One Month in London!

What I did this week… (and farther in the post More about where I live..)

Another week has come and gone, and I hit a milestone – one month in London! I can finally say that I am starting to feel quite settled into my new city.

On Friday my mom, Markie, and I went to Stonehenge. We took an excellent bus tour where our guide told us a lot about the history of Stonehenge and of the surrounding area, so I really enjoyed the visit. Saturday we took the train south to the town of Hever where we visited Hever Castle. Hever Castle is the home of King Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. It’s a very well maintained castle, so a fair portion of the portraits and furniture inside were from the 16th century. We enjoyed wandering around the gardens and there was a maze that Markie and I went through.

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Stonehenge
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Hever Castle
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Mom and Markie at Hever

Sunday was Easter – Markie woke up to his Easter basket with lots of Cadbury chocolate, and we spent the day going to Mass followed by Easter lunch and a visit to the British Museum and Cartoon Museum.

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Markie at the Cartoon Museum

They left Monday, which was a bit hard for me, but at least I know it’s only till May when I visit home that I have to wait to see them again.

After my first post in this blog where I mentioned moving was a bit challenging because I didn’t know anyone in London, I had a few friends from home reach out and connect me with friends they had in London. On Tuesday I finally was able to meet up with one of them, so we had dinner along with her friend near Kings Cross. It was really nice to have some quality girl time with two great people!

I pretty much have spent the rest of the week doing the usual work routine followed by homework. I am taking my last two grad school classes online so I’ve just been trying to keep up with the work for them – fortunately I will be DONE for good on May 7, so really just have five weeks left to survive. Can’t wait to be free from school after that!

This weekend will be quite fun – Lauren, who was my roommate in the States, is coming to visit tomorrow! We are going to enjoy the city nightlife, do tea time, and explore Camden a bit. I’m really excited to spend time with her.

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More about where I live…

One of the questions I have gotten over the past few weeks is where exactly in London do I live, so I thought I’d explain a little bit about that. First off, one thing that surprised me when I came to London for my interview (my first time since my childhood) was how HUGE the city is. One end of London to the other can easily take over an hour to get to. The size of the city makes it interesting to try to find housing… without knowing the neighborhoods well, it can be hard to know where to look. I looked at flats in about three different areas before I settled on where I live now.

In the image below, I’ve shown my location in comparison to Inner London (the red circle). I really like where I live. There are several buses and a train within 10 minutes walking, so I can get around very easily. Where I live is on the border of two neighborhoods, Stoke Newington (aka “Stokey”) and Islington. Islington is a well-heeled area that has nice restaurants and tree lined streets. Stoke Newington has lots of cute cafes, restaurants, pubs, shops, and parks. Barely anything is a chain, so there’s a really local feel. There’s also a large park up the street from me, so if I want to escape the ‘city life’ briefly, I can get some recluse there.

In the coming weeks, I will continue to write and show more of my neighborhood – I’m still busy exploring it at the moment, and enjoying every second!

800px-Inner_London_districts_map
Source: Wikitravel.org
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