After living in London for six years, Stefania from Italy made a trip back again for the horror film festival, Frightfest. It takes place every year over the August Bank Holiday. This is always a busy time in London and it is really difficult to find affordable accommodation for a few days. Hotels in central London tend to be very expensive so Stefania said "A homestay was the perfect solution for me on this occasion." Read on to see how she enjoyed her homestay in London with her host Jasmine.
Stefania at the Royal Victoria Docks
I have lived in London for 6 years and also traveled back quite a few times since I moved back to Italy, staying at a friend's house quite often, so I was used to sharing spaces and adapting to other people's timetables and also knew the place quite well. Staying with Jasmine allowed me to stay for the number of days I needed within my low budget. In London, the film festival took most of my time, I spent many hours inside the cinema and tried to use the spare hours to see other places I missed or that I'd never seen before, there are always some in London!
My host in London was very nice, she let me leave my luggage at her workplace when I arrived and when I departed to allow me to spend the day out without worrying about my bags. We got talking a couple of times and it was nice to have a conversation as well. The location was quite handy to travel around with the underground and also to get back with the night bus. My room was spacious and I didn't have any problems. I tried to keep the noise down when I got back late and to choose times to get up in the morning that weren't making life difficult for my host and other people in the house and everything went smoothly.
Stefabia's View from The Shard
Aside from Frightfest, I went back to The Shard. I love the view from there, and this time I had a day and night ticket so I could see London from above both during the day and in the evening. I also went to the Arcelor Mittal Orbit in the Stratford area that was built for the Olympics a few years ago which I find very nice. I took the cable cars from Greenwich Peninsula to Royal Docks for more amazing views. I like the Docklands area.
I went to the Portobello market and to Spitalfields market on the weekend which are my favourites, and also visited the Barbican for the first time which was a nice discovery. Another place I visited was the Neasden Temple, a hindu temple which was unusual and very interesting to visit. I also took the time for a stroll around Covent Garden and Neal's Yard and along the river and the bridges which I very much love, starting from Waterloo down to Tower Bridge and the Millennium Bridge. They were very busy days!
I always try to spend more time doing things and shop in places that I cannot find where I live, I prefer markets and second hand shops to Oxford Street shops for example, because you can find more original and unique things there. My experience has been positive and I would certainly like to be hosted by the people I have met.
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