Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Mind the Gap!

This past week I was lucky enough to go London for a few days with my friends! I have been to London before, but never during Christmastime, and it was a completely different city! I thought Dublin went all out with their Christmas decorations, but London put them to shame! It was absolutely beautiful! I really loved the city, and it made me seriously consider spending time there when I’m older (possibly working there?). The pace was much faster than Dublin, there were so many more people, and it had a completely different atmosphere. Even though I absolutely loved London, it made me really appreciate the culture and small-town vibe of Dublin.

We were only in London for two days, so we had a lot of sights to see in a short amount of time. Of course, we did all of the touristy things like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, London Eye, National Gallery, Camden market, Harrods, and Hyde Park!

img_2255 (Parliament and Big Ben!)

We also met up with one of my best friends from home who is studying in London for the semester, so she showed us some of the off-the-beaten-track things like an obscure little pub, a neat used bookstore, and a great place for afternoon tea for two!

img_2354 (A picture of my friend, Sarah, and I at a pub!)

A trip to London would not be complete without a visit to King’s Cross Station where Platform 9 and 3/4 is located! Although I’m not a huge fan of Harry Potter (I’m sorry!), it was still a lot of fun to pose at the cart that was half-submerged in the wall! The line to take a picture was pretty long, and we had to wait about five minutes before it was our turn!

img_2353 (Just going to Hogwarts through Platform 9 and 3/4!)

And since we went to London during Christmastime, we had to visit Hyde Park, which was decorated as a winter wonderland! It was the biggest Christmas carnival I have ever seen! There were hundreds of little shops, food stands, and rides! There was Christmas music playing everywhere you turned, and there was a whole area dedicated to ice skating and ice sculptures. There were rides for the little kids, a beer garden for the older ones, and even roller coasters for the particularly adventurous. We walked around for about two hours and still didn’t see everything! The amazing Christmas atmosphere was the perfect ending to a great day in London!

img_2286 (Christmas in Hyde Park!)

Even though we weren’t there for that long, I am so happy that I was able to see London during Christmastime! I was very impressed with our ability to figure out the tube (it was not hard at all!), and we actually made it to everything we wanted to see WITHOUT a map! Clearly, London is a very easy city to get around, which made our trip a lot less stressful! Our trip home was pretty long, it took us about six hours to get home even though the flight was only one hour! We had to take two tube rides, a train, a plane, and a taxi, but eventually we made it back to Dublin! Although Dublin is a lot smaller than London (with about 7 million less people), the trip made me really appreciate how much I love Dublin. Dublin has such a unique culture, incredible people, and an overall amazing atmosphere!

That’s it for now!

xoxo, Maggie


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