December 1st hit and Christmas markets started popping up left and right. I walked through a couple but new that by the end of the summer I would have seen plenty of Christmas markets with my family, so I focused on school and friends for the first half of the month instead.
Akaash visited from Hungary and we walked around the city at night – seeing the lit up Westminster Abbey, the Christmas infested banks of the Thames, and drinking coffee in an old Crypt by Trafalgar square.
School wasn’t actually happening for the first few days in December (the strike was still on) but the weather was great and I enjoyed a lot of walks around the city. We had a field trip one day as well and visited the beautiful Brompton cemetery which has been around since 1840!
But the good weather couldn’t be taken advantage of forever and I was quickly thrust into the middle of finals studying. That meant a lot of time at my desk with the window open in leu of long walks in a park. BUT! Finals were completed, an essay was written and it was time to spend two weeks with the family.
Shelby and Neal met up with my parents, brother and me in London and we had a couple days together seeing Christmas markets, a football match, wandering through museums and and eating Indian food.
A ‘see you later’ to Shel and Neal and the nuclear family was off to Southern Germany.
Cologne, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Dachau, and Munich. Then two days spent in the Austrian towns of Innsbruck and Salzburg. It was fun, historical, snow-ball filled, and I’m filled with enough sauerkraut, sausage, beer, and gluhwein to hold me over for a long while.
It was a lovely time and truly so nice to see family. They help me stay encouraged during this academic year when school gets tough or the anxiety runs high. So once I was back in London I felt revitalized and ready to get cranking on more papers, more reading, and studying for an upcoming exam.
The year managed to go out with a bang! I spent the evening at Amy’s house, playing trivia with new friends, eating chili, attempting to watch fireworks from the balcony, and hopping around with linked arms singing Auld Lang Syne. Tubing home was an adventure as well. I sat next to drag queens who wanted to do my makeup for me (I politely declined), listened to a small band who decided that 2am was the right time to perform in the tube station, and warily walked past a drunk, homeless man dancing with an invisible person outside my building. I have to say, London is pretty lively on New Years. Cheers to 2020!