Since getting to London on Wednesday, countless Harry & Meghan flags and memorabilia could be spotted all over. Flags hung from balconies, plates sold in markets, and the royal wedding was the main, if not sole, content of the Evening Standard. All of the buzz and excitement around the wedding made it even more surreal to be in London during it.
Rather than waking up at 3 am to get to Windsor in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, some friends and I went to a pub to watch it on TV. We all fawned over the perfection of the dress, the ceremony, and the event as a whole.
After the couple kissed on the steps and made off in the carriage, we walked through Camden Market, one of the biggest tourist attractions located just minutes from my doorstep. Some friends bought clothes and souvenirs, and I bought a set of rings that I have been too obsessed with to take off.
Next, we had a bus tour where we got to see some of the major sights in London, as well as some sights significant to the filming of the Harry Potter movies. This tour was incredibly informative and I learned quite a bit about London.
-There are 3,000 pubs and 1,000 churches in London
-Liquor stores are called “off licenses”
-St. Pancras church/park is where the Beatles took photos for their albums
-St. Pancras hotel was shot as Hogwarts
-In just two months (June & July) in 1665, 1 in 5 people died from the plague
-Source of “Ring around the rosie”, to which the British changed the lyrics in attempt to make it less morbid
-Just one year later in 1666, 80% of London burnt down due to a fire caused by the baker of King Charles II. At the time, all houses were made of wood and a type of cement containing alcohol. Had the baker not been the Royal Baker, he would have been beheaded, but he only received 6 months in prison.
– William Penn was baptized at the All Hallows-by-the-Tower, an Anglican church that overlooks the Tower of London. John Quincy Adams was married in this church as well, being the only American president to get married on foreign soil.
Aside from learning these facts, I got to see some great sights during the bus tour. We drove past places like Diagon Alley, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben. Unfortunately, Big Ben is under construction until at least 2020, so all that is visible is the face of the clock. We made stops to take photos at Tower Bridge (what most people call London Bridge), Millennium Bridge (Harry Potter), and Buckingham Palace. At Buckingham Palace, we watched the guard marching, took plenty of photos, and went into the Queen’s Shop. Afterwards, we had fish and chips at the Bag O Nails Pub before heading home after a long day.
The following day, today, I went on a couple of walking tours that weren’t as valuable. The first was a walking tour of Kentish Town Road, which is the street that I am living on. Essentially, this tour was just pointing out some restaurants and pubs to try. Following that walking tour, we took the tube to the South Bank where we had another walking tour. Most of this tour overlapped with the bus tour, but it was nice to be by the water and to see people on the rocky “beaches” of London.
Following the tour, a group of us made our way towards St. Paul’s Cathedral and then to a building that has a glass elevator that takes you to a roof top terrace overlooking much of London. We spent some time up there taking photos and taking in the scenery before I headed back to Camden. Tomorrow is the first day of my internship at Clic-Sargent, and Tuesday is the first day of my classes. I am looking forward to getting settled into a schedule so that I can really begin to adjust better! Thanks for reading xx