Living Like a Local London, Leighton Buzzard, Oxford, and Beyond!

Upon returning from the Basque Country, I almost immediately re-packed my suitcase and headed back to the UK to visit some friends before meeting my parents in London. I spent a few days living like an English person- commuting by train to and from the Greater London area, catching up with long-lost friends, exploring my friend’s hometown via pub crawls and daily jogs, and spending an afternoon in the lovely city of Oxford!

I arrived in London on a Friday afternoon, just in time to meet my friend Matt, who works in the city center. We did as true Londoners do and headed to some local pubs to grab a few pints before returning  home just after midnight.

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We spent Saturday exploring Matt’s hometown of Leighton Buzzard, which is about 35 minutes outside the city. The canal running through the center is simply picturesque, and the town is just so quaintly English. We unashamedly explored the best of Leighton Buzzard via pub crawl (day drinking, nothing better!) , and then later indulged in some excellent Indian take-out (because that’s what you do when you’re in the UK).

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On Sunday, Matt’s parents generously drove us to Oxford, a city I had been dying to visit. I definitely didn’t do it justice however, and will definitely have to go back to see more (thankfully one of my fellow lecteur friends is beginning his Master’s program at Oxford University this fall.)

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After a weekend in the countryside, I came into London on Monday to meet up with two Wisconsin friends– one a sorority sister who was traveling around Europe and another friend from high school who now lives and works in North London. The day consisted of visiting the London Eye and Tate Modern, eating pies, strolling along the south bank, and renting city bikes (quite a feat to do that on the other side of the road!)

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Westminster Abbey

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Nicole and me

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My favorite work at Tate Modern

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View of Millenium Bridge from Tate Modern

Tuesday was a very low-key day back in Leighton Buzzard, and then Wednesday my parents arrived in London! The best part was introducing my parents to my two best Brits- Matt and Jo, friends from my lecteur and assistant years.

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I’ve realized that the more time I spend in the UK, and especially in London, the more I fall in love with it. I’m so lucky to have good friends to keep me coming back again and again.

Bisous,

Dana

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