My First 2 Weeks in London
For those of you who do not know, I am studying abroad this semester in London! I have been here for almost two weeks now and I am having the most amazing time! I am still in shock that I get to live in this amazing city!
I have never lived in a city before and it amazes me everyday that I can walk to basically everything I need (so simple but so crazy to me) and that there are just endless things to do here! I plan on writing a bunch of blog posts while I am here about life in London, study abroad, and all of the places I travel too. Keep your eyes peeled!
Here is what I have been up to during my first 2 weeks:
Seeing the Sights
My first day here was just a blur. I was so tired and jet lagged that I really did not do anything. But on my second and third days in London I went on some sight seeing tours! I would totally recommend this when you first visit London because it is a good way to see all of the touristy stuff in one swoop. I first went on a walking tour of where I am living (Kensington) and then the next day I took a bus tour and went to the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and more!
Thames River Cruise
This was so much fun and a great way to get a better view of the sites I saw during the day! I would recommend doing this at night if you're planning a trip to London because the sites light up the sky and you can get some fabulous pictures!
Visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum
Now that I am older, I finally appreciate museums! I can walk to the V & A from where I live and I loved strolling through all of the exhibits. The V & A is HUGE and I was exhausted before I hit all of the exhibits, so I will have to go back later in my trip. My favorite parts were the fashion exhibits and the jewelry room. I didn't take any pictures of the jewelry room because a picture would not have done it justice because it was amazing! They had jewelry from many different countries and it was so much fun to look at! It is interesting because in London museums are free (which is awesome!) but you have to pay for the different exhibitions that are there for a limited time. When I go back I really want to go to the Balenciaga exhibition!
One of my favorite places so far! Mostly because I love food. Camden Market is filled with little food stalls from around the world! I went for the fish and chips when I visited because I had not had them yet since being here, but when I go back I want to try something new. I love food and I love being in a city where I have the opportunity to try something crazy. I am used to my same old same old American, Italian, Mexican, and maybe the occasional Greek foods, but I can't wait to start trying foods that I have never tried before!
Also, side note, I have found that nothing in London is free and people just assume you know that. For example, when I got my fish and chips the man asked me if I wanted ketchup and I thought to myself "duh of course I want ketchup," but little did I know that little thing would cost me 30 pence. Other things like a plastic bag when you buy something at a store, or even just water or bread at a restaurant you have to pay for too!
Platform 9 3/4
Did you know that Platform 9 3/4 actually exists??? I am a bad Harry Potter fan because I didn't. It is located inside of King's Cross station and you (if you are willing to brave the line) can take a picture that looks like you are heading to Hogwarts!
Notting Hill is picture perfect! I loved walking around here and seeing all of the colorful houses. I also explored Portobello Road while I was here too and I enjoyed poking around little thrift shops and boutiques!
My program and I saw Wicked in the West End. I have never seen Wicked before and I loved it. I would definitely recommend seeing a show in the West End if you get a chance to visit London. I also learned on this day to be prepared for anything and always leave enough time when you are taking the tube. I was traveling with my study abroad group and we were told that it was a super easy tube ride, just about three stops and then the theater was right there. Well, after I swiped my Oyster card our group leader found out that the line we were supposed to take was closed and we ended up having to take three different lines and had to run through the underground in order to get there on time! The theater is also a place where you really can't be late so we were so worried we would not make it and would not be let in! We made it though with just a few minutes to spare!
I am loving living just a short walk from Hyde Park (and Kensington Gardens). 1. Because there is a bountiful amount of adorable dogs running around and I miss mine at home so much and 2. because it is so beautiful and makes you feel like you aren't in a city anymore. I went for a walk with one of my friends just before the sun set and it was so beautiful. I especially love all of the ponds!
Alright well that basically sums up my first two weeks here in London! I am so happy to be here for the next four months and I can't wait to start traveling around Europe! Keep up with my blog and Instagram to follow my journey!