My last weeks in London were unfortunately spent mostly in my room, studying for about 12-14 hours a day for some daunting exams. However, I did manage to have some fun when I took breaks from my hermit lifestyle!
My dad flew in from Germany on a short stopover on his way back to America to
visit me go to Borough Market (not lying). So I got treated to a couple delicious meals and ciders. Definitely made the revising better.
The highlight of his less-than-24-hour-visit was a very early morning breakfast at The Delaunay. It had been on my list since arriving in London, and I’m glad I finally got to visit it. I had the perfect cuppa and the most delicious pancakes that had blueberry compote and fresh cream on them. My mouth is drooling as I write this.
I also took a break from studying to spend a Saturday morning taking a tour of Parliament. My study abroad program arranged a free tour for us, so I took one last beautiful walk from Bankside to Westminster for a very informative tour to feed my politics nerd tendencies. I might have stayed way too long in the House of Commons, imagining watching PMQs in person (one day, I hope!).
When Siobhan and I were going insane one night we said “screw it” and walked to get some tacos from the Wahaca taco stand and took a look around the bookstore under Waterloo Bridge. I found some beautiful antique prints (a map of England from the 1800s and a small drawing of The Strand from the 1800s).
Luckily for us, the Thames had a really low tide, so I got to fulfill one of my more strange London bucket list items and walk from Waterloo to the Tate Modern solely on the riverbank. Weird, but cool to me!
On 8 June I finally finished my exams. My hibernation period was officially over, so I took one last picture of LSE.
And proceeded to slightly cry/laugh from happiness that I was finally finished. I took a longer route home, got some ice cream as my appetizer and grabbed some tacos and doughnuts (I felt no guilt because I was celebrating). Luckily I made it home just as it started raining, but I was too happy to even care. I should also mention at this point that I had a sprained thumb (don’t ask) without a brace and being one thumb down makes everything much more difficult!
Unfortunately, after I hibernated for a day just lounging in bed doing nothing (seriously the best thing after your brain is fried), I fell ill with a strange stomach bug that left me weak, sleepy, not hungry and with a 102 degree fever. Not cool as it prevented me from doing some last minute things in London and enjoying my last days in the beautiful capital.
I did manage to rally for one last day in the city. I got an afternoon tea deal at The Bentley Hotel. A Champagne Afternoon Tea, two for the price of one. Unfortunately, 2 of the 4 sandwiches were fish so I didn’t get my fill. But I did stuff my face with their delicious pastries and perfectly cooked, warm scones with clotted cream and jam. Probably not the best thing to eat after a stomach bug, but I wasn’t about to waste one last afternoon tea in London.
After stuffing our faces, we took the Tube to London Bridge and went to the hidden pub I found at the beginning of the year for one last pint of cider in the gorgeous (to me) London summer weather.
One last look at the Shard…
And one last look at the closed, yet still beautiful, Borough Market.
The next morning I left for the airport to fly back to Tampa, ending my stay in Europe for the foreseeable future. I will touch upon this later, but my time abroad feels so surreal. Being back in America feels weird, almost wrong. I feel like I’m just biding time and that I’m meant to move back to London relatively soon. I miss it, and Europe, so much. I’m ready for these post-abroad blues to end!