Brighton, Camden, and St. Patty’s!London, Spring 2013
Week 10! It definitely feels like my time abroad is dwindling, but I still have 5 countries left to see before I go home! So the past week I have been making the most of my time left at “home” in England. The weekend after Scotland, I went on a day trip to Brighton, which was absolutely one of the most fun days, and a town that already felt close to my heart. Brighton Pier, with its seagulls and arcades and amusement rides, reminded me so much of my childhood summers spent on the East Coast back in America. Even in winter, it had this perfect retro beachy feeling. It was also fun to wander through The Lanes, where there are lots of quirky interesting shops. Brighton is also the unlikely home of the Royal Pavilion, an surreal place built for the extravagant King George IV that looks like a small-scale Taj Mahal on the outside and a decadent Chinese palace on the inside. Incredible! Brighton is really such an interesting place. This week I’ve also been hitting up a couple more markets that I hadn’t been to. First Borough Market, near London Bridge, which I wish could just feed me for life. So many amazing food vendors, it’s overwhelming. I had probably the best veggie burger of my life, topped off with fresh masala chai and a cookie as big as my face. Could eat there every week! I also went to Camden Market this past weekend, which may be my favorite market of all. I knew I wanted to get back to Camden, after going there several weeks back for a pub crawl, because the area has this indescribable character—punky and young, but at its center the unusual Camden Lock and old horse stables. The Stables and Catacombs areas are the most mesmerizing: hundreds of shops in a maze-like tangle amidst old statues of horses and industrial arches from trade on the canal. You can find everything from Indian fabrics to vintage clothing to little teashops tucked away at the back. I’ve said it before, but markets are my absolute favorite thing about London. My friend from back home who’s in the IES Berlin program came to visit this past weekend, and in addition to the Camden Market and seeing some sights we also, of course, enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day this weekend! We went down to Piccadilly Circus to see the parade, and on to Trafalgar Square for all the festivities, amongst all the crazy throng of green-clad people. It was a fun, if wet and cold, day and a great weekend meeting up with another friend studying abroad! Next up is Paris! Je suis tellement excitée! We’ll see if I manage to remember my French well enough to navigate the city.
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