WANDERLUST; London (I)

Wow, a week in London has gone so fast but I’ve had so many adventures already that it also feels like I have been away for a few weeks.

I expected all Londoners to be rude. Okay, yes they aren’t friendly (everyone I have spoken to about it blames London itself for this) yet they are very polite. My suitcase is quite large (I never would have got along well with a backpack, I like my case to be orderly) and must have looked somewhat ridiculous as a Londoner came to the rescue on each set of steps I travelled on with my luggage. I was pleasantly surprised at these acts of kindness from strangers.

I spent the first three nights staying in the YHA Central London, which is only a five-minute walk to Oxford Circus; where many of the major fashion retailers – including Topshop and Zara – have their flagship stores.

The YHA Central London is very modern and clean, but as it isn’t peak season it wasn’t very busy so aside from chatting to others in my dorm I didn’t make any friends or meet anyone amazing.

I spent much more time than I had planned shopping as each store has a different demographic and observing other shoppers is quite an educational experience when on the other side of the world.

Of the luxury department stores, Harrod’s is my favourite as it is so ridiculously extravagant.  Plus, eyeing off beautiful dresses from Alexander Wang and Balmain IRL sent shivers up my spine.

Soho has some amazing book stores. I got a book about Morrissey (in preparation for Manchester) and a book about fashion trends and cycles – both for only £5 each ($8.14 AUD). Books are so expensive in Australia in comparison!

On Thursday I did some touristey things, such as Big Ben and the Tower of London.

In the afternoon I adventured through the area surrounding Carnaby Street. It is so picturesque.

I normally can sleep anywhere and at any time, but I had such a struggle adjusting to the time difference – London is GMT and therefore 11 hours behind Melbourne. I woke up the first night at 4am, stared at the ceiling for an hour then eventually went downstairs to read. The following two nights I woke at similar times for at least two hours each time. Lack of sleep led to me feeling so strange during the day.

I can see how London can induce feelings of isolation and loneliness, if you let it. No-one makes eye contact on the train, and when shopping in central London customer service is minimal. The only greeting you receive upon walking into stores is a stirn glare from the bulky suited up security guards at the door.

Yes the London sky is grey and in general, the people are abrupt, but there is so much to do and it wasn’t as hectic as I was expecting, although I haven’t been on the tube in peak hour due to witnessing the following at 6:30pm on Wednesday at Oxford Circus tube station.

The tube is so well organised. Londoners whinge about it (alongside whingeing about everything) but it really is so well organised and efficient. 3 minutes between trains is the longest you will wait. So very jealous of this.

I’ll post soon about Camden and East London.

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One Response to “WANDERLUST; London (I)”

  1. Madeline Snow Says:

    This looks fantastic! I’m doing a similar blog when I go overseas, can’t wait to see what else you get up to 🙂

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