Last week I had autumn break—the mid-semester week off from school that’s sort of equivalent to Thanksgiving break, but with much less turkey and cranberries. So I went to visit London! Here’s a jumble of pictures that is in no way chronological, complete with annotations.
I was only there for three days so this might be a completely inaccurate observation, but the first thing I thought is that London is a lot like a Europeanized San Francisco. It’s much more bustling than CPH, and there’s a little more of that edge that keeps you very alert all the time. There are two-story buses barreling the wrong way down the street (okay fine, it’s the right way in the UK, but it was difficult for my brain to comprehend that) blaring their horns at jaywalking pedestrians, and it just seems much louder than CPH in general. It’s also an incredibly sprawling city, and thus they have an extensive underground metro—colloquially known as the Tube.
As I was wandering around, I came across Kings Cross station!! See, I even found Platform 9 3/4, with a bunch of muggles surrounding it. Good thing it’s not September 1, or wizard public transport would have gotten a lot more difficult.
Starbucks in the US, Baresso in Copenhagen, and Costa in London—as much as I *love* independent coffee shops, there’s just something about chain stores that has a certain charm. Although London had a Starbucks QUITE LITERALLY ON EVERY CORNER,on every OTHER corner, you can find a Costa. Pretty okay standard chain coffee. And the intensely sugary concoction you see above was the Hazelnut Toffee Latte ❤
I wandered through the enormous and gorgeous Hyde Park. It would be so perfect for running on a nice day!
I just happened to walk past the Royal Astronomical Society!!! It was closed, but I still felt in awe just the same.
Moreso than all the “must-see” sites like the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the one thing in London that I really had my heart set on was going to Hatchard’s Booksellers—the oldest bookshop in London. I was essentially a kid in a candy store and I had the urge to collapse in an awestruck heap. (And I fought that urge, successfully!) Instead, I bought an Austen book—I thought it was fitting to read English authors while in England.
I’m a total sucker for these kinds of signs.
Another place I had my heart set on going to was Monmouth Coffee, and it did NOT disappoint. Probably the best cappuccino I’ve had in a long, long time. But apparently it was a modern Madam Puddifoot’s, and this hilarious Spanish couple in the corner would NOT stop snogging and giggling. So I left a little sooner than I’d have liked.
lololololol this dude has HAD IT in Costa
I went to Chinatown one evening for drinks!
I was meaning to visit Borough Market, but I happened upon it quite accidentally (“We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents!”). It’s this BEAUTIFUL outdoor market (covered, thankfully, from the rain) with a countably infinite selection of fresh food. There was one place that was selling kangaroo burgers, and I would totally have loved to try one if I had been hungry.
The Thames river is as brown in real life as they say it is.
The weather was excellent (surprisingly, I’m told) and there was very little rain. But the constant oscillation between dark clouds and sunshine made a beautiful background for the city.
This is the Tower Bridge as seen from London Bridge. Which, incidentally, was not falling down.
The Tower of London!
My verdict: I love London. It’s an incredibly diverse city and I definitely want to go back.