I was in London for the first time two weeks ago with some friends to celebrate the end of the school year. It ended up actually being cheaper to fly there from Edinburgh than take the train (gotta love Ryanair). Overall, I loved London because of how all the neighbourhoods have slightly different feels to them (not to mention all the Snapchat geotags!). I’m already excited for round two!
Here are a few of my first impressions.
Walking around, I first noticed that at crosswalks, everyone just walks straight at you. It’s equally terrifying and harmonious. Also, pedestrians don’t have the right of way. Being a New Yorker, it took me a bit (and a few tugs from my friends) not to cross the street sometimes.
As for what we did, we saw all the usual touristy sights but managed to save (/chose to go to Chipotle instead of) Hyde Park, going on the Eye and seeing the Crown Jewels for next time. Being with a fellow art history student, we spent plenty of time in the National Gallery (where I saw my favourite painting, Bronzino’s Venus and Cupid!), The Tate and Art 15, a gallery expo show.
Then there is the underground. I love it. The NYC subway could definitely take a few pointers (minus the trains being really small and low). I love the way Oyster Cards work too; swiping is so much easier.
The name “oyster card” doesn’t actually have an offical story behind it but the two most common theories are that either it’s called an oyster card because with it, the world is your oyster and it’s precious like a pearl or that it was inspired by Hong Kong’s octopus card and kept with the nautical theme. Either way, I’m a fan.