When in London & the Autumn break

Hi guys! Long time no see. How are you all doing? I’m doing quite well myself.

My apologies for the lack of blogposts last week. After a fun week in London – and afterwards a relaxing week at home during the Autumn break – I am now back in Rotterdam. It was so nice to see my boyfriend, parents and friends again! In this post I will try to give you a short summary of what happened in the past two weeks.

On Saturday the 8th of October, I took the Eurostar to London. I had booked a room for myself at the CitizenM hotel at the Tower of London for the weekend. After settling myself in my room I went shopping. I ended up at Debenhams where Kat von D’s make up line was launched that day! Besides being able to buy some great make up I also saw Kat von D in real life, as she was actually there to promote her products. Afterwards I ordered some take away at Gourmet Burger Kitchen and I enjoyed an evening in the hotel, I was so happy to finally have a TV and a decent shower again, haha!

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Ready for London / waiting for the train to arrive.
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First photo in London.
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Sign of the CitizenM hotel at the Tower of London.
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Always looking to the wrong side out of habit.
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Kat von D’s make up launch at Debenhams.
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Oxford Circus.
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Dinner in my room / GBK take out.

On Sunday I went back to Oxford Street for some more shopping. In the evening I wandered around the Tower of London, took some pictures, catched some Pokémon and went to bed early.

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Hotel breakfasts are the best breakfasts.
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Impressive shopping window in Oxford Street!
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View from the top bar at the CitizenM hotel at the Tower of London.
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View from the top bar in the CitizenM hotel at the Tower of London.
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View from the top bar in the CitizenM hotel at the Tower of London.
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View from the top bar in the CitizenM hotel at the Tower of London.
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My free cocktail in the CitizenM bar – it was delicious (everyone staying there gets one drink for free, I always pick an expensive one just because it is allowed).
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The Tower Bridge.
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The Thames.
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Traitors’ Gate / the only part from the Tower of London you can see without paying the admission fee, haha! (I’ve been in the Tower multiple times before, it is one of my favorite places to visit, but I didn’t want to spend the money this time.)
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The gate to the Tower of London.
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Animal statues at the Tower of London.

From Monday the 10th until Thursday the 13th, it was time for our #GetConnected schooltrip to London. After having breakfast I traded in the CitizenM hotel for the Generator hostel where our entire group was staying (around 70 students from the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences).

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Hotel breakfasts are the best breakfasts, part 2.
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Pretty building I passed by on my way to the hostel, I think it is another hotel.
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The outside of the Generator hostel.
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The inside (downstairs) of the Generator hostel.

On the first day Anse and I went to eat at Nando’s in the afternoon. My phone decided to stop working, so afterwards we went to the Apple store at Covent Garden where my phone magically started working again after queuing for about an hour. Oh well. In the evening we went on a Jack the Ripper tour with our #GetConnected group. It was so exciting and interesting! The lady who was guiding us was a great storyteller, she often kept the tension high. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures, as she showed us images that she found through her own research and were exclusive to the tour.

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At Nando’s.

On Tuesday, after possibly the worst breakfast I ever had – very much in contrast to the breakfast of the morning before – Kelly, Kayleigh, Anse and I decided to go and visit Tate Modern. After wandering around for a while, Anse and I went to explore Camden Lock Market. I had never been to this place before, so I was very excited!

On our way back to the hostel we were evacuated from the underground station at St. Pancras. It was quite a scary and stressful moment, as we did not know what was going on. Later we found out that the cause was smoke coming from the Piccadilly line, not a terrorist attack as we feared. In the evening we had a (standing) group (buffet) dinner with all 70 students at Brooklyn Diner.

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Anse exploring Tate Modern.
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The artwork that intrigued me the most at Tate Modern.
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The artwork that intrigued me the most at Tate Modern.
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Paintings at Tate Modern.
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View from the balcony at Tate Modern.
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Camden Lock Market.
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Pretty store facades at Camden.
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Another pretty store facade / happy fruits and veggies.
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Camden Lock.
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Camden Lock Market.
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One of the many food stalls at Camden Lock Market.
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Proud Camden.
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Cyberdog, the most eccentric store I have ever seen in my life.
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Beanies sold at Cyberdog.
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Camden Lock Market. (Yes, it is VERY big.)
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Kelly and Kayleigh said the mac and cheese here was awesome. I already ate, but next time I am in London I will definitely have to try!
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Gelato at Amorino.
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The Brooklyn Diner.

On Wednesday, we all went to Oxford and did a tour of the university and the city. I never knew Oxford was such a pretty city! I am glad our teachers took us there, as I probably would never have visited the city otherwise. Afterwards we had dinner and went for a walk, and we took the train back to London.

My roommates Kelly, Kayleigh and Anse decided to go see the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Drury Lane theatre in the evening. I decided to stay in, as I had already seen the same play at the same venue half a year ago and I didn’t want to spend the money (again).

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The Martyrs’ Memorial in Oxford.
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Oxford city.
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Trinity College.
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Guided tour in Oxford / Trinity College.
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The dining room in Trinity College.
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Oxford University has the most beautiful gardens.
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An Italian-inspired bridge in Oxford.
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Building details.
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The Bodleian Library in Oxford.
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The ceiling inside the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
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The Bodleian Library in Oxford.
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Group photo in the Bodleian Library.
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When you cannot decide what you want for dinner so you just order everything.

On Thursday, our last day in London, we went to advertising agency BBH. After a wonderful breakfast arranged by BBH, an introduction about who they are and what they do and even some tips for writing an application for a job or an internship, it was time for us to get to work (on another pressure cooker). We were split into smaller groups in which we had to come up with an advertising campaign for a fictional product. We didn’t have much time for preparation, but all in all I was happy with the results we presented to the other groups.

I still had a few hours left in London, so I just wandered around some more in Oxford Street (close to BBH). I bought some things in Liberty London, House of Fraser and Lush, picked up some cookies at Ben’s Cookies for my boyfriend and went to McDonald’s. Then it was already time to go to St. Pancras to take the Eurostar back to Belgium! I took the train to Antwerp, where Ben was waiting for me to drive me home.

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Another group’s presentation at BBH.
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Found the perfect card for Ben, but didn’t buy it because it was way too expensive haha.
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Liberty London.
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St. Pancras International Train Station.

From Friday the 14th until Sunday the 23rd of October, I enjoyed my Autumn break at home. I ended up doing a lot of things! I …

  • … catched some sleep (finally!)
  • … went to garden center Pelckmans to see the new Christmas section with Ben.
  • … went bowling and out for dinner at De Post with my parents and Ben.
  • … went to Pairi Daiza (zoo) with Ben.
  • … went to Antwerp to see student association Aymie‘s new members (at the schachtenverkoop and cantus).
  • … went shopping at Wijnegem Shopping Center, Makro and Ikea with my mom.
  • … made a puzzle with my mom.
  • … went to Ben’s graduation ceremony.
  • … went on the hunt for Babycham which supposedly is discontinued, which would be very saddening.
  • … bought and played some board games with Ben (“Levensweg”, “De Slimste Mens ter Wereld” and “Bandido”.)
  • (And more.)
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Pairi Daiza with Ben.
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The penguins at Pairi Daiza.
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Pairi Daiza with Ben.
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Pairi Daiza with Ben.
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The pandas at Pairi Daiza.
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Pairi Daiza with Ben.
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Student association Aymie’s schachtenverkoop.
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Ikea food!
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The finished puzzle.

I know, it was a LOOONG post but now you are completely up to date again, haha! Bye for now! Lots of love,

Jolien

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