Looking out at Big Ben
Am I a wizard yet?
After an already fabulous weekend in Ireland, we finished it off in London. I was more than excited to spend a day in one of my favorite cities. It was a different experience traveling to the city again as an adult and without my parents. One of the main differences I noticed was how big the city actually is. When I went with my parents, my dad drove us or guided us along the tube. Now, my friends and I had to navigate the Underground and use our own money to pay for the Uber (sheds tear).
On this brisk day, we headed over to King’s Cross Station to catch the train to Hogwarts, making my dreams come true. I waited in line for roughly 30 min and it was totally worth it. After you pass through the wall you end up on the platform which of course is the gift shop. I bought myself some stickers, a postcard, and my house tie #ravenclaw. We headed over to Oxford Street to do some retail therapy in order to recover from a magnificent experience. I was introduced to a gem of a store called Primark. They have the cutest clothes and even better prices. At around 2pm we had a reservation for High Tea at Browns. I, naturally, ordered food instead of tea which turned out to be a bad decision since I chipped my back tooth and now have to go to the dentist in Prague. I will let you know how that goes when the time comes. Tea, on the other hand, was fancy for those who participated in it. After my mini catastrophe, we headed over to Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, the London Eye, the iconic telephone booths, and Buckingham Palace. On the way to our last destination, it started pouring rain so we decided to get some dinner at a Chinese restaurant (good decision).
Besides having a great day in the city that I love, I also met some of the most incredible people. We stayed with one of our friends in her flat, and not only was she an amazing host, but her roommates and their friends were equally as great. The flat was very diverse with people from all over the world. One guy I met spoke six languages fluently (that we know of) which absolutely blew my mind. Another left home barely speaking any English with plans to continue to travel to countries in Asia. I met girls from Italy who came to hang out and made dinner for everyone even though they barely knew the people they were cooking for. Not only that, I also met girls from my own university who are studying abroad there. They were so generous and spent the day showing us around and really making me feel welcome around them.
The London experience is something everyone should have. It is easily one of my favorite destinations that holds a special place in my heart. I have plans to return for many reasons, the main one being to finish all the Harry Potter attractions like the studio tour. The diversity that runs through the city is breathtaking and eye opening, making me realize that there is so much more out there than what I’ve experienced. More specifically, I realize that, as a personal goal, I need to learn another language. I have one memory that really enforced the fact: I was playing a card game with a guy from Russia, a guy from France, and a girl from Spain. The guy from France didn’t really speak English and was trying to explain the rules of the game, the girl from Spain didn’t really speak anything other than Spanish, and I didn’t really speak anything other than English. The guy from Russia (6 language guy) would listen to the explanation in French, and translate it to English and then to Spanish. It made me realize that just like me, other people don’t know other languages other than their own and it makes communication a lot easier when you know more than one. London is great and so are its people.
Tips for the Trip: Definitely look up your destination ahead of time because it takes a long time to get anywhere in London, and it is worth it to purchase a day pass that includes the Underground and the bus system.