Wimbledon, Castles, Thrift Shopping, and Creepy People

Friends, friends!

It’s been a great couple days here in the old town of London. I’ve had and am having the absolute time of my life, and I honestly dread the day of going back to the States. It’s going to be a rough couple of hours of me sobbing on the plane.

So, so far, it’s been an adventure here in Europe. I’ve been all over the English countryside and delved within the city shops of Camden Town. I’ve met some people and still managed to not be pick pocketed (total success). There’s some stories that hopefully pull some laughs, but before we board the funny train, first things first.

WIMBLEDON.

How many of you know what Wimbledon is? Since I can’t see any hands and since this was all completely rhetorical anyway, I’m going to explain.

Tennis. The best sport in the world. Disregard the fact the World Cup is going on and people seem to like soccer more. Tennis is classy. Of the four Grand Slam tournaments that occur around the world, Wimbledon is the oldest, most prestigious, grass court tournament.

It’s also where Venus Williams and Andy Murray on Friday the 27th of June played on Centre Court in the huge complex of Wimbledon Stadium. After my class ended early for the day, my friend and I decided to go wait in three hour line to get tickets for a lawn pass. After a wait that seemed like 30 minutes, the staff proceeded to tell us that tickets for Centre Court were open and half off. Immediately, without trying to cry tears of happiness and such, we grabbed the opportunity and bounded into a court where I breathed the same air as Andy Murray and Venus Williams.

This is what happiness looks like.

When I wasn’t spending my time lazing around with professional athletes, I gallavanted around the grounds of a castle and slowly lived out my dream of being a princess. Which I have to say is every girl’s dream at some point in her life. You can’t deny it friends.

Welcome to Warwick Castle! Located just an hour away from London, in the country town of Warwickshire, this lovely castle is a relic from medieval times. Built as stronghold until the 17th century, Warwick Castle today is sort of a center for tourism and has a very Disney like feel to it. Regardless of that fact, the grounds were huge, and the views were breathtaking. Here’s some photos to make your eyes bleed with joyous beauty. Look away if you can’t take it.

It’s absolutely gorgeous here. London is beautiful in its own right, but man, that English countryside does something to me. Grab some wine or a pot of tea and some good cheese, and we could just live here forever.

Speaking of forever, have I mentioned Camden Town? It’s only the best outdoor market in all of London. Imagine Pike’s Place Market, or any outdoor market really. Ready? Are you imagining it? Now multiply that by hundreds.

My friends, this is Camden Town.

Anything you could ever want in London, there. Examples? 4 t-shirts for 9 pounds. 5 postcards for 1 pound. My friends, this is every girl’s dream. It’s gorgeous, there’s old Victorian architecture everything, there’s a dj at the end of the street, and the streets are packed. The food vendors fill the air with their street food, and you see people haggling for lower prices everywhere. There’s woodwork and jewelry, clothing, leather purses, stationary, music, books, it’s all there.

It’s touristy, yes. But so is Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. My point? It’s a must see.

What’s not a must see or a must do? Creepy guys in London. Ladies, warning. Men here are forward, and it’s so strange when they hit on you because it’s all so polite.

Walking in central London with my roommate is always a blast. Still, it’s strange when men in suits come up to you and ask if “You’re okay?”

Sidenote, apparently, asking if one is okay is a way to start conversation, a lot like asking “Hey, what’s up?” at home. It took me awhile to figure that out after my host mom kept asking me if I was okay every morning. I was starting to think I had a weird American air about me.

Anyway, said foreign stranger runs up to my roommate and I and says, “Excuse me, you look nice, are you American? Your voice is rather nice.”

Uh, thanks buddy. As I strived to not cry from laughing, my roommate fended him off and the suited British man was on his way by. Here’s some guidelines we go by here. It’s not okay to talk to people in public. Anywhere.  Stranger danger is  to the max. It is okay to talk in pubs. But in the street, on the tube, in the cafe, no. If that does happen, we must all assume that person is, as my professor says, “barking mad.”

Love those English social rules! Keep on looking out for those funny words of mine!

Until soon!

-Ariana🙂