This past week has been the hottest experience of my entire life. With Europe experiencing a heat wave the temperature has been above 85 for days and to say London is not prepared would be an understatement. No very many places have air conditioning including the tube, some classrooms and our flat. At some points it is just impossible to escape the heat as everywhere you go is hotter then the next. Thankfully today is much cooler then the rest of the week and the flat is finally starting to not feel like the inside of an oven.
Despite the heat we have still be getting around to see a lot. Last weekend Ashley and I met her friend Johanna, who is co-oping here, at the Shard building which has a bar and restaurant on the 32nd floor. Many different people had told us that it was a great place to go because the view of the city was better then the London Eye. While I haven’t been on the Eye yet (we got student tickets to go a specific day at the end of July) I have to say the view from the Shard would be hard to beat! We went around 8:30pm right when the sun was setting and it was the perfect time to go! I would highly recommend it if you are ever in London.
The view from our table at the Shard
On Tuesday Olivia and I went to see Buckingham Palace and stumbled upon the changing of the guards. I didn’t know what a spectacle it would be but it seemed as though every tourist in the area knew to go. There were so many people there to see the changing that I could barely see over their heads. We also didn’t know that it lasted for an hour and were only able to stay for about 15 minutes, as we had to get to Shoreditch for class. One of the classes we take is all about the London experience and for every class we meet in a different area to explore. We typically go to places that we wouldn’t know as much about on our own such as Shoreditch, which is a large hub for art in London. Our professor knows so much about London but Shoreditch was particularly interesting because he lives in the area. Shoreditch is currently going through a rebirth period in which it is becoming more desirable to live and work there. Since our professor has lived there for many years, even before it was considered cool, he so much about the ins and outs of the area and where the best places to go were. It was a great class because I don’t think I ever would have made it over to Shoreditch on my own, but now that I’ve been once I would defiantly go again.
On Saturday we went to Brighton for a much need beach day after the ridiculously hot week. It was fun to see what the beach towns look like although we didn’t spend too much time walking around. Somewhat to our surprise when we got there the beach wasn’t soft and sandy like most beaches in America. Instead there were large rocks along the shoreline that were very lumpy and sometimes not very comfortable to lie on. The water was freezing but so nice after how hot it had been. It reminded me a lot of the water near my house in California. Even still we only lasted about 15 or 20 minutes in the freezing water before we had to go warm up. It was the perfect Saturday after being so hot all week.