The No. 8 Hostel in London (in which Jenny comes to visit!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Before Lindsay and I knew it, it was June 6, which meant it was time to fly to London to meet Jenny Clem; a very good friend of mine from Oklahoma who came to visit me for 3 weeks!  We flew out of Salzburg straight to London Stansted and then took the National Express to the tube before heading to our hostel, where Jenny was planning on meeting us.  It was impossible to determine exactly what time we would arrive in coordination with what time Jenny would arrive; she wasn't able to use her phone due to roaming charges and Lindsay's and my A1 phones weren't exactly 'smartphones' capable of doing anything more than SMSing, calling (Austria numbers), and calculating how much we were spending on Happy Hippos and Studentenfutter while grocery shopping at Merkur.

In other words, it was a big, fat shot in the dark as to when and where we would meet up with Jenny.  She knew the address of the hostel, but that's about it.  As I'm typing this, I'm wondering why on earth I didn't just meet her at the airport, knowing she'd never been to Europe before??  Am I a terrible hostess??

Regardless, shortly after Lindsay and I found and checked into the hostel, I decided to walk outside on the off-chance that Jenny would be wandering around the street looking for the hostel.  AMAZINGLY, as soon as I opened the front door to the hostel, there she was!  I didn't realize how excited I was to see her until that very moment -- I hadn't seen her in 5 months!  We quickly unpacked at our hostel, grabbed a bite to eat, and then set off to see the sights.  This being my 4th trip to London in a year, I felt no need to bring a camera, which I later regretted.  Thus, all these photos are Jenny's (thanks, Jenny!).

^^ Westminister Abbey, Big Ben, a walk on the Thames with the London Eye in the background ^^

After our first day "seeing the sights", we retreated back to the hostel.  Now, the No. 8 Hostel has strangely good reviews on Hostelworld, but our experience there was NOT 4 out of 5 stars.  It was maybe 2.5?  One star for the price, one star because nothing got stolen and no one tried to kill us, and half a star because it wasn't (to our knowledge) infested with rats, roaches, or rodents of unusual size (and that always deserves at least half a star, you know?).  Anyhow, the location is inconvenient at best, and the rooms are....not the kind of rooms you're going to want hang around in longer than necessary.  Basically, when you wake up, the atmosphere is such that you will want to leave as soon as possible (which, hey!, is conducive to getting you out of bed to go sight-see!).  But the location and room set-up pale in comparison to....the bathrooms.  Don't get me started on the bathrooms.  I showered once and that was one time too many.  The only thing the No. 8 Hostel has going for it is the price (which, as you can imagine, is the only reason we stayed there).  I am fairly certain I will never stay there again and by that I mean I sincerely hope I never have to stay there again.

Or maybe they'll read this review and be inspired to revamp their rooms and remodel their interior and upgrade their bathrooms?  Yeah.  I think that's probably what will happen...
Anonymous said...

HAHAHA that shoe thing is so true about europe! my host mom would ALWAYS yell at me if i didnt have socks on and her and her son always wore these slipper birkenstock like shoes. she hated nothing more than when i would walk around barefoot. she said i was gonna get sick every time hahaha.

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