Posted February 2nd, 2012 by Abby in London, England
London is buzzing with culture, it’s own and the culture of hundreds of other nations. 8 million people live in London and there are like 200 and some languages spoken here. It’s crazy when you think about it. Not only are we suppose to be learning about British culture while we are here we are suppose to go out and experience it. One of our classes is called the British Experience and for this class we are required to visit various parts of the city to see and experience the different cultures in London. Every neighborhood in London is different. Each one has it’s own culture and own special vibe to it. This week we visited some of the different street markets. There are tons of them in London. Some sell antiques, some sell fruit and vegetables, some are like farmers markets, others are high end gourmet food. Each market is special in their own way.
I decided to check out a few of the markets in parts of London that I hadn’t spent much time in. The first market I visited was Brixton market. It’s like a farmer’s market with a little extra added on. Brixton is located in south London and has a pretty high population of African and Caribbean immigrants. You could tell this by the Reggae music and all the different restaurants and food stands with different samplings of Caribbean food. Brixton was not my favorite market that I’ve ever been too. On top of the fresh fruit and veggies, there were also some clothes and other random bits for sale. There also were butcher shops on every side of the street. It overwhelmingly smelt like raw meat. And there were chickens hanging from the ceilings with their heads still attached and half of a hog hanging as well. Not really something I expected to see in London. I’m glad I went somewhere I hadn’t been before, but I don’t know if I’ll be returning to Brixton Market.
The other market I decided to check out was Camden’s markets. There are several markets all close together that mesh together to form one massive market. Camden is a special area of London. It’s not like any other place in the city. There are goths, hippies, tourists, students, and loads of other people that live there or are checking out the markets. Amy Winehouse used to live in Camden if that gives you a little bit of an idea of what it is like. There are loads of pubs with live music at night and is a great spot to go out in with your friends. Lots of free music! You can also buy just about anything you want from the massive market, including clothes to fit any one’s style, food, jewelry, art, souvenirs, and other random things. It’s one of my new favorite spots in London. I feel like I could just wander around for hours looking at everything. In fact I did. I would recommend Camden to anyone in London.
Some of the other great markets in London are Portabella Market in Notting Hill and Bourough Market on the south bank of the Thems. You really can’t go wrong with any of the markets the city has to offer.
The other cultural activity that we did this week was going to the theater. The program took us to see Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theater in the West End. The show is set during the French Revolution and it follows one character through out. It was good, but really long. The actors were amazing, the music was fantastic, the set was intricate and impressive, and the atmosphere was wonderful as well. I didn’t go this time, but a few people from the program went to see Wicked over the weekend. It’s a fantastic show as well. There are tons of theaters that litter the west end of London, with a show to please everyone. My English friend, Kat, and I will be going to see Legally Blonde in the West End in just a few weeks. Looking forward to that.
Overall a great week for everyone in London. We also started classes and internships, but you don’t want to read about that so I’ll leave you with the fun cultural activies.