As I stated in my last post, my husband and I visited the U.K. recently. It truly was a lovely and unforgettable experience. Since most of us are familiar with what goes on across the pond, I figure I’ll approach this post from a different angle and enlighten you with: The Top Seven Things that Surprised Me about the U.K.
Side note: I visited primarily large, populous cities and realize these things may not apply to every city, town, village, etc.
1. It’s incredibly expensive.
We somewhat expected this. Obviously the euro is worth more than USD, so if you’re planning a trip there, check out a few things that are free to the public as well (museums, certain monuments, parks, etc.)
2. Their public transit is amazing.
Two words: Oyster Card. So incredibly efficient, fast, and surprisingly comfortable.
3. Everyone wears black all the time.
I felt kind of dumb wearing my colorful clothes and I’m honestly not that colorful of a person. Rarely will you catch me wearing pink and yet I still felt I stood out like an…American. Perhaps Europeans wear more black in the winter?
4. Not too photography friendly.
Don’t even attempt (I did and got caught) to take pictures inside of any cathedrals, castles, or palaces. If they catch you with your phone out, they will politely tell you to put it away. Exceptions to this were Kensington Palace and St. Albans.
5. The Queen is a busy lady.
When we were at Buckingham, the Queen was there and while we were at Windsor, she was there. I am convinced the secret to a long life is to never stop working.
6. Don’t expect great service.
Since those who work in the service industry are paid minimum wage or more (unlike the U.S), tips are incredibly uncommon. In fact, any time we wanted to leave a tip, they would tell us to not worry about it. Unfortunately, this caused us to wait long periods for our food and bill. These peeps ain’t working for tips. Most of the time, we had to flag our waiter down when we needed something or wanted to pay. Also, drink refills and ice aren’t a thing. But my, they sure can make a dessert.
7. No small talk or unwarranted eye contact.
Maybe I’m a little naive since I’ve been blessed to live in such friendly places. The few times I tried to strike up conversations, most gave a look like ok why are you talking to to me also why are you wearing colors. Of course, there were exceptions to this. People definitely were not rude. In fact, I have never experienced such politeness. People would simply rather not talk to you if they don’t really know you. No offense taken.
So, those are the seven top things I didn’t expect while visiting the U.K. I had a jolly good time and am looking forward to traveling there again!
I’ll leave you with a few more pictures.