Only 11 days are left between me and Texas! I’m really excited to go home, but I’m a bit sad that I have to leave London behind. I’ve fallen in love with this city and now that spring is finally setting in, I love it even more.
I spent this weekend wandering the city, trying to check a few last sightseeing things off my list.
On Saturday, I met my lovely little Italian friend, Francesca, in Leicester Square for lunch and then we went to see Wicked! I had seen the show once before, but it was still fantastic the second time! I didn’t really notice the accent difference as much as I thought I would have though. The song ‘Dancing Through Life’ did sound a bit off with the Brit’s pronunciation of d-aw-ncing, rather than the ‘Merican d-ah-ncing. (Have I grown used to the British accent? Gaaaasp! Unfortunately, the Texas accent is still going strong. I was told today that I saw fork weird . Apparently the way I say fork sounds awful similar to the way a Brit would say a naughty four letter word that begins with an F. Oops.)
On Sunday, I spent the whole day exploring the city because the weather was absolutely beautiful! We made it up to the 60’s and the sun was shining all day. After some brisk walking, I even had to take my jacket off.
My first stop (was meant to be) Columbia Road Flower Market. It’s another of London’s open air markets and is known for, well, flowers. I hopped on the tube just before lunch time, hoping to grab some yummy market food once I got there. I took the wrong branch of the tube, because whoever created the Northern line doesn’t want anyone to get anywhere they need to go ever apparently, so had to backtrack my way to the right station. From then I was all discombobulated and ended up coming out the wrong exit and took the wrong road out of a roundabout. After about 20 minutes and the realization that I should have been there already, I knew I was really lost. Luckily, I came across a tube station and headed back to Covent Garden for lunch, because I was absolutely starving.
After a nice little American breakfast of pancakes and eggs at the Diner on Neal Street, I ventured further into London. I wandered through Leicester Square, down into Trafalgar Square and then followed the river up toward Embankment Station (where I got on a tube. I decided walking miles and miles like I did my first weekend wasn’t the best idea.)
My first stop was the Monument. I had seen the giant stone pillar when I took the walking tour earlier and was really intrigued when our guide had said you could climb it. For a measly entrance fee of 3 quid, you could climb over 300 steps in a tiny winding circle to the top of a giant stone pillar. Sounds fun, right? The steps weren’t fun, but the view was really great!
From there, I headed back down to the river side and followed it up to Tower Bridge. There were so many people out along the river, enjoying the sunshine! I went up into the Tower Bridge exhibition, where you get to go up into the Towers and cross over the bridge on a glass walkway. I watched the bridge open up to let a boat through under my feet, which was pretty wicked.
I wandered down South Bank, headed toward home. I passed by the HMS Belfast, an old WWII warship, and decided to take a tour. Its not quite as big as the Lexington in Corpus Christi, but its still neat to see the old ship. They had mannequins set up to demonstrate life on board, but an artist had come in and decorated them like they were going to a tribal festival in Trinidad, because the ship had been to port there a few times apparently. Which just made them a bit creepy, to be honest.
After that, I had planned on heading home, but as I passed London Bridge station, I saw some signs for ‘The View from the Shard.’ I had heard a lot about it and follow it on social media, and they always post fantastic views of the city. The ticket price was a bit steep, but the view from the top was amazing. Since the weather was clear and sunny, you could see for miles from the 72nd story viewing deck. You could really see the shape of the city and just how packed together everything is. Pretty stunning to see the world from that high up.
I have one weekend of sightseeing left and two more weeks of work to go here in London. I am only working until Thursday the next two weeks, so this Friday, I’m heading off to Brighton for the day! And on Saturday, the London A&M Club is meeting up for Muster at a pub. I’m pretty excited to meet some other Aggies in London! Next week, I get to start packing… yay. I took Friday off for just that reason. I knew I wouldn’t be done before then and I’m going to drop my luggage off at the airport Friday evening, so I only have to worry about my hand luggage on Saturday morning, since I have to stop by the housing office before heading to the airport.
I really can’t believe that I’m leaving London next week. I do miss my family and friends and can’t wait to get back to Texas, but it really is bittersweet to leave London. I’ve gotten really close with the people I work with and life in the city has become the norm for me. It will be weird to go back to driving around rather than just taking a tube somewhere. Hopefully, getting back into going to class and studying won’t be too hard.
In other, non-London news, I just registered for my final semesters at Texas A&M as an undergrad! I’ll be taking 7 hours in the summer and 13 (or more) this fall – then I graduate in December! After that, I’m not sure where I’ll be going. I’m looking into applying to grad school and getting my master’s at Texas A&M, but I’m also going to be job hunting for my big kid job.