It’s been a little over a week now, but it really feels like I’ve been here forever.
But not in a bad way.
Kensington, we’ve been informed, is a very wealthy borough, but not the best representation of “real” London (when we inquired as to where we would find the “real” London we were told vaguely, “anywhere else”). Kensington is known as a business hub and a place for second houses, not first homes. Orlando Bloom is rumored to have digs in our area, so I guess that only goes to prove the point. Nevertheless, it’s a nice, peaceful place, consistently 5 stories high, and I like it.
Our first day or so here, we were taken on a sight-seeing bus trip that hit a lot of the famous places: Buckingham palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the London bridge, Diana’s favorite shopping complex. We were allowed, once, to feel like the tourists that we were. I doubt we’ll feel like that again.
Interestingly enough, alcohol in London (and all of Europe, I’ll venture to suppose) doesn’t have the stigma attached to it as it does in America. Pubs are great places to make new friends, or just sit and chat with Yanks you already know. Any night is a good night to go out (at least for us) and there doesn’t seem to be a fervor for the weekend like there is in America. In fact, I spent my first Friday night lounging around my flat. Imperial’s Union is fun for meeting boys because of their school’s terrible guy-to-girl ratio (science FINALLY does me some good) and the pub down the street is good for Monday night trivia; my current favorite drink there is peppermint tea.
I’ve tried (successfully, I believe) to have at least one adventure a day. These have helped me to become thoroughly acquainted with the tube, which is handy information when my friends need to get somewhere.
I’ve been shopping on Oxford Street, which nearly killed me, and have found the Westfield shopping mall, which I haven’t yet thoroughly explored.
I’ve been to Portobello Road and examined their wares, and can say with confidence that, in fact, anything and everything a chap can unload is sold off the barrow in Portobello road.
I’ve been to Abbey road, and crossed it.
I’ve even walked to Greenwich, which has probably been my biggest adventure to date.
Friday morning, I awoke with nothing in particular to do. So, I turned to the handy guide Amanda made me to find some inspiration. Walk the southbank of the River Thames, she tells me, and see the living statues! That sounds like a good idea to me, so off I go. I hop on the tube and ride to Westminster, and alight for the London Eye and Aquarium. I cross the bridge, gawk at just about everything, and be-bop my way along the riverbank. I pass the Millennium Walking Bridge, the London Bridge, the Tate, The Globe, and eventually the Tower Bridge. It’s been a nice walk, but I’m getting a little tired, so I’ll cross back over at the next bridge I come to and find a tube station home. Little do I know that the next “bridge” is the footpath through the Thames in Greenwich. But hey, a deal’s a deal.