I visited London after my internship in Paris ended because it is one of the non-Shengen countries currently. I needed to re-enter France to begin my student visa, and I had never been to the United Kingdom so this was the perfect opportunity.

I stayed at the Astor Victoria hotel, which was right beside one of the main museums. I wasn’t really a museum person so I mostly took a large tour of London for 3 days by foot and via the tube. The tube was by far much more complex than the Paris metro system. One could also kind of see a difference in culture from the way the Tube was organized in comparison to the Metro.  In Paris, the metro was mathematically organized by numbers while every stop and every line had a name in London. Not a single number existed on the Tube! I was lucky enough that my Parisian friend generously lent me his Tube pass – all I had to do was recharge it and I was ready to go!

The Freeze Guy - but he only had one position for girl volunteers.

The Freeze Guy

I spent my first day walking around London seeing all the sites – I took a stroll along the river Thames at Waterloo beside the Shakespeare Globe where I had just missed the last-minute discount ticket sales for Romeo and Juliet. However, as I continued down the bank, the street entertainers appeared all along the river bank beside the London Eye. There was a guy who froze in random poses with different volunteers that he would position, to intense techno music. Then the volunteer and him would freeze for a good amount of time. He was reaaallly popular, and then he dragged me into it since most of the volunteers were guys. I took an 11 pound ride on the London Eye at discount price because I bought someone else’s ticket!

London at night

London at night

The second day, I walked beside Buckingham palace and Green Park, having a 99 ice cream: Vanilla with a flake (chocolate candy) along the way. I decided to make a run to King’s Cross to find platform 9 and 3/4 to spend a few weeks in Hogwarts before making it back in time to visit Trafalgar Square in the afternoon. I went to the Camden in hopes of finding Fish and chips, but found a British version of Haight-Ashbury instead. Fish and chips were extremely difficult to find in general, but instead of finding the stereotypical British meal, that afternoon I watched a very expensive showing of “The Proposal” with my friend Helen who I met in Paris. It was 13 lbs for a movie – I’d rather ride the London eye.

Platform 9 and 3/4: Taking a trip to Hogwarts

Platform 9 and 3/4: Taking a trip to Hogwarts

In celebration of my last day, I ordered evening tickets to Wicked online (the cheapest seats weren’t bad at all!) and in the day I visited the Tate museum, took a quick exterior glance at London Dungeon, a beautiful cathedral of sorts and a very random tiny “roman baths” which I found on the tourist map before heading back to “petty France”.  My last night, I had a last celebration at Gordon’s wine bar and took a long last glance in Accessorize before watching a really spectacular production of Wicked.

That evening, my friend Cristina and I found “Little Ben” just next to Victoria and had some blonde British beer just for fun. The next morinng I took a big breakfast before my departure to Paris encore!

London, over and out.