To Market, to Market!

8 Feb

What a week! I finally feel like a native Londoner! There are so many things to see, it’s overwhelming! When viewing a travel book there are hundreds of pages of history only within a 30-minute distance on all sides of the city! It is as if by being here you start to pave your own path of history.

This week began with a trip to the market and one of the most exciting nights I have had in a long time. On Sunday morning we woke to the sun beaming through the clouds, it was calling our names to go out and explore the city! Two of my roommates and I took a bus to Camden Market, it is such a cool place! There were tons of cloths and touristy things to buy, two dresses for 25 pounds, post cards for 10 pounds, and literally so much authentic Moroccan, South African, Indian, Chinese, etc food booths it was insane! We walked up and down the isles of the market pretending to try to decide what we wanted to eat, when our real intention was to take advantage of the samples! We eventually decided to pick a place to eat  because we felt we couldn’t truly say we experienced the market without this. For the first time since being in London, I felt a real cultural aspect and difference from America. The area of the market was so different from what I expected, the streets were pave with cobble stones and brick arches. It was almost as though the shapes were built for the market itself. It had a very unique alternative vibe, particularly this store called Cyberdog that was in the middle of the market. On the outside were two giant robots and as you looked inside is was dark with smaller human size, neon glowing robots lining the wall. I snapped a quick shot before being told there were no pictures aloud. The people who worked there, well all I can say is that have character! Most of them had at least 8-10 piercings, hair colored pink, purple, red and green, and styled creatively as well, with some in dreads or other parts shaved. They dressed in alternatives style clothing and wore some of the highest platform shoes I have ever seen!  After walking around for a few hours and devouring our food we headed back to the flat to get ready for the premier.

My roommates and I attended the premiere for Invictus! Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman were literally inches away from us. One of my roommates got Matt Damon’s autograph and the other a video of him signing autographs right in front of us! My heart was racing! It was so exhilarating! About every other week there is a movie premieres in Trafalgar square, they light up the square and roll out the red carpet for all the stars and the fans who buy ticket seat for 300 pounds or more! I think I will just be seeing it on my time! This Thursday is the Valentines Day premiere! Its going to be absolutely MAD! There are so many stars in the movie we are going to have to be there so early to even catch a glimpse of anyone! Julia Roberts is my favorite actress and this is one of her first films in a while so that will be very exciting to see her!

Monday through Thursday again is a bit of a whirlwind, I had a paper due on Tuesday morning and two due on Wed. night. Monday after working from 9-5pm I spent the evening finishing up my response to some landscape and Victorian paintings from the Tate Britain museum. In class the previous Tuesday we had a field trip to Tate Britain, we were asked to compare to landscape artist, John Constable and William Turner, and asked to write about a Victorian painting that we liked. Seems simple enough but it was one of the most detailed papers I have ever written. I thoroughly enjoyed analyzing the painting and the museum. These aspects of London are amazing, in learning to love and appreciate art overtime I enjoy the free exhibits and artistic nature flowing through this city! This week in class we’re learning the twisted past of Vincent Van Gogh because we are visiting his exhibit in two weeks, which I am thrilled about as well as the rest of London, the exhibit has been long-awaited.

Thursday is British popular culture and International marketing. British pop culture is an interesting class. The teacher has some interesting views on popular culture and keeps the three-hour class engaging by his opinionated views. We had a visit to the National Gallery. It has some of the most amazing oil paintings, bursting with vibrant colors and enormous in size. The Gallery was absolutely stunning, the presentation of each gallery rooms lined with different colors, frames, and architecture of the entrances and exits, it was magnificent.  International marketing is not so intriguing, in fact it has become a painful three hours to sit through.

My sister Amanda, flew into London on Thursday to spend the weekend will me before she is moving to Australia for about a year at least. She attended class with me and then we went to a Spanish tapas restaurant for lunch and then to some pubs in Camden town for dinner and drinks. It was great to just relax after a long week of work and class.

Friday was an amazing day! The sun was out and we decided to explore the South Bank of the city, I booked a flight on the London Eye, and with few clouds in the sky it was absolutely beautiful! The eye is deceiving from far away most people may think that you can only fit a few people inside, or that it is like riding a Farris wheel. The eyes are huge! You can throw parties inside and fit up to 30 people in each pod! It moves very slowly so that each person can have a view of every angle of the city. Before entering the eye you actually see the city through 4-D in a room with a huge screen and you experience the eye in all seasons. We walked along the bank to see Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern Museum, and Millennium Bridge. At the end of the bridge is St. Paul’s cathedral towering over buildings. The architecture is faceted with stories of Christ, angels and other significant biblical figure.

Friday night I made reservations for 12 people at a club called the Zoo Bar, this was our first experience at a club in London and it turned out fantastic! I booked a booth for free and we were on the guest list so we got in with no cover. The club was one of the best nights I have had in London so far.

Saturday we explored Portobello Market, a large antique market with hundreds of old collectables. It also has food, cloths, purses, and pretty much anything you can think of. We were there for three hours and only covered about half of it. My roommates and I decided that a nice dinner in would be fun so we picked up some cheese, crackers, fruit, salad, pesto, bread, and wine and sat for hours eating and chatting about life. It was a great night.

Today, Sunday I believe my sister would like Camden market so I think we may venture back there for the afternoon and visit some of the parks around the city. It’s been a busy week! My sister is flying out for Australia this evening, it is strange to think this could be the last time I see her in a few years. It has been so exciting to share this experience with someone who appreciates traveling and the vastness of culture and beauty this city has to unveil.

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