"And if the city never sleeps then that makes two." -Ed Sheeran, The City
here's the thing about london: it's not a city, not a lifestyle, not a tourist trap; it's an addiction. there's no curing the lingering need to return. the exchange rate is as bad as the weather but the people are kind-hearted and the living is easy. we stayed on campus at the university of london and the dorms are enough to make me want to go to uni abroad- think single rooms. we spent twelve days there and saw the city from most touristy spots to least.
the london eye was on my bucket list. in one sense, it was just a ferris wheel, but in another it was ten times better than the best ferris wheel you could ever imagine. i felt like i'd be able to see all the way across the pond back to boston. yeah. that was the height we got on that thing. of course, i mostly saw big ben and buckingham palace from it, but maybe i wasn't looking hard enough. the little boy thrown into this set was seen in hyde park. it's totally a sniper shot and i have no regrets.
can we talk about that top photo? the day you'd see a sign like that over here is the day pigs fly. it's fabulous and at the same time i just want to scream "thank you, captain obvious." well, maybe it isn't obvious that it has 84 steps, but why would you need to know? that's what i'm saying.
this was easily my favorite day of the trip. if you ever do anything in your life, just go to portobello road. also, if you'd like to read a very detailed account of my day there, hop on over to fernweh! seriously though, it's a world in itself. the streets are lined with vendors who sell scarves and jewelry and antiques as well as little coffee shops. the houses were painted as if just to make your day and the rain couldn't even put a damper on things.
so one day we went to stonehenge. i have to say, it wasn't a place i feel the need to ever go back to. don't get me wrong, it's amazing...but it's a bunch of rocks. plus, as a photographer it's nearly impossible to get a shot that hasn't already been taken. on a completely different note though, all i ever want to know in life is exactly how the rocks got there. it's fascinating, really. (and hey, that top picture got an honorable mention in the scholastic art awards yay!)
in contrast, this field of poppies in the cotswolds is somewhere that i want to go back to every single day. poppies are easily in my top three flowers, and they were before this too, i swear. in true london fashion, it was raining and damp and generally it kind of set the scene for a miserable time. i kid you not, it was incredible. i actually left with my jeans soaked up to my hips and my hair in knots but it was the kind of place that couldn't be miserable if it tried. (there are some more shots of it below because it was too pretty for one set)
and then we went to oxford. i'm not sure what i was expecting, but this was not it. it was ten times more touristy than i expected and overall bigger. but still adorable. i'd kill to go to college there.
after we saw stonehenge (these are mostly in chronological order, but here's the exception) we ate at a traditional english pub with a thatched roof and everything. there were bacon wrapped sausages. also, i used the word "wanker" just as there was an awkward silence in the entire place. in the states- not a problem; in england- kind of a problem. no one stared for more than fifteen seconds. anyway, after that, we went to an ancient burial mound that is probably associated with stonehenge but i wasn't listening because THE DAISIES. they went on for miles. this was the field of my dreams. along with seven or eight other, i just laid there for a while and it was perfect. we took portraits hidden in them and then picked them and strung them for our hair. i love england's fields.
next stop: east london. home of the olympic games, the artists, and the locals. i loved feeling like a traveler here. i wasn't a tourist anymore, i was a traveler documenting east london and that was so special. i took portraits of artists, whistlers, produce men, and meat men. i told the story of the area surrounding the dalston-kingsland tube stop. this was the last "working" day. the rest of the days were spent having fun and running a gallery. this day we ate lunch at a cafe that had never been visited by americans. the bathroom stalls were painted in chalkboard paint.
this was the trip of a lifetime. if any of you received the national geographic student expeditions catalog, keep an eye out for me! you can find me on the page with student experiences. i can't believe i didn't get around to a full blog post about it earlier, but it's fun to reminisce now. oh, and those candles in the last picture? that was on the fourth of july and we were trying to do sparklers with sparkling candles (it didn't work out). and the people laying in front of buckingham palace? i was one of them (we wanted a unique angle). soooo if you've stuck around to get to this paragraph, congrats! and thanks for reading. happy weekend!