On the last quarter of this year, I started looking for an art school where I can take a short course about graphics design. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite a long time but haven’t really mustered enough courage until recently. If things go all according to plan (Plan A), then I will pursue studies to Shillington School London. London! You read that right! Arguably one of the most expensive cities to live in the world. Please Lord give me enough funds to push through with it!
With all the stress of processing documents, preparing for visa application, and sorting out funds, I created this list of what I would do once I get there. To keep my mind off of things for the meantime, below the cut is my London bucketlist.
1. See street art in Shoreditch
Circa 2013, I saw this film, Exit through the gift shop, featuring some of the infamous British street artists like Bansky at work. I admired the passion, creativity and dedication they put in their works, which are mostly illegal by the way. Since their works are illegal, it might just be up for a day or two before authorities remove them but these people continue to create art regardless.
I stumbled upon Shoreditch back when I was looking for a place to stay. Turns out, this is one of the best places in London to view street art!
2. Say hello to the Elizabeth Tower.
One of the most prominent symbols of London, if not the whole United Kingdom, is its clock tower. Officially known as Elizabeth Tower since 2012 as tribute to the queen in her Diamond Jubilee year. The clock tower is located at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. It celebrated its 151st Birthday on May 31, 2009.
Did you know that the nickname “Big Ben” originally refers to the biggest bell in the clock tower and not the whole clock tower itself? Now Big Ben is often used, by extension, to refer to the clock, the tower and the bell collectively, although the nickname is not universally accepted as referring to the clock and tower. You’re welcome.
3. Visit St., Paul’s Cathedral.
The largest bell in the British Isles can be found in St., Paul’s Cathedral. Nicknamed “Great Paul”, a 16¾ ton (17 tonne) bell currently hung in St Paul’s Cathedral. St Paul’s Cathedral, an Anglican cathedral, is the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It is named after Paul the apostle.
There’s just something about big old churches that draws me in. The preserved architecture speaks so much about art and culture from way back.
4. See famous fictional landmarks like Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station, Sherlock Holmes’ house at 221 Baker St, etc
I’m a sucker for books, okay. This would be the closest thing to reality that the books I read come to life. The Brits value their literature so much that they set up places to feed the fans’ fantasies. An example of this is platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station, Sherlock Holmes’ house at 221 Baker St., I imagine I would feel like I am in nerd heaven. lol! I would probably do a Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour. Of course, try not to cry like a baby during the entire time.
5. See London from way up the London Eye.
Being the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, I can only imagine the view from way up there.
6. Sit in an outdoor cafe and just people watch.
The best way to know how people from a certain country live is to observe them from afar. One of the things I love to do during free time is sit by a cafe and just stare at people passing by going on about their lives.
Being detached from the flow of time and just enjoying the now, listening to birds chirping, the sound of people chatting, and just enjoying the simple things in life that we often take for granted in another place feels surreal.
7. Ride the Tube.
The Underground system of London boasts of an extensive and efficient transport system. Seemingly an impossible dream if you are from the Philippines. You haven’t been to London if you haven’t ridden in one. (Trivia: If you still remember, it is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone that Dumbledore has a scar on his left knee that looks like a map of the Underground. )
8. Visit Stratford-Upon-Avon because Shakespeare.
Stratford-upon-avon, a small town in the England’s west midlands, is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is probably one of the most, if not the most, famous English playwright. I’m not really a fan of his works but I have read a few and seeing the place that inspired him to write his masterpieces if exciting. I hope it also inspires me to write more or do something inspiring (?) lol
9. Tour around the city on a bike.
Travelling the streets, Londoner style. Biking through cycle friendly streets for a change.
10. Visit Abbey Road to explore the roots of the music icon, The Beatles, and maybe sign up for a Beatles’ Tour. Take a picture on the famous crosswalk seen on their Abbey Road album.
On second thought, just bask in the place that started awesome British bands like The Clash, Fleetwood Mac, Arctic Monkeys, Mumford and Sons, Oasis, The Cure, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Smiths, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Radiohead and the Rolling Stones.
These are the things that first came to my mind when I think of London. It would be a joy to do all these things once I go there. Making this list only makes me want to go there at once! I think I might cry once I arrive in European soil. haha! Its realizing my childhood dreams and so much more! I might just stare at the beauty of the city that is London.
See you next year hopefully!
Disclaimer: Some pictures here are not mine. Credits to the rightful owners.