Once May arrived the weather was beautiful. We had our last Euro trip the first week, and the rest of my time was spent enjoying London life. It really hit us that our study abroad experience would soon be over.
Everyone on the Harrow Campus sat outside on the field soaking up the wonderful sun on most days since classes were done with and most finals over. My last week involved tea time, parks, sights, and just enjoying central London to the fullest.
On my last day in London, it was a beautiful sunny spring day and the last day to move out on the Harrow Campus. After packing up all my suitcases and placing them in the hallway, it really came to my mind that my experience in England was over. It was a sad day to say goodbye to my new friends.
Everyone in London says see you in a bit, no goodbyes. Cheers London, see you in a bit!
Anyone could get lost in Harrods for hours. It definitely lives up to its reputation of being the world's most famous luxury department store.
Between the restaurant choices, food hall, and shopping options anyone could spend their whole day there because they would have no reason to leave.
All the associates were friendly and helpful, even the chef making the pizzas in the pizzeria was singing a cheerful tune. We were also lucky enough to hear and see the opera singer who stands on a balcony in the escalator area and performs for the shoppers.
From the home goods section, to the toy kingdom, to the various fashion designers, it was all amazing and displayed perfectly. Harrods is my new favorite department store!
Kristina and I went to go see the popular British musical Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre.
The theatre was small, but beautiful. Blood Brothers has been around for over two decades. It's a combination of comedy and tragedy. The show was amazing. The actors could not only act well, they also had great singing voices.
I am glad I got the chance to experience British theatre and compare it to Broadway back home in New York.
On a beautiful sunny day in London, many people gather at Hyde Park. It is a beautiful park that is approximately 350 acres.
People go to sit and relax alone or with friends, play a sport, lounge in a chair, or even have a little picnic. There are two tube (subway) lines that run around the park - the Central and Piccadilly lines. This year Hyde Park will host two Olympic competitions and it will be the largest "Live Sit" in London where people can come together and celebrate the Olympic games.
For my Modern Art in London class, we had weekly trips to galleries. One of my favorite exhibits was by an artist named Yayoi Kusama. Her exhibit is at the Tate Modern from February until June.
She is one of Japan's most prominent contemporary artists and has been an artist for decades. Her work consists of a variety of repeating dot patterns, drawings, sculptures, film, performance, and immersive installation.
The exhibit had many different rooms to walk through. One installation was of a red staircase on the ceiling and another was a film playing of her wandering the streets of New York City with a polka dot umbrella.
My favorite room was the last room and it was a perfect way to exit. It was an installation that immersed the viewer with her obsession for endless dots and nets in an infinitely mirrored space.
After exiting the exhibit there was a timeline on the wall of Yayoi Kusama's life. It helped to give insight as to where she was coming from with her art.
When my friend from LIM College came to visit me, I decided to be a tourist with her for the day. We took a hop on and hop off tour on The Big Bus Company.
The ticket lasted for twenty-four hours, so we had the option to continue the tour until the ticket expired. Buses were running consistently and it was a fast way to see most of the sights including Big Ben, the London Eye, Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, London Bridge, and Buckingham Palace.
It was a beautiful sunny day which was perfect for the tour!
Since spring break is a few weeks long, we decided to take a trip to Spain. We spent four days in Malaga and four days in Seville.
Malaga is located in Costa del Sol with beautiful sunny beaches. It is an amazing village with most things in walking distance such as Tapas bars. Tapas are small portions of food dishes shared amongst a group of people for lunch or dinner.
Seville is another beautiful city with one of the largest cathedrals in the world. While in Seville we attended to a Bull Fight and got to see a Flamenco dance performance at a local bar.
Camden Lock is an huge market with clothing, accessories, arts and crafts, and plenty of different kinds of food from all over the world -- from Turkish wraps to chocolate churros to fish and chips.
The market is open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm. It is surrounded by bars and other shops as well. The market is located right next to the bridge over the canal. It is the perfect place to go for shopping and great food, especially on a nice sunny day.
Chaboba is located inside the Camden Lock area. It is a cute little shop that offers three different types of bubble drinks -- milk bubble tea, fruit bottle tea, and crush boba, which is a smoothie. Surprisingly, I love both the fruit bubble tea and smoothie. I normally do not really drink tea, but I absolutely loved the bubble tea. The shop was inspired by shops in Taiwan because that is where bubble tea was invented.
For a weekend trip, we adventured off to Berlin, Germany! We were lucky to have a beautiful weekend in Berlin. It was my first hostel experience which was quite scary at first but the Grand Hostel Berlin turned out to be surprisingly very nice. After checking into the hostel we went off to have brunch at a cafe called Lentz, as it was such a beautiful day outside.
Berlin is an exciting city with tons of different architecture which makes it hard for me to compare to any other big city I have been to. The subway system is completely different than New York City and London. You purchase your ticket while you are on the platform rather than before and there are no turnstiles to get in or out. People are free to walk in.
During our stay in Berlin, we went on the New Tour. It was a free three-and-a-half hour walking tour. They have them in other big cities as well. The guide gave us background on 800 years of German history. The tour covered places such as Pariser Platz, The Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and Bebeplatz. We left Berlin with knowledge of the German language such as "Nein," which means no, "Entschuldigen Sie" which means excuse me, and "Danke" which is thank you.
Since the Olympics are taking place in London this year, we decided to go to Olympic Park to see what was going on. It is located near a huge Westfield shopping mall with tons of shops and restaurants.
At the moment the park is under construction. There is not much going on now, but we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to see the British Gas Swimming Championships.
It is Britian's top swimming event. Even though I do not know much about swimming it was interesting to see the swim meets take place. These selection trials determine who will be going to the Olympics this year.
It was exciting to be able to be at the Olympic Park in the London Aquatics Centre!