The lovely Christmas festivities have hit Norwich and on Saturday David and I had a lovely day enjoying it all in town! The first stop was the Forum to check out the Norwich Global Village Christmas Market before heading towards the Medieval Christmas market in the spectacular Dragon’s Hall. This building dates back to the 15th century and is lies next to the river that runs through the city. Inside the different rooms and hall was filled with stalls selling locally made ornaments, food, art and other things, sold by appropriately dressed sellers in Medieval themed outfits! We wandered around whilst filling our bellies with a heavenly warm apple with cinnamon drinks.
After this event we decided to wander around the famous Lanes of Norwich. this pedestrian area consists of several cute alleyways, some quite old and medieval like, filled with independent retail shops, cafes, restaurants and more. Here you find the best fish and chips shop in Norwich, called the Grosvenor fish bar, my favourite restaurant called the Iron House, the cutest tea room in England called Biddy’s tea room, and dozens of shops filled with quirky, interesting things! We soaked up the christmas spirit with a delicious warm Chai latté and wandered around window shopping and enjoying the atmosphere. Eventually we succumbed to the temptation of buying something, and ended up buying a cool, hippie styled bed cover in an alternative boutique called Head in the Clouds, which was filled with incense, dream catchers, crystals, Buddhist decoration, bongs, tie die clothes, lots of colourful ethnic clothes, and other cool stuff a hippie would die for! We admired beautiful crystals in Angel’s cyrstal shop, laughed at the crazy shoe designs in Imelda’s shoe boutique, and wandered through a ton of charity shops and vintage stores.
We ended up in the end randomly finding a free Art gallery in St. Margerets Church, and we totally fell in love! Some great stuff was on show, all colourful and intriguing. We ended up buying a little treat for the living room and wished we were richer. There was so much in there I wanted to get! I love how most of the churches in Norwich get used for events like this! They are good spaces to use, beautiful buildings, and would otherwise just pointlessly stand untouched and unused.
I realized yesterday this is one of the reasons why I love studying abroad here in England! If I had just gone on holiday to Norwich for a week or two, I wouldn’t have experienced this place in the same way. I probably would have found it a bit boring actually, only visiting the historical sites and standard tourist areas. When you live somewhere new you get to know it like your own home. You find the hidden treasures and secrets of the town, the best place for a coffee, your favourite place to eat, the nicest places to walk and wonder. You learn and discover the festivals, galleries, markets and events held, and how vibrant and alive your community is! As a student as well, you make friends to share all these experiences with, that help you see and learn new things and make you try things you didn’t think you would enjoy, but turn out to be amazing. Norwich is definitely becoming my second home, I love this city to pieces. Studying abroad allows you to go to a new city in a new country, and allows you to grow as a personm in a place that becomes part of your life and history. Norwich is forever in my heart 😀