Ireland – Day Trip to London – by Victoria Hansen. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
[The outside of Harrod’s]
London is a city that is bustling with constant activity. A person from every walk of life imaginable can be found there. When most people think of London, they think of Big Ben, West Minster Abbey and the other big tourist attractions. Some people even call their underground transportation system to mind when thinking of London. I personally had been to London once before but on the first weekend in March, I decided it was time for me to go back.
The first time I went to London I saw all the usual tourist attractions but like every other tourist destination, to go inside costs money. Being that this time I am on a much stricter budget, I had to see London in what I like to call the broke college student way. Only seeing main attractions from the outside and finding any possible free thing to do. We also had to stay a little further out of the city to be able to afford our Airbnb.
[The tea we had in Harrod’s]
On Friday, our first full day in London, we started our day by going to a place called Camden Market. I had never actually heard of the place before so I was excited to see something new. The market was unlike anything I can remember seeing back home in the states. There were venders for everything you could possibly think of, from clothes to tapestries to hang on the walls. The atmosphere was that of a hipster mall, hidden from the mainstream. Even though the market had just opened, it was already crowded with people.
I walked around the market for two whole hours, mostly because it was such a maze that I couldn’t figure how to get out. I had worked up an appetite from all that walking and decided to try one of the many street food venders. I, being the picky eater that I am, struggled to find something that I would actually eat before coming across a mac n cheese stand. The price was a bit steep at five and a half pounds but the food was beyond worth it.
[The entrance to China Town in London]
After sitting down to eat for a while, my travel companions and I decided to continue on and see what other free things we could find. One of the other girls that I had traveled with had also been to London before so her and I decided to show the two newbies all of the regular tourist attractions before heading off to Harrod’s for tea.
Harrod’s is a very high end mall that takes up at least an entire block. The massive building holds five levels of luxury shopping. Brand names such as Gucci, Prada, and Fendi can all easily be found within the walls of Harrod’s. Like I said though, I am on a poor college student budget. The three of us window shopped through all five floors of Harrod’s before deciding to rest our legs for an hour or so in the Tea Room. We figured we couldn’t go to London and not drink any tea so we each ordered our own pot off an impressive tea menu.
We were all getting hungry from all the walking around so we asked the birthday girl of our group where she would like to eat. That is how we ended up in China town. Much like Camden market, I hadn’t even known that China town existed until I saw the red Chinese lanterns strung up above the streets that house the area. It looked like something straight out of a movie. It was exactly how I imagined china town would be. The entire block was filled with nothing but Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants. We picked one of the restaurants right off the street. We sat by a window and watched all the festivities unfold.
[The entrance to Camden Market]
After a long day of travel, we decided to head back to our Airbnb. The tubes were packed with people just heading out for the night as we passed them to make our way to our beds. I had only been back in London for one whole day but I had already managed to see two new things. Seeing an entire city is almost next to impossible, it never hurts to revisit a place you’ve already seen because I can almost guarantee you there will be something new to see every time you return. I thought I had seen it all, but this trip showed me just how wrong I was.
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