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Across the Pond

2017 May 19
by Stanley Quan

I spent last weekend across the pond in London and came away loving the city!

It was a work-sponsored trip and it was cool to meet and hang out with co-workers that I don’t normally work with. Our hotel was in Kensington, a cute nice area with easy access to the tube.

The first thing that struck me was how green the city was. There are tons of trees, which was great and needed cause there were also tons of cigarette smokers everywhere.

I loved London because there was so much to do and it was really easy to get around, whether by foot or by public transport.

On my first day, I strolled around Kensington and Notting Hill and then also visited King’s Cross, which was a gorgeous train station that included the famous Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter, and also checked out Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.

At dusk, I went on a graffiti self-guided walking tour in East End, which might have been my favorite part of the trip. There was amazing graffiti art all over the streets. It just so happened to be happy hour, and we saw tons of people drinking beers on the street outside of pubs. Towards the end of our walk, we stumbled upon a park with a mini zipline and a nomadic community garden that definitely had Burning Man vibes.

Day two I checked out some of the city’s tourist sites with Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, River Thames, and the London Eye. The view from above was awesome.

A trip to London wouldn’t have been complete without Indian food, so we went to a restaurant named Punjab that’s been family run for four generations now! The owner was super friendly and we filled up on delicious food. One of their specialty items was Tandoori chicken brandy flambe which was a sight to see.

On my last full day, I took a tour of the Oxford University grounds, which are sprawling and beautiful, and filled with cool architecture. I saw were Bill Clinton’s first “white house” was, aka where he smoked pot and studied as a college kid.

I ate fish and chips for lunch for the second straight day and that dish is pretty underwhelming. Too much fried stuff!

Later in the day, we visited Stratford upon Avon, which is Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Closed out the trip by grabbing some great Greek food at Hungry Donkey, and grabbing a brew and playing ping pong at the Book Club bar.

All in all, I had a fantastic time exploring the city and hope to come back again soon. Cheers!

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