Friday, March 27, 2015

Study Abroad at RHUL: Camden Market, Sherlock, and Harry Potter

One of my absolute favorite days in London was the day trip I took with my friend Alex, where she showed me Camden Market and then we went to all of the Sherlock related places we could find. We finished with a trip to Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station.

Saturday October 18: Camden Market

Camden was, by far, the most alternative place I visited in London. Every two feet there was another tattoo and piercing shop, or a clothing store that looked like Hot Topic on steroids. It was awesome!

Since it was a Saturday, it was very crowded and I felt like I had to stick super close to Alex while we were walking around. We went to the "market" part of Camden Market and I wanted to buy everything. There were people selling things from jewelry to soap to mirrors to clothing, and I wanted it all. I did buy a scarf and a cool leather watch that had one strap that wrapped around my wrist multiple times. Unfortunately, I broke it before I made it back Stateside. 

The food stalls were really awesome and diverse. I had a hard time deciding what I would want for lunch, but then I found a mac and cheese stand, which I had to have. They don't do a lot of mac and cheese in England, so it was a little taste of home.

Another thing that contributed to the alternative atmosphere was the graffiti. The picture below features the words "Love is Art."  I also got to take a picture with the awesome tribute statue of Amy Winehouse, which was unveiled in 2014. Camden Market is an overall awesome place and was a great experience, even if it was hard to resist buying things from all of the stands.

Next Up: Sherlockian Adventures

Alex and I are both big fans of the BBC show Sherlock (starring Benedict Cumberbatch, natch), so when we heard that the Museum of London had a Sherlock Holmes themed exhibit, we had to go. The Museum of London is in The City of London, near St. Paul's Cathedral, which I visited the week before. The exhibit itself was focused on Arthur Conan Doyle's original texts, but had some features on the the adaptations. I really enjoyed the pictures and information about what London was like during Sherlock's time.

No pictures were allowed in the exhibition, but I did manage to take a completely against-the-rules picture of a coat that has actually been on Benedict Cumberbatch's body. That was exciting.

Speaking of things Benedict Cumberbatch has touched, our next stop was St. Bartholomew's Hospital, right down the street from The Museum of London. The hospital was featured in the season two finale of Sherlock, so I know Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have both been there and that was awesome.

Some other Sherlock fans had written some messages in the dirt on the windows, which was both weird and cool to see. That's more dedication than I have, for sure! I took a picture of the part of the pavement I think Benedict Cumberbatch probably laid on, too, because why not?

Our next stop was the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street (but not 221B, because that doesn't actually exist). We didn't end up paying to go into the museum, but spent a good amount of time in the gift shop, which had some cool merchandise.

There was a cool sign directing us to the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street.

Our final Sherlock related stop was the actual building where they film the entrance to 221B in the BBC show Sherlock. Here I am, modeling the cool bag I got at the Sherlock Holmes Museum that says "I am Sherlocked," a reference to the show.

The last thing on our itinerary for the day was to go to platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross station. Alex had been there before, but I obviously had not and was really looking forward to it. The line was pretty long to take a picture, but it moved fast, and before I knew it I was getting my picture taken on my way to the Hogwarts Express!

Note: The building on the left is NOT King's Cross Station, even though Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets tried to trick you into think it is. It's actually St. Pancras station, which is right beside King's Cross. It's way prettier than King's Cross, probably why they featured it in the movie.

So, that was one of my favorite, nerdy, awesome days in London! We fit a lot into one day, and I'm so glad I had the chance to spend a whole day with Alex. 

Until next time,