I have just completed my first week in London out of quarantine and am excited to share all the fun things I have experienced so far. I live in South Kensington right next to Hyde Park and have enjoyed taking morning runs through it. The park is absolutely huge and beautiful, I’ve found that this city does a great job at keeping things clean and green. I’ve also been to Borough Market and Portobello Market, which are both street markets with amazing food and a unique atmosphere. I’ve found that the people in London are for the most part very helpful and friendly. The markets were very cool to walk around, offering a feel for the culture in the area.
I had a busy day on Wednesday, first taking a field trip to Greenwich for one of my classes and then going to a show on the West End. Greenwich was a quainter maritime area, also filled with cute shops and vendors, including an Ethiopian food vendor that we all tried. This was far out of my comfort zone, but I’m finding that trying new things only enhances my experience here. In Greenwich, we explored the Queen’s House and climbed a steep hill to stand on the Prime Meridian, meaning that I was in the east and west hemispheres at the same time! Then at night, I headed over to Piccadilly Circus. This seems to be at the center of London, bustling with energy and giving off Times Square vibes. The school I’m attending gave out free tickets to Six, a musical about Henry the Eighth and his six wives. I will admit, I wasn’t a big fan of the musical, but it was still fun to experience a West End show.
On Friday, one of the things I did was check out St. Paul’s Cathedral. This church is massive and so beautiful on the inside and outside. The attention to detail in building it and all the different pieces that combine to make it up is just amazing. I would definitely recommend anyone going to London to visit St. Paul’s, the architecture was breathtaking up close!
And finally, the highlight of my first week in London was experiencing the quarter-final match of the Euros game where England beat Ukraine. Every bar and pub had been booked for the game well in advance, so my friends and I decided to head to Trafalgar Square where they had a giant screen set up for their Fanzone. We weren’t able to enter the fanzone, but instead joined a huge crowd of people trying to see parts of the game through the trees. The fans were absolutely wild and I felt like I was part of them even though I don’t follow soccer and am not English. When England won, we all paraded through the streets cheering and chanting. The fans here are so devoted, it was amazing to watch. We have nothing on this level in the US to compare it to, so I’m so glad I was here for this. It was a great way to begin my time here and I am looking forward to the next game coming up!
The pictures show the crowd after the Euro match and the view from the top of the hill in Greenwich overlooking the Queen’s House, with London in the Background.