The day was just as productive as my prior two this week. There was a bit of a switch up with class today; students from a language school were sitting in on our class as part of their English learning. We began the class with a stream of introductions to which we I found out that many of these students were from various other places of the globe. Some students were from Thailand, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. During these introductions, we all seemed to bond through our discomfort on public transportation due to lack of AC. It was great to know that not just Americans appreciated some air conditioning on the bus and train. We also watched a pretty strange film and discussed it as a class alongside these new students, and I think they found it just as odd as we did. Then participated in a writing exercise that I think they found a little overwhelming. It was interesting to meet others of another country while I was already in another country, foreigners meeting more foreigners.
After class, many of my friends and I planned to venture to Abbey Road, home of the historic Abbey Road Studios and the street upon which the Beatles took the famous album cover photo for their record, Abbey Road. I’m not a huge Beatles fan * waits for an onslaught of “WHAT?!” reactions* but my father is and I thought I’d be a huge shame not to visit the famous site while I was in London. The place wasn’t as crowded as I anticipated but there were definitely enough tourists there, enough for us to find the location which we would have otherwise missed and passed if it had not been for the groups of people essentially risking their lives to recreate the Beatles picture.
Surprisingly, I discovered that the location was a very active street, making it also very difficult for my friends and I to take our photo (without getting honked at and possibly hit by oncoming traffic); it was a little distressing but we made it happen. The area around Abbey Road Studios is also filled with really interesting street art, including several murals reading “Beatles” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Club Band.” There was also an adjacent gift shop that had a plethora of Beatles memorabilia, records, CDs, and other gear, so it was definitely an interesting and worthwhile visit.
Interestingly enough, while we waited for an opportunity where the traffic slowed so we could run to take out picture, we struck up a conversation with one of the many other tourists about the Beatles; the conversation made me realize that many people know the Beatles but don’t know the names of all the members…including us. Took us a minute to realize that the Beatles is composed of Paul, John, Ringo and..George; It seems everyone forgets George. A man heard our conversation and jumped in saying the fourth Beatle was Michael (yikes). It was a refreshing discussion to which I began embarrassed but finished amused because clearly, I’m not the only one who has these moments of forgetfulness.
The area around Abbey Road Studios is also filled with really interesting street art, including several murals reading “Beatles” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Club Band.” Near the murals there was a gift shop that had an intense amount of Beatles memorabilia, records, CDs, and other gear, that was so cool that although I wasn’t a huge Beatles fan I felt like buying and decking myself out in Beatles merch.
After we finished up taking our pictures, we headed off to Camden Market for a bite to eat and a chill evening. There was actually a small fire there a few days ago, so part of the market was closed, but we were still able to walk through some of the stalls and get some delicious food. We enjoyed our meals in the cool air by the canal and soaked in the cool ambiance of the area. My friend and I immediately decided to try some steak and chips, after having spelled the amazing aroma as we passed by; it was to die for. The food here has been nothing but good to me and Camden market has treated me especially well; it’s easily my favorite place in all of London because of its tasty food and maze of quirky shops!
Eventually one of my friends had to depart because of other responsibilities but the rest of us ventured a little deeper into the Camden area, did a quick round of shopping to which I treated myself to a cool tapestry for my room and a pendant necklace that was too cute to pass up. After that, we made our way to a place that one of my friends has been raving about since she discovered it here in London, that featured a rooftop bar/restaurant called Proud Camden where I discovered the delicious taste of Strongbow cider. I can now add Strongbow Dark Fruit to my list of favorite ciders here in this country, as you can imagine I’ve tried a lot of drinks but this one has become a personal favorite. We sat, drank and listened to some awesome live music and reveled in the cool evening.
On our way out we spotted this photo booth placed conveniently right outside Pride Camden and we (sensing the perfect photo opportunity) decided to hop in it and take some photos; it was a little dysfunctional considering no one ever knows where the camera is and some of our heads were bigger than others so there was always someones face cut off in the photo (ahah) . But it was the perfect end to a great day with great food, great company and great pictures to remember it all.