London – LOVE

You know how the end of the semester creeps up on you and suddenly you have a million things to do and only two hours to do them all? Well, I’ve arrived at that point, so that is why I am so behind on sharing my adventures with everyone. After Easter Break, reality and class projects came slamming down on me, so it’s been a whirlwind of a week preparing for those, entertaining my friend Mel who is staying here, and attempting to put blog posts together. So, without further ado, I present my London adventures (and then my Easter adventures in another post hopefully right after).

I LOVE LONDON

I think part of the reason why I loved London so much was that it didn’t rain while there. I made it through a five day trip to one of the rainiest cities in the world and it didn’t even sprinkle. In fact, I got sunburnt instead.

Spencer and I flew into London bright and early on April 6. We landed at 8am local time. As we descended, I saw little fleets of wind turbines out at sea, the patchwork of farmland and roads, nothing like the grid system at home, and I noticed the air pollution right away. After taking the forty-five minute train ride into the city, Spencer and I made it to our hostel – Clink78 – and met up with the one other guy that had arrived already, Gavin. We walked around near our hostel, and then Spencer decided to take a nap. With nothing better to do, Gavin and I headed to Oxford Street for some shopping. On the way we found the tower Drake hangs out on in his album artwork for Views. That evening the rest of the group got to London, so we were all together!

The next day was more fun than anticipated. Katie convinced me to go on a Muggle Tour with her. We took the Tube for the first time and it wasn’t nearly as frightening as I thought it would be. We were supposed to meet our tour guide in the Borough so we got there a bit earlier to look around. We ended up finding a cool market and a view of the river Thames, which has a ton of bridges that go across it. Our tour guide was very kind, and it was awesome exploring the city with a local and standing in the same spots that the crew shot the movie or J.K. Rowling had inspiration for a specific location in the books, like both Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley!

I’ve always thought that I was a big Harry Potter fan, but it’s nothing in comparison to how crazy Katie gets about the Wizarding World. She brought a shirt and sweatshirt to London and proceeded to buy another sweatshirt at the Platform 9 & 3/4 Shop. I ended up wearing her spare sweatshirt, so the world knew exactly what these two American girls were doing in London. After the tour, we headed toward the theatre Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently at. We picked up butterbeers along the way and had to get fun pictures with the theatre in the background. As we wandered more, we eventually stumbled upon Chinatown, which was very cool with all the lanterns hanging from above.

The point of this trip was to see live theatre for a class. It was pretty straightforward: see three live productions of theatre and get 1 credit for a class. I loved it. On the third day there, I was supposed to see two plays: Wicked in the afternoon by myself and Matilda in the evening with the rest of the class. I took the Tube alone to see Wicked and it was a great chance to venture out and explore the city by myself. Solo travel can be just as enjoyable as with a group. Wicked was a wicked awesome play (ha ha).

By the third day, I was actually really starting to like London, something I thought I wouldn’t say. I loved how lively things were: street performers, people singing and strumming the guitar in the subway, shops, and bright lights everywhere. I could spend a good amount of time exploring London. Being in a city makes you realize two things: one, the world is huge and two, people are so diverse. But it also makes you realize that even when you’re surrounded by crowds of people, you can still feel alone. I spent the afternoon by myself, which challenged me to navigate a huge place all by myself, but I was excited to see my friends and chat with people again.

After Wicked, I headed back toward Piccadilly Circus and met up with the rest of the group to see Matilda. It was very well done, and I loved the set. The children acting and singing were more talented than I’ll ever be.

The next morning, we toured Shakespeare’s Globe. It was really cool seeing that, plus it reminded me of Mrs. Hunnicutt a lot. Afterwards, we decided to walk around the city and enjoy the warm Sunday weather. It was sunny and there were very few clouds in the sky. Very un-London-like, I guess! We walked to Hyde Park, walking past Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. So many iconic sights in one day. I got sunburnt when we were in the park. After that, we went shopping at a store called Primark, and Jesus it was so hot in there and there were so many people. I got a jean jacket though so that made it a little better.

On my last full day, I headed to St. Paul’s Cathedral for a tour with Tami and Emily (both teachers at UND). The inside was gorgeous, but I couldn’t take any pictures. I went to the top and wow it was a workout. There are two levels to the dome. The first is pretty easy and the stairs are wide, but the second part gets tricky. You end up winding around and around on a little spiral staircase. The view was worth it though.

When I got back to the hostel, we decided to go get our pictures taken at Platform 9 & 3/4. Everyone was very patient in line, which I found quite refreshing. Harry Potter fans are quality people. That night we ate dinner at a great Indian restaurant and saw our last play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The trip to London was magical to say the least. I felt so confident running around the city. I wanted maybe two more days there, but then I would be ready to head back to the relaxed life in Moss.

So, so sorry for such a delay in posting. I got lazy, I had homework, I was eating food instead of posting, I have a lot of lame, student excuses to use up.

Thank you for reading!!

Phoebe x

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