Lauren in London: The Tourist in Trafalgar

By Lauren Dezenski, Staff Writer
@LaurenDezenski

Trafalgar Square, the unintended and last stop during the day of solo sightseeing. /PHOTO VIA Lauren Dezenski

Well, I’ve survived my first week abroad. It hasn’t been too painful. Aside from the constant ache in my feet from walking so far. Blame that on my refusal to wear sneakers while sightseeing. Gotta look posh, ya dig?

We didn’t have classes on Friday and since some of my friends had plans (side note: don’t worry guys, I actually did make friends), I decided to head out and do some solo sightseeing. Since it was a rainy day (and by rainy I mean transitioning from sun to rain in 20-minute intervals), I made up my mind to visit one of London’s museums. I’m not normally one to fly solo like that, but YOLO (You Only London Once), so why not?

I made my way to the London Transport Museum and the market and shopping area called Covent Garden, which apparently inspired Faneuil Hall and is much more posh than its Boston counterpart. After getting off the tube at Covent Garden, nearly being trampled by some German tourists and realizing my Google Maps app wasn’t working, I just wandering through the streets. It didn’t take long to find Covent Garden (hint: follow the crowds) and the museum itself, which featured the development on London’s mass transit systems from the days of the riverboats all the way to the future of the Underground.

I spent a good hour and a half going through the exhibits and the accompanying gift shop (and proceeded to spend more pounds than I’d like to admit on some souvenirs). Afterward, I took to the streets around the markets and just wandered around, stopping at Ladurée for a couple macarons and a little café for a sandwich to snack on as I explored.

I was surprised by how empowered I felt during my outing. I had honestly never done anything like that — sightseeing for me had always been a group endeavor complete with friends and family members to take my picture. But it felt really refreshing to set out on my own, armed with nothing but a camera and a not-so-functioning cell phone, and see where my feet took me.

I’m not sure how, but I ended up in Trafalgar Square, replete with people climbing all over the lions and a view of Big Ben and Parliament in the distance. I’m sure I had some goofy grin during that tube ride home, but I didn’t expect to feel so accomplished – even though I forgot to snap a selfie with one of the lions.

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