Well I have officially entered the final 36 hours of my study abroad semester. I have to admit, I’m a little confused as to where exactly the last four months went because I feel like I just got here like last week and now its time to leave. I’ve been trying to make the most of my final days, balancing spending time in the city and finishing up my papers and projects. At my school they don’t actually have finals until January, so half of my final assignments aren’t due until next year. I have been trying to be really realistic about the situation, and let’s face it, as soon as I get home there’s a very slim chance I am going to get around to doing this once I get home. So I actually got the majority of all of my papers done! Between spending time in the library writing those I have checked quite a few things off my London Bucket List so let me just fill you in…
The majority of last week was focused on school work, but that was only so I could have a stress free weekend! So Friday night I headed to Hyde Park to experience Winter Wonderland. Now I know I mentioned in my last post that London does Christmas, but everyday I am amazed at how much dedication they put into this holiday. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is definitely the peak of it all, however. For those of you who have visited Hyde Park, you know its quite large. Well imagine at least half of the park just covered with rides, vendors selling gifts, stalls celling mulled cider and beer, and every kind of sweet imaginable. It’s incredible. I went with a lot of the other study abroad kids, and it was nice to experience it with them. My favorite part was the Bavarian Village. It was like a mini Oktoberfest and on a Friday night it was #lit. The music was amazing and everyone was singing and dancing and it was just like, “WHY do I have to leave this place in a week.” I enjoyed my night drinking cider and singing Christmas Carols scattered with some Grease classics and Bob Marley before returning to Twickenham late Friday night.
Saturday was a pretty eventful day. I started my day in Hackney, checking off the last market that was on my list. When I was in Berlin, one of the girls staying in my hostel told me that her favorite market in London was Broadway Market. It’s only a Saturday Market so I’ve had a hard time finding the right time to make it there, but as it was my last Saturday I made a point to get there and meet up with my friend Becca. I can see why it was her favorite Market. It was probably the least overwhelming market I’ve been to thus far, and I mean that in the best way. I was able to walk around several times, and decide what I actually wanted, without being overwhelmed and making an impulse decision. We enjoyed some bomb vegetarian Indian and browsed all the stalls before parting ways. But as fate would have it, we are both on the same flight back to Boston on Saturday morning. It’s so funny how stuff like that happens, huh?
I made my way back to Twickenham on Saturday afternoon, as I had the final study abroad dinner on Saturday night. All of the study abroad ambassadors and coordinators, set up a dinner for anyone around and willing in order to have one last hoorah all together. It was nice to spend time with people I have become so fond of over the last four months. And obviously we went to the pub for a few drinks after dinner. It was a wonderful way to spend my last Saturday night, with the people I spent my very first nights at St. Mary’s with. They are the people who have made this experience everything that it was. I’m so lucky to have met such awesome people during my time here.
Sunday I had a lazy day. I’m not only trying to balance embracing London and finish mms school work, but trying to cherish as much alone time as I can before I return home. Don’t get me wrong I am SO excited to go home and see my friends, but one of the best things about this semester is that I’ve been able to spend so much uninterrupted time with myself. I’ve watched so many movies on Netflix, a lot of them being classics I should not have waited til the age of 20 to see. I forgot how much I enjoyed having time to myself. I can’t wait to live in a house with 7 other girls that I love dearly, but alone time just isn’t a thing in that type of environment and I’m trying to cherish these moments while I can.
I spent Monday in the library finish a paper that took far longer than it should have.
Tuesday I checked quite a few things off my list, but not everything. There was this one crepe place I had really wanted to try, but it was a hike and a half from Twickenham. It happened to be relatively close to Camden Market, so I figured I would go back to Camden and stop by the crepe place on the way. Well they just so happened to be closed on Tuesday. So one thing I just won’t get to do, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
Alls well that ends well I suppose, as Camden has endless amounts of yummy food. So I had a delicious lunch AND found the last christmas present I needed to get. So I would say I was extremely successful.
After Camden I had a few things I wanted to see. The first was in Kensington, in an area I have walked by quite a few times but missed nonetheless. You know “The Parent Trap”? Well if you don’t you need to pull yourself out from that rock you’ve been hiding under and watch it immediately. Well Annie is from London, so OBVIOUSLY, I had to go see the house where the movie is filmed. My childhood self who thought Lindsay Lohan actually had a twin until I was about 10 would be so proud.
After seeing the house, and feeling extremely creepy for taking an excessive amount of pictures of someones actual home, I went to the last museum that was on my list. Well it’s not really a museum, but rather a gallery. Now I have been to a lot of museums in the last four months and I have to tell ya I am down right over them. I am REALLY glad that I made it to the Saatchi Gallery, however, as it was probably my favorite one I’ve been too.
The problem with all these museums is that they are jack full of all this old boring art that I simply don’t appreciate. The Saatchi Gallery only had 15 rooms, all with only a few pieces of art and very centralized on one thing. It was art that I appreciated and didn’t just browse. I DEFINITELY recommend the Saatchi Gallery to anyone who finds themselves in London and is looking for something cool and alternative to do. And it’s free!
Today I went out to lunch at a yummy burger place and packed. Everything fit so there’s that, but that’s about as happy as I’m gonna be when it comes to that process.
It’s so weird that tomorrow is my last night here. No other way to describe it. My plan is to spend tomorrow just taking in the city, wandering around, appreciating all that this wonderful place is. My adventure may be near its end but that doesn’t mean my posts will stop so stay tuned. Cheers 🙂