“I think London’s sexy because it’s so full of eccentrics” - Your cliche googled quote because I’m running out of ways to start these posts. This one seemed fitting. Thanks Rachel Weisz, whoever you are. I’ve only really day dreamed about visiting London, though it kind of seemed like a no-brainer while we’re over here. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about this tasteful city, but with a little more research Marrissa, Holly, Megan and I packed our bags and headed to the UK. After multiple means of transportation, we finally arrived about 3:00AM Friday night and gratefully took advantage of our hotel - note, this was not a hostel. We splurged for the sake of not having to share a room or bathroom with 10 or so strangers. And it was probably the best decision we made. Not to mention, they had free hot chocolate. You’ll learn that Europe is generally a very…conservative country, and giving things away at their expense is a rarity. An hour in and we felt spoiled beyond belief for a few college kids.
After a short nights sleep, we caught tickets for a hop on hop off tour and spent the morning riding atop an open air double decker bus in the sunshine. It was kind of surreal, but I’ll admit, the landmarks weren’t entirely impressive. We have seen so many castles, cathedrals, and unique architecture during our time here that they’re becoming mundane. Needless to say, they were still beautiful and something to be marveled at. We grabbed some street food and hopped on a ferry to the London Eye. This is basically just like a giant ferris wheel, though instead of rocking seats, they’re little rooms enclosed in glass that give you a birds eye view of the city. I think I was more intrigued by the mechanics of the entire thing than anything else. To end the day, we checked “Wicked” off our bucket lists. Funny story: We purchased the tickets online, and again splurged for good seats. Out of us 4, Holly was the only one who had already seen it, so this appeared to be a viable decision. After agreeing on our max budget and clicking “submit” we later realized the amount was in Pounds, not Euros. This is one frustrating occurrence we find ourselves dealing with often, and after attempting to get a refund, we decided to just go with it and live luxuriously for an evening. The seats were absolutely fantastic, giving us just enough nearness to see the facial expressions of the members but enough distance that we weren’t straining our necks. I’ll admit I cried probably more than your average person because it was THAT good. Suddenly the realization hit me that I was in London, sitting in a jaw-dropping theatre, watching incredibly talented individuals perform one of the most famous broadway musicals to exist. Ugh, I got emotional.
The next day, Holly and I embraced our inner nerds and toured the Warner Bros Harry Potter site. This is where all of the studio filming for Harry Potter took place and we were maybe a little more excited than any normal 22 year olds should be. It was incredible recognizing scenes and objects from the series as we made our way through the building. Everything was a lot smaller in scale than I imagined, and I began to grow even more impressed with the way they filmed the movies. For instance, call me naive, but I guess I didn’t realize that Hogwarts wasn’t an actual building. Of course I knew the castle didn’t exist in reality, but walking into a room where a miniature version of the structure sat for filming, was kind of like finding out Santa Claus wasn’t real. Regardless, it was still spectacular and I now feel like I’m in on someones best kept secret. We did some souvenir shopping around the city, and then woke up at 2:30AM for our glorious morning flight to get us back just in time for class. I may or may have not slept through every lecture. Until next time - na shledanou!