This time I’ve arrived in my favourite city not like I do it usually, by plane, but by train directly from Paris. French train station was awful: too crowded, dirty and not very kind staff. Luckily, we had invitations to Business Lounge, where situation was controversial: comfortable armchairs, wine, snacks, wide range of journals, internet, men in expensive suits and women with bags that cost more than all my clothes taken together. The trip itself flew unnoticed, I even didn’t fix the moment when we were under la Manche, probably because of the wine and cheese we had during the whole journey.
Now I live in London for a week, but I feel like I was here all my life. That is not the first time I’m here, but never before I’ve intended to be here for such a long period and not in status of tourist; so this time everything is completely different.
I study in London School of Economics, which exceeded all my expectations. LSE Library with its spiral stairs and lift “to heaven” is probably the biggest library I’ve ever been before; actually, everything is huge comparing to my university. Moreover, the whole system of education is different here. While in Riga I can receive all necessary information on lectures and seminars, here the lecturer only introduces the topic, giving the idea where we should look for more information and theory; in other words, the whole system is based on self-education and I would say that it is good as you can develop the skill of learning yourself, which is crucial for the future, when you will be left on your own.
10 minutes from my home there is Covent Garden, a wonderful area, where I can spend hours just walking around. Here near to the exclusive Chanel boutique you can find a market full of vintage and handmade things, as well as observe various performances of street artists and musicians.
The best place for doing it is from one of the cafes located on a roof terrace just above the market. And my favourite one is Laduree. By the way, among all three Ladurees in London, the one in Covent Garden is the best, as there are no long lines like in Harrods and range is much wider than in Burlington Arcade.
As for shopping, my top three places are Carnaby, Liberty and Harrods. The last one I perceive more like a museum of beautiful things and luxury lifestyle; a place, where you can observe behaviour of people who buy watches that cost hundred thousands as easy as I buy a cup of tea.
Next to Harrods you can find Hyde Park, the biggest park in London and best place, where you can hide from the fuss of the city, lying on the grass in a shadow of the three. Though, my favourite activity in the park is feeding of squirrels, who are so shameless that can eat from your hands.
I love Liberty for its atmosphere of classic England and stationery shop on the first floor, where you can find very sophisticated things for an affordable price. When you leave Liberty you will find yourself in Carnaby, a place where shops of famous brands are mixed together with shops of younger designers. And of course I like this place, because my sister’s boutique in located in Kingly Court, a courtyard full of lovely shops and cafes, where I like to drink my afternoon tea, poured into milk, a tradition to which now I am strongly addicted.
From the places I’ve visited it is worth to notice the musical “Phantom of the Opera”. Faultless production, I particularly liked decorations that were changing all the time and beautiful music. The only thing I didn’t like about the musical was the fact that it wasn’t allowed to take photos.
I already have some plans for the future, such as listen to the music in Royal Albert Hall, visit Victoria & Albert museum. Unfortunately, time in London is flying too fast, but it should be like that when the person is happy and I am!