Sooooo London happened aaaaaaaand I kind of sort of loved it! Translation: I LOVED IT!
I got to see Big Ben, which was a huge check off the bucket list. I’ve been waiting to see Big Ben in person ever since I saw Peter Pan as a kid. It was quite surreal. The whole weekend was surreal. I saw the Buckingham Palace although the Queen was not home. What a shame; I was going to offer myself as an eligible bride for Prince Harry. Better luck next time I suppose! I got to go on the London Eye, which ended way too quickly. It was really cool to see all the city of London. What really made the weekend so great and special was the great group of students I was with. We had a lot of laughs with and at each other. We went through the London Dungeon attraction which was quite scary! It was also educational about the horror that has transpired throughout England’s history including the forms of torture, Jack the Ripper, a tyrannic king whose name I have now forgotten because history has never been my strong point, and much more. We also went on a three-hour walking tour which took us to statues, old palaces, monuments, parks, and other historical sites all right there in the city of London. I hadn’t realized how close all of the attractions were. Buckingham Palace was not so far from the London Eye where I could also see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. I guess it makes sense that all these buildings would be so close together as the city of London did not always have such a high population. When building a new city way back in the day, one would not place everything so far apart so obviously everything would be very close together. It was also crazy to realize how jam-packed London was. So many tall buildings and skinny roads it was almost like I was surrounded by walls every moment. In some areas of London, there was a minor feeling of claustrophobia.
Granted, I did love my weekend in London but I will be honest. A lot of my excitement at the beginning of the trip kind of died by the end. One would think it would be quite the experience, but the whole weekend, no matter how excited I was to be in London, I could not help but thinking London is just another city. It only comes across as cool, exotic, and different because I am a foreigner. When my group stopped to take one of the many pictures of Big Ben, I heard a passerby say “Why do these people care so much about a clock?” This comment made me think. To the natives of London and England, it is just a clock tower. Simply a landmark of the city. Why do people get so excited about landmarks? It is something new to see, something that has been talked up. When I saw the clock tower in person, I took a second to stop and think. It was satisfactory to see it after having dreamt about it for so long. After that second passed, I then thought ‘well, it is just a clock tower’ and I was ready to move on. I think what made a difference was I didn’t feel like a tourist. I had been living in England for two weeks when I went to London so I was slightly adjusted to the country. Also the aspect that I do currently live in England did not make me feel like a tourist; I have the next three months to revisit London if I choose. It is a bus or train ride away rather than an expensive vacation that will only last a week. I suddenly realize this post is kind of disappointing and not very exciting but I promise I did enjoy my time in London! All in all, London was everything I expected it to be and it was also nothing like what I expected it to be. I definitely want to visit again before I leave as there were a few items I did not get to check off my bucket list. More to come later on with other adventures.