Wednesday May 24
Wednesdays have quickly become my favorite days of the week here. My flatmates and I don’t have class on Wednesdays so we try to go on day long adventures. On this particular day we ventured to Borough Market, one of the most raved about food markets in London. You could easily spend hours (and tons of money) here sampling food from the various stalls. I decided to get a cheese toastie from the Kappacasein stall after seeing images online. I paid 6 pounds for it and was honestly a little disappointed with it, but I know I’ll be going back to sample more of the unique foods offered there.
Thursday May 25
On Thursday I joined the personal finance class taught by our faculty member in residence. After the class lecture we went to a local coffee shop where our teacher treated us to drinks and then headed to the Bloomsbury local food market. That night it was the 21st birthday of one of the girls in our program, so almost everyone in the program went out to a bar called Loop to celebrate. They hang up polaroid pictures at the bar so some of us took one together. Our night was cut short when the fire alarm went off, so we decided to head back (getting home was an adventure in itself).
Friday May 26
Friday morning began with a walking tour of the Tower of London. Something I admittedly knew nothing about beforehand. It was incredible walking around these historic buildings and hearing about all of the people that lived (and were executed) here. Seeing the Crown Jewels was also a huge highlight of the day.
We were able to follow a tour guide around for an hour before being given some time to wander off on our own. I absolutely loved being able to go inside some of the old somewhat creepy buildings. We also had the perfect view of the Tower Bridge from where our tour ended.
After the Tower of London we went over to Westminster Abbey. We had to wait a good amount of time in line to get tickets and the tour ended up being us just wandering around listening to some information on audio devices. There were tons and tons of beautifully decorated tombs of people who left major marks on London (and the rest of the world).
Saturday May 27
This weekend was our first free weekend of the program. We decided to go to Brighton, a pebble beach with a pier and many local shops. The weather was not the warmest while we were there so we ended up wandering around a mall for a little bit in search of warmer clothing. Then we headed to the pier for some food and drinks.
I had my first taste of Pimm’s at Brighton after hearing about it from family and friends that have traveled to England. I quickly became a fan as well!
Monday May 29
I had class all day Monday. Since it was bank holiday we ended up being locked out of the classroom, so our theatre class ended up meeting at a cafe (which isn’t uncommon for classes here). That evening, in an attempt to find an ice cream shop, we ended up stumbling across an underground drag show. Admittance was free and we split a bottle of wine while waiting for the show to start. The drag queen named Topsy sang and interacted with the audience. Her vocal range was absolutely incredible and I laughed harder than I have in a very long time. Definitely the most fun night I’ve had in London so far and we fully intend to get the whole program here to see a show at some point.
Tuesday May 30
Tuesday was another full day of classes for me. My first class outing was to the St. Bride’s Museum of Print. There we talked to a man who worked for a major newspaper many years ago and showed us how printing presses and the production of newspapers has advanced throughout the years. This was an incredibly cool thing to see because we were right up close to the machinery used.
After classes we wandered to Covent Garden and Neal’s Yard to finally get some ice cream from a place called Scoop. I got a peanut butter brownie with cookie dough gelato and it was a great way to celebrate the end of our second week!