Monday, February 11, 2013

London Called and It Was a Circus

Hello from Scotland everyone!  I arrived by train to Edinburgh this afternoon from London and am here to report my time in the land of tea, literature, and Will and Kate.

First, I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and most of Thursday in Norway for classes and then headed to the airport to fly with British Airways Thursday night.  My days in Oslo last week included a very fun and cultural heavy roommate dinner on Tuesday night which included Swiss macaroni, waffles and Georgian vodka.  I really lucked out with who I live with =)  Other than that, I had classes, an internship shift with me helping apply Google translate to the Queer Youth page and making lunch for the office, and a visit from a young Conservative party member to see another political perspective from Norway after meeting with Labor Youth last Monday.

Anyways, with a quick summary of my time in Oslo done, on to London!

As mentioned I flew out on Thursday night (it’s about 2 hours from Oslo to London) and got to Equity Point London (my hostel) around midnight.  Equity Point is in Paddington, five or so blocks away from the station where the Heathrow express train stops which was a major perk.  I’d never stayed in a hostel before and my four nights at Equity Point went really well, everyone was nice in my eight bed female only dorm room and the location plus amenities (free breakfast!) were great.  I paid about $20 a night and my stay exceeded its worth.

So, in total I had three full days in London: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the whole weekend.  I usually go day by day with paragraphs for my blogs but this time I’m going to list my trip with bullet points.  Paragraphs this time around would be way too much to read!  I also met up with two USFers studying in London with the BU program, my pals Katherine and Erin!  They were such great hostesses.  Alright, here goes with days and buddies next to them:

  •  Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens (Friday)
  • Science Museum (Friday)   
  •  Piccadilly Circus (All weekend)
  • Oxford Circus (Friday)
  • Harrod’s Department Store (Friday with Katherine, five floors of extravagance)
  • Victoria and Albert Museum (Saturday)
  • Borough Market (Saturday, Katherine and her roomie Rebecca) 
  •  Camden Town (Saturday, Katherine)
  • Trafalgar Square for Chinese New Year (Sunday)
  • Big Ben (Sunday)
  • Westminster Abbey (Sunday)
  • The Eye (Sunday, from afar, no ride)
  • Parliament (Sunday) 
  •  Rode the Tube all weekend long! 
Food and Drink:
  • Indian, mmm Tikka Masala! (Dinner with Katherine)
  • One of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten (Borough Market, buddies above)
  • Fish and Chips (Dinner with Erin)
  • Plenty of beer (Erin)
  • Cider (Erin)
  • All the ones with Erin were Sunday informal, two girls out pub crawl kind of thing with three different ones in Kensington that all ended with “Arms” ha
  • Tea and pastries (Afternoon tea at Kensington Close Hotel with Katherine)
  • Various desserts (crepes, cookies, mousse)
As you can probably tell above, my time in London was packed.  Three days left me wanting more, the city is huge and there’s so much left to explore.  I got a taste for London and will definitely go back.  The city has so much to offer, even if you’re on a college kid budget.  A ton of museums are free like the ones I went to and I highly recommend market food, where everything is fresh and really decently priced if you don’t mind waiting in lines and eating standing up.  All in all, London was a dream come true, I’ve wanted to visit it for years.  In addition to spending a quality weekend jumping all over the city, I also got to have another dream come true before getting on the train this morning.  Childhood fantasy realized, scroll down to see the magic, pun intended!

This post is my experience in London in a nutshell, and a few choice photos below out of the dozens I took.  The camera I brought from home actually died two hours into my first day and I had to pick up another one to make sure I could document my time in London and now Scotland.  It was quite a stroke of bad luck that led to a grouchy visit to buy another camera, but my trip was well documented after I shelled out 90 unexpected pounds!

Check in next Monday for a blog post on Edinburgh, ta ta til then!

British manners on every sidewalk! Actually more like a warning, jaywalking is super dangerous in London, drivers will run you over

Ohhh, science! For free!

I wonder if the Tube scene in Skyfall was at the Bond station =P

I’ve been to London’s Time Square before the actual Time Square, ha.  This is Piccadilly Circus
And art, also for free! Victoria and Albert Museum

Om nom nom

A market in old time horse stables? Yep, in Camden Town (The land of many markets, this is just one)

Oh you fancy huh Ben? Without a doubt

A spot of Earl Grey and more


Off to Hogwarts! Scarf and childhood wish made reality provided by King’s Cross

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