to meet me until about 4 PM, and he had told me to get right into Chapelfield via the buses. What I did was the complete opposite because I wanted to save even the tiniest bit of money, and so I picked up a map and ambitiously thought I could walk into Chapelfield. I guess the tourist look in me did shine, because a really nice lady came to me after a while asking if I needed help and I thought, "YES, MY SAVIOR!"

 From the bridge overlooking River Wensum.

That random old building.

I didn't regret my one hour trip into Chapelfield at all, though I suspect it would have been faster if my bag wasn't that heavy and I wasn't that lost. It felt just like the trip I had wanted, being lost and seeing a lot more things than I could ever imagine. Norwich felt great, but the weather was significantly colder than in London.

Happy minute, because sometimes that's all you need to be happy.

Street performers at the Marketplace.

I noticed however that the people in Norwich were either old or really young, but nothing in between. I learned from Terrance that whoever I had seen were either retired people who take Norwich as their final resting place or students who were there to study. Point taken on why it felt so different from London. 

Miles and miles away, and we decided to "reunite" 

And because it took me an hour to get into Chapelfield, I really just wanted to pick somewhere that had cheap food and would let me sit there forever. What I found at my very first sight was a Marks & Spencer, and a huge one at that. "Okay..." I thought, so I walked in and grabbed their To-Go Meals at £4 with a snack and drink then gloriously went over to the cafe section and had my lunch. Then horror unfolded because there I was studying my map and eating my lunch, when the manager of the cafe walked over to me and asked if I bought anything from M&S. "Yes," I said as I pointed to my lunch. 

"Sorry miss, I meant did you buy anything from our cafe? Because that's a To-Go Meal and only M&S cafe food is the cafe." 

I wanted to shoot myself dead and panicked at that moment. He was really kind however and told me it was fine because he could see I was a tourist, but just had to know never to do it again. England hospitality at its finest because he told me to enjoy my lunch, don't panic and just have a break. Yes, I love you random manager. So I continued eating cold pasta and surprisingly connected to their WiFi to video call my bunch of crazy pals back home. It was an interesting meal. 

Venturing the marketplace and watching the dark clouds roll in.

Fresh seafood, fresh groceries, fresh everything! 

It wasn't long until I had to hide in a mall called Intu Chapelfield, much to Terrance's annoyance because I wouldn't stop making jokes out of the name but we reunited hours later and all was forgiven. It felt like bliss to go back to his flat, but it felt more of a bliss to see my best friend's face again. I think we're overly attached by now.

From his space.

Our day ended lazily in his flat, completely away from the cold and with nothing but fried Maggi. And that perfect sunny side up. It felt like a long day but by the end of it, I think it was worth it because I was with my best friend. All over again.

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