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Andrea: Loving London

January 16, 2011
It was only five days ago since my study abroad program began, and I’ve already learned how amazing my experience here can be if I take full advantage of all the opportunities that come my way. Friday evening, CAPA hosted a welcome reception at the Regency Hotel where we were served tea, small tea cakes, scones, and other really yummy treats. During the reception, some of my flatmates and I were greeted by a few professors and other staff members who were all incredibly friendly, which makes me kind of excited for classes to start tomorrow. Afterward, a few of us took the tube to Piccadilly Circus to see what the nightlife is like. Turns out that Londoners know how to have a good time.

Saturday morning, we were taken on a tour by coach through London to see some of the major monuments in the city like Big Ben, London Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey. Our tour guide was pretty funny and gave us sooo much information that it was impossible for me to remember it all, but it was still very cool to get a feel for the city, which I am very much falling in love with.

Today was probably my favorite adventure so far. One of the CAPA staff members offered to meet whoever was interested at the Camden Town tube station to show us the area and let us explore. Camden Town is an inner city district in northwest London with tons of open-air and indoor markets, tattoo and piercing shops, and people sporting mohawks and leather jackets almost everywhere you look. The stalls and shops sold tons of clothes, souvenirs, records, all sorts of amazing-smelling food, and lots of accessories to suit just about any style (especially for those into punk or vintage clothing). One area that we went through, the Stables Market, was converted from a Victorian horse hospital.  

 

I did not walk away with a new tattoo or piercing, but I did pick up a new dress and two new scarves for a pretty good deal. One thing to remember in Camden: barter as much as possible to get the best bargain you can. I will definitely be back there at some point. If not for a new tat, then for the view from the top of Primrose Hill.
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