Guildford through a tourist’s eyes

It’s been a long time since I last blogged. I spent a few weeks sick and having to deal with hospital appointments and I also had a lot of assignments to turn in, final exams and my mother visited. Hopefully I’ll finally go back to blogging consistently for the rest of the semester. I’ll spend the next few posts talking about my mother’s visit, as it was her first time in the UK (and this side of the world in general) and it was the first time I got to spend a significant amount of time doing tourism related things.

The first two days my mother was here we spent in Guildford. She landed at Heathrow on Monday morning and we got to the university immediately after. I showed her around the university first, she was very excited to see some of the Winnie the Pooh drawings at the university library but unfortunately we weren’t aware that advance notice was required. We then went to Guildford town centre to try to find a SIM for her phone (which unfortunately didn’t work since her phone is carrier locked) and we had lunch at Tortilla, a restaurant that serves burritos, quesadillas and tacos. Lunch was enjoyable and to my surprise they had Valentina sauce for sale which I grew up eating. We then headed to our hotel which was about 20 min walking from the university.

The second day we had breakfast at Hillside, one of the restaurants at the university. It seems like the Easter break is not the best time to eat there as there wasn’t as much variety as usual but our porridge and eggs were nice regardless. My mother seemed to really love English porridge and bacon, even though she has oatmeal for breakfast every single day (and hence I wasn’t expecting her to be excited about it) and she never eats bacon (the bacon found in the US and most of Latin America and English bacon are somewhat different, the latter being more similar to Canadian bacon and less greasy). We visited the cathedral, the university bookstore, the Guildford castle and spent some time walking around high street on Guildford. We had Cornish pasties for lunch. When talking to a friend after the fact I was surprised to hear that the terms “Cornish pasty” and “pasty” are legally protected in the UK. To wrap up our last day in Guildford we had dinner with a friend’s mother nearby, in Woking. We ate fish and chips since my mother was really excited about having English fish and chips. My mother seemed really surprised when she saw how big the fish was, since it was almost as big as the plate as opposed to fish stick sized like it is sold in the US and frozen in grocery stores in Guatemala but she thinks it was definitely nicer (though she didn’t dare to try the mushy peas). For dessert we had hot cross buns which to me seemed basically like burger buns with some raisins, sugar and cinnamon, they’re eaten toasted with a little bit of butter during Easter. I’d never seen them or heard of them until that day but they were surprisingly nice, even though I probably wouldn’t have bought them myself otherwise.

Apologies for my prolonged time away from blogging, I’ll hopefully go back to blogging once a week. Next I’ll talk about visiting London and Cambridge with my mother.