Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Tag: London

The Boat Races

A warm and sunny spring Sunday at the 163rd (72nd for women) annual Boat Race along the Thames River in London between rival universities, Oxford and Cambridge. Of course, we cheered for our hometown team, Cambridge. They, sadly, did not win, but it was a very fun day with very good friends. 

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Tower

I’ve been inside the Tower of London before, and while it’s one of my favorite activities in London, it’s also not free; I didn’t want to pay to do the same tour again, and so, while my visiting friends went inside, I opted instead to explore the outskirts with my camera on this misty, moody English afternoon. 

The area is one of the most crowded in London (from my experience, at least), and there were tourists everywhere. Some might find that annoying, but I thought it was sort of nice. In this one little area of the world, so much of that world packed in together. All of these people here for the same view, to walk the same street, hundreds of years old. 

Winter London

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A rare spot of sun in February London. I had a friend visiting from Boston for the week, which meant that I spent a few days re-visiting all of London’s main tourist sites. We started at Big Ben, made our way past Parliament, up to Westminster Abbey, to my favorite nearby pub, over to the Churchill War Rooms, through St. James Park, past Buckingham Palace, down the mall, and across to Trafalagar Square. This has become my go-to loop for visitors. It’s a lot of walking, but it’s such a nice way to see so much of the city in a short period of time. 

It’s strange, though, to explain to guests that this is such an anomaly. In my day-to-day life, these London staples simply are not staples. They are, though, very nice to re-visit them now and then. And it’s beautiful to see London lit up and anew from eager, fresh eyes. 

Borough Market

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I’ve lived in England for a year now; it took me that long to visit Borough Market, in spite of everyone urging me to check it out sooner. Well, the stars finally aligned, and I met some friends for lunch one afternoon during the week. I totally understand the hype now – I loved it! There were so many options, delicious bits from all over the world. I even found my favorite Greek mountain tea from Crete for sale at one of the stands (!!!). If only it were a little closer to Cambridge. Still, I’ll be back (if only to sample one of those giant meringues in my picture… Note to self: next time, bring extra cash). 

East London

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East London on a spring day. I had no idea London had such a thriving houseboat community. And that sunset. It was gorgeous. 

 

Portobello Road

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Earlier this month, I had a few hours to spare between Monday morning meetings in Shoreditch and class at LSE. I was in London and with my camera, and it was an unseasonably warm day – naturally, I wanted to be out and about and not simply reading in a cafe somewhere. Not today.

I had seen beautiful pictures of the Notting Hill area of London and heard equally beautiful things, but had never been myself. Twenty minutes on the tube later, that changed. Though I am admittedly still learning to use my camera (ie not yet very good, especially in challenging lighting situations like cloudy London), I had fun wandering aimlessly, no destination. This street was the perfect place to do exactly that. This is definitely my new favorite part of the city. 

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