We decided to stay on campus the past few weekends. With traveling the first two, we were exhausted and needed to recharge. We also wanted to experience London and attempt to live like locals. On Tuesday (Oct. 11), a friend from the University of Pennsylvania, who is also studying abroad at Queen Mary, offered me her extra ticket to see Book of Mormon with her and a few others. What better way to experience London in all its theatrical glory than to see a musical in Piccadilly? It was incredible to say the least. Having never seen the show before, I was pleasantly surprised by the humor, although some jokes made no sense to me, as they had been altered to be more comedic to the English audience. Getting the chance to do something like that while here was amazing, as well as completely unexpected.
Then, on Wednesday (Oct 12), I went on a Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour, set up by the school. I love Harry Potter. I grew up reading the books and watching the movies, and still watch whenever there is a marathon on television. This was something I had booked before leaving the states, and probably the one thing I was most excited to see. And it lived up to every expectation I had. Being able to see the original sets, props, and costumes was so surreal. I took way too many pictures to post but here are a few:
On Friday (Oct 14), I met up with a few other Rollins students for dinner near the London Bridge. And by near, I mean right next to. The restaurant was situated right along the River Thames, with a wall of windows looking directly out to the bridge. Going at night was a completely different experience than seeing it during the day. It was lit up in a purple light, and the city lights on either side made it all the more beautiful.
The next day, I decided to take a trip to the Westfield Mall. At first, I thought it would be rather close to the school since the street I live on is Westfield Way. This was not the least bit true. Not including the walk to and from the tube stations, the ride alone was about 45 minutes. Needless to say, by the time we got to the mall, we were relieved to just be able to walk around.
This mall is huge. I didn’t take any pictures to prove it, but I did almost get lost once or twice. It had a total of 7 floors, although I was only able to look at 2 floors due to the amount of time I had. Sadly, after a few hours of shopping and countless dressing rooms, I only left with one pair of boots…
This week was a little less busy and a little more homework, but I did decide to take a break on Saturday to go to a few markets. The first was the Venn Street Market in Clapham and reminded me of a much smaller version of the farmers market in Winter Park. There was food, smoothies, and flowers spread out over one short alley. This wasn’t enough for my friends and I so we ventured a little further to the Camden Market. This was a completely different story. This market was probably about 5 times the size of the Winter Park market, and consisted of food and drinks, as well as vendors with jewelry, tourist trinkets, clothing, and everything in between. There were areas inside, over 2 floors, outside, down the street, down side alleys, in shops, in tents… It was overwhelming, but absolutely worth it. I spent a small fortune, but when will I be able to say that I went to markets in London again?