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I See London

by Katarina Hedstrom

I have officially been living in Barcelona for four full days and I have made it nothing less than interesting.

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After arriving in London,  it was a rainy afternoon but we tried our hardest to make the best of it. Most of us were pushing the definition of exhausted so we opted to just walk around close to the hotel. We saw lots of cliché London streets, buses, telephone booths, and people talking in fun accents. We stopped at a pub called The Leinster Arms close to our hotel for a little lunch. Everything about it was absolutely precious. It was small and cozy and would’ve been the perfect scene to watch a football match. By this point I was starting to feel sick so I got a bowl of the pea soup and it was actually delicious!

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After this we went back out to wander around and stumbled upon Kensington Palace. The day before had been the 17 year anniversary of Princess Diana’s tragic death so there were still many flowers in memory of her. We walked around the gardens with the little time we had.

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That night a couple of us went to an Italian restaurant close to our hotel, walked around a little bit, and then after being up for close to 30 hours we crashed and went to bed.

The next day we were up early for the quickest tour of London known to mankind. Our whole AIFS group piled onto the bus and saw the Royal Courts of Justice, The National Gallery, the Mayfair neighborhood, Piccadilly Circus, Fleet Street, the London Eye, St.Paul’s Cathedral, rode over the London Bridge, London Tower, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Parliament House, Buckingham Palace, St. James’s park, and Downing Street…all within three hours.

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After our exhausting tour, Kate and I headed up to the borough Camden for the Camden Market; it was amazing. We were starving at this point and settled for Pret, a chain of organic, fresh food to go that America needs to copy asap. We took our food down by the lock and had a great, scenic lunch, accompanied by acoustic guitar. We then realized we should have waited to eat because as we walked we hit the actual food area of the market, aka food truck heaven. They had different kinds of food from all over the world, everything smelled amazing, and if I hadn’t already eaten I probably would’ve spent all my money trying the food.

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We headed to Picadilly Circus, watched street performers, bought souvenirs, and then walked to Trafalgar Square which I thought had amazing views of London! There we watched more street performers, took pictures, and then rushed over to see Harrod’s before dinner. We walked through Hyde Park on our way back to the hotel and took a much needed nap before dinner.

The next day we finally flew to Barcelona. We were picked up by our host mom and once we got to our house I realized I had “lost” my phone. Lots of frantic tears, panic, worry, and, long story short, two days later, I found it, in my backpack, like my mom thought I would. Just goes to show that moms are right, even when they’re far away!

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