As my sixth week in London starts, I am already beginning to wrap up my study abroad experience. The halfway point during my study abroad experience was really what reminded me to go see everything I still needed to while I am here. During the past two weeks, I was able to travel to Paris for a weekend trip with my roommate. It was a busy but enjoyable weekend despite the heat wave and temperatures going above 100 degrees. We planned our entire weekend so that we would be able to do as much as we could in 48 hours. We were able to visit the Louvre, and Sacre-Coeur, we went on a boat cruise and saw Notre Dame and other monuments such as the Concorde. I especially enjoyed walking in the Jardin des Tuileries, a public garden located in the heart of Paris where many people come to spend time with their friends, and families or just take a walk by themselves. Although we went during a heatwave, we enjoyed eating some warm croissants, the best crepes, and baguette sandwiches during our trip. I was able to see my adaptation skills improving during this trip as I found adapting to Paris easier after having to adapt to London at the beginning of this program. For example, using the metro did not feel challenging as we had already been used to using the tube every day to commute in London and it was a similar concept.
While I enjoy being able to take advantage to travel to nearby countries and cities during these six weeks in the UK, I found it helpful to keep the last two weeks here exploring London and get my final papers and assignments in. It is extremely easy to forget the limited amount of time we have as we are trying to complete an internship, explore during our free time, take classes, and complete assignments for those classes. During these last few weeks, I have tried to do as much sightseeing as possible in London. One of the attractions that I was unaware of but became very fond of is the many markets around the city. From flower to food markets, London is teeming with various markets in different parts of the city. Some markets are only open on Sundays such as the Columbia Road Flower Market, which was filled with locals buying flowers for each other. The streets also had many coffee shops with a variety of breakfast food. During our trip to Greenwich, we were able to walk around the Greenwich market which was filled with unique clothing items and souvenirs that you would not be able to find anywhere else in London. I particularly enjoyed the Greenwich area as we not only visited the market but were able to also go to the Greenwich observatory which overlooks the entire city of London. With numerous food stalls in one place, I found markets to be an amazing place to try many different cuisines at once as it is easy to grab small portions of food from different stalls to try as much as I can. Along with the diverse food and drinks, markets also have a wide variety of clothes and accessories such as purses, jewelry, room decorations, and paintings. As this study experience come to an end, I am hoping to visit one or two more markets during my free time to find as many souvenirs as I can to bring back home!