The first two weeks of school were pretty relaxed, but at the same time challenging.
We all had to get used to the new environment, the new subjects, teachers and classmates, as well as the new lifestyle. I quite liked the atmosphere and the life on campus. It was all pretty convenient. Obviously, some teachers or subjects weren’t that great at first, but what can you expect from the first few weeks of school. Other than classes, we had some casual evenings together, went to the supermarket, cooked every day, studied and had a small party. Just how I expected the first weeks to be.
As we weren’t that busy with studying yet, I decided to go to the city on the weekends. On Saturday the 22nd of February, me and my two best friends headed to the city by subway. I just followed them. In central London, we walked by some cool shops and cafés. One of them was called “Doughnut time”, a really “instagrammable” place to be. We just walked by. But just the look inside was so cool, but definitely corny. No wonder, the doughnut shop attracted especially girls. We also passed by a closed “meat market”, a really historical church, some random little streets and courtyards. All in all, it was super nice to see London from a non-touristic perspective.
My colleagues are pretty interested in art. In a city like London, there are all the time and everywhere some new art galleries and exhibitions. This time, they were interested in visiting the exhibition called “Masculinities”. The gallery was inside “Barbican Hall”, quite a big areal. I would have personally never ever even thought about going to an exhibition about masculinities, but I decided to be open-minded and just go wherever they wanted to go. It was actually quite interesting to just look around and get new impressions. However, I still didn’t turn to the biggest art lover. In the same building, we discovered a huge indoor garden. So cool! Something you would only find in a big city. So random.
Afterwards, we went inside the little restaurant at Barbican Hall to eat early dinner. The food was nothing special, but easy and convenient. Then, for the evening, we planned to watch the Korean movie, called “Parasite”. You have probably heard about it. If not, go and check it out! The movie was really good. At the beginning, I found it a little tiring to listen to the Korean language, while reading English subtitles. But I got used to it quickly. Furthermore, I found it much more authentic and touching hearing the actors in their mother tongue, rather than their synchronous voice. I absolutely recommend this movie! From the cinema, we headed back to campus, by bus and subway. A chilled, different, but nice day we spent in London.
The weekend after, we had a more touristy day in the city. The weather was beautiful. Elle and I headed by subway to the city, specifically to Soho. There, we just walked a little bit around, because most shops and restaurants were still closed. We had a look at Soho Square, a crazy clothes shop and the main street close to China Town. Then, we decided to go inside “Café de Nata”. I heard about this place before. They are famous for selling Portuguese egg tartes. I also heard that they are very famous in Hong Kong. As I never tried them before, I really wanted to give them a shot. They came in so many flavours. I went with the classic one. They tasted amazing! I honestly didn’t expect that. It’s like a delicious vanilla custard on puff pastry, just better.
After our little pre-snack, we were finally able to enter “Eat Tokyo”. That’s where we originally planned to go for lunch and the reason for us coming to Soho. We heard from some classmates before, that this place is really good for Japanese cuisine at a reasonable price. We predominantly ordered Sashimi and Sushi. So fresh and delicious! The presentation was on fleek too. It was so good to eat Japanese together with my friend Elle, as we met each other in Japan and travelled together in Korea. It was like a little flash back. Then, I just had to check out the Bubble Tea Store next door, called Biju Bubble Tea Room. The interior was fully inspired of K-Pop. So Asian! I decided to try the bubble tea with matcha. It was pretty delicious, but the Boba not as fresh as in the Taiwanese store. It made me happy anyway.
After so much food, it was time for a walk! It’s actually one of my favourite walks in whole London. We first headed to St. Paul’s cathedral, such a beautiful building. From there you can walk straight on the famous “Millennium Bridge”, well known from Harry Potter. The bridge connects St. Paul’s cathedral and the Tate Modern, a really famous museum in London. Moreover, you have an amazing view of the Thames, as well as the cathedral. Such a beautiful spot. Before checking out Tate Modern, we decided to have a walk along the Thames. From there you could actually see the unique and extraordinary shape of the Harry Potter Bridge. Moreover, there are always some street musicians playing their songs, which creates a charming atmosphere.
Elle and I walked all the way to Tower Bridge. On the way, you pass by beautiful little alleys and even some street art. For me, Tower Bridge is one of the most stunning places to be. I could just spend an entire day there without getting bored. But we didn’t have that much time. My friend planned to meet two friends of hers at Tate Modern, which is why we headed back there.
It was really nice meeting them. Before checking out the gallery, I wanted to show them the viewing platform at the top of the building. That’s probably one of the best recommendations I can give you for London. Go to Tate Modern and take the elevator to the highest floor. You will be rewarded with a stunning view. And the best of it, you do not have to pay anything for it. Usually, when going to a viewing spot, like “Sky Garden” you have to book tickets in advance. That’s much more convenient and cheaper. We all really enjoyed it!
Afterwards, we checked out the multiple galleries. There are so many of them, changing constantly. It wasn’t my first time here. But due to the always changing exhibitions, it doesn’t get boring. And that was it! We all headed back to the subway station and made our way back “home”. Such a nice day! And you have no idea how happy I am, that we actually enjoyed London before the lockdown. And that was not all of it! There is so much more to do and see in London. You will soon see more!