I have officially been in London for two weeks now!
Yesterday (Valentine’s Day), I spent another day wandering around the city. My first stop was the British Museum. It’s one of London’s many free museums and has tons of ancient history inside. They had so many Greek and Roman artifacts, statues, armor and coins, Greek pottery, and even pieces of the Parthenon. (Nerd alert – I was super excited about those exhibits!) They also had Egyptian mummies (ew, dead people), including Cleopatra, and the Rosetta Stone. I spent at least two hours wandering around the giant building looking at all the exhibits (mostly because the building was HUGE).
The British Museum connects to Oxford Street, a popular shopping area in London, so I adventured down that way. I went into Topshop, a really popular store in the UK. I loved all of their clothes, just not the prices. London Fashion Week is this coming week, so they had their ready to wear versions of their runway line from the show out for sale and a bunch of designer brands down on the bottom floor. Oh yeah, the store is 6 stories. Four floors above ground and two below. My budget is more suited to stores like H&M and Primark. H&M is a lot like a Forever 21 and Primark is very trendy department store, and they both are pretty affordable places.
It started to rain and I didn’t want to walk around in the rain for too long, so I got on the tube and went down to Kensington Gardens. I walked through the Gardens and saw the back of the palace on my way to another tube station. There is so much more to Kensington than what I saw yesterday, so I’ll have to make another trip out to the Gardens. If the sun stays out, I might head out there today.
I also stopped to see the Albert Memorial, a giant golden memorial by Queen Victoria to honor her husband. It is the definition of over the top.
I walked down to my tube station on Kensington Road, which has tons of beautiful (very English looking) homes, which I’m sure were for the very high class. My tube station was just down the road from Harrods (and a bunch of other very pricy stores), so I decided to take a peek. Trying to explore Harrods on Valentine’s Day was probably not the best idea, because it was crowded with people. I walked (well, shuffled) through the food halls, where they sell gourmet foods, baked goods, and sweets. They had a whole room dedicated to chocolates! I got a free champagne truffle out of the trip, so the hustle might have been worth it.
After a few hours relaxing back at my flat, I headed back out and took a tube all the way to North Greenwich station, south of the river, because I was going to the O2 Arena to see one of my favorite bands, All Time Low! I had found a good ticket, one section away from the stage on the first deck, for a decent price on Friday and decided that I would buy myself a Valentine’s Day present. You know, treat yo self.
I was absolutely blown away when I stepped out of the station and saw the arena. I knew it was a big place, but this thing was HUGE. The whole building encompassed the giant arena itself, plus a whole outer ring of restaurants, a movie theatre, and a bowling alley. (That’s only on one side of the building too.)
The concert was opened up by a band called Walk The Moon. I recognized one of their songs, called Shut Up and Dance, and they were a very high-energy band, one that’s fun to watch even if you don’t know their music.
All Time Low came on next. They were so much fun! Not only do they sound amazing live, they put on a really great show. They jump around and run all over the stage, make fun of each other, and interact with the crowd. Which was pretty darn huge. There were hundreds of people on the floor in the standing room only section and the front half really got in to the show. The band even pulled a few up from the crowd to join them on stage for a song. They ended the show with one of their biggest songs, a giant fireworks show, and getting into the crowd to sing. They’ve been doing this since 2006, so they know haw to out on a show.
The show was part of a co-headline tour, so the other band, You Me At Six, played last. They were from England, so they were a lot more popular with this crowd. There were even more people coming into the arena right before their set. I had heard a few of their songs before, but really didn’t know them. I decided to stick around, because hey, I paid for it, why not. They put on a really great show as well! Their style of music was a little different than All Time Low’s, more rock sounding, and they sounded great live. I’ll definitely be adding them to my playlists now.
I was never a big fan of live music, but maybe I just wasn’t going to the right concerts. I had so much fun and that was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I’m excited to see more live music in the future. In a few weeks, I’ll be seeing Sam Hunt at a club here in London, which will be on a lot smaller scale, because he’s not well known here, especially since he’s in the country market. But in August, I’ll be going to see my favorite band, 5 Seconds of Summer, in the Woodlands, which should be a pretty good show.
Today is a lazy Sunday here at the flat. I was going to do laundry, but you have to buy tokens from the office, which is closed today. Darn. I’ll probably spend some time in Kensington, then pick up some groceries and make myself some dinner here at home. After an exciting Saturday night, I need some down time before I start the week again.