After being here for about a week and a half, I feel like we’ve seen a lot of London. This is good considering people always warn that you can study abroad in a city, but never really see it. Luckily, I have friends who can’t handle sitting around doing nothing. So, any day that we don’t have class or something else going on we’ll pick an area and head out to explore. We’ve done a handful, so I’ll try to just give you the highlights.
We had a tour of Parliament, so a handful of us went early to explore the area. As did about a hundred other tourists because it’s right next to the London Eye. This means that you couldn’t go twenty feet without walking into a street artist. There was everything from human statutes, musicians, magicians and dancers. The magician was a better comedian than magician, but it was overall entertaining. He made fun of us for being Americans and suggested if we got excited about the last trick we could “take out our guns and shot ‘em in the air.”
My friend Katie caught a sweet picture of the break-dancers.
If you’re in the London area ever, you have to go to Harrods. It’s a six-floor heaven with anything expensive you could ever think of. One of my friends described it as Water Tower (in Chicago) on steroids. It’s quite the overwhelming place and sells everything from cars to gold blocks to fruit to clothes. There’s also a huge section of toys that was far too fun. Besides the toy area we spent a lot of time looking at the food. I got a smoked salmon pillow and a raspberry blackberry macaroon. Although, we found out there’s a puppy area so we have to go back.
While we didn’t find Hugh Grant, we did find Portobello Road, which has a huge market on Saturdays. It looks like a colorful San Francisco and was one of my favorite places left. We found a cute bakery there and some fun shops. We also found a used bookshop that was full to the brim where I found my mom a present (get excited Mom!).
Platform 9 ¾:
There’s not much to say about this except that it’s really cool. They set up a place in King’s Cross where you can take a picture and there’s even someone there to throw your scarf so it looks like you’re running to catch the train.
This is where punk went to die. There was a bunch of really good food stands and light up shirts too. It was pretty overwhelming, but ending up being cool. Lots of tattoo and piercing shops, but don’t worry Mom and Dad, I resisted. We tried to find a place called CyberDog, which made an appearance in a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson movie, but we couldn’t find it so we’ll have to head back. We managed to find some good Mexican food and crepes. One of my favorite parts about the market is that the seats are the back of Vespa’s with lions printed on the side. It’s pretty fun.
This is the best view of the city yet. We luckily ended up there during sunset and it was gorgeous. It’s on top of the hill and looks over what seems to be the entirety of London. It may be my new favorite place! We also found some small shops around the area where we discovered that newspapers actually sell out in London and Mars bars are basically Milky Ways.