Perhaps one of the most underrated public space in London, the British Library is where many freelancers and students spend their days huddled over their laptops. The Library also holds copy of everything ever published in the UK and Ireland, and the Reading Rooms are used by researchers the whole time. They have a massive collection of documents, from manuscripts, maps and newspapers to prints, drawings and music scores – and 3 million new items are added every year… Apart from these Reading Rooms (which are only open to over-18s who are members), the main bit of the library is where you can sit and revise (and access the free WiFi). Probably the only bad thing about the whole place is the café – it’s really good food, but it’s SO EXPENSIVE. So yeah, bring your own food.
Hi! My name is Paulina Czarnecki, and I’m a teenager from Poland living in the United States. I blog at www.paulinaczarnecki.wordpress.com and I’m honored to be guest posting on the Europhiles today!
I was asked to write a blog post about Polish traditions around this time of year. I’m going to talk about St. Dominic’s Fair that takes place in the last couple of weeks of July in my favorite Polish city of Gdańsk.
My father is from Gdańsk, which is a large city in the north of Poland, on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Every year in July, the streets of the Old Town (Stare Miasto) are lined with stands. The vendors sell food, drinks, jewelry, antiques, clothes, art, and other specialized crafts. Best of all, everything is fairly inexpensive: I bought many a pair of beautiful earrings for as little as 5 złoty (less than $2) when I went this summer.
Gdańsk has a wonderful atmosphere even when nothing special is happening. The Old Town is a complex of old-fashioned townhouses, beautifully restored after World War II. No cars are allowed on the cobbled streets, only pedestrians. If you think this is a tourist trap, think again! Walking is much more common in Europe and the cities than in America (where I live), and tourists and the people that make their home in the city alike are found in the crowds during the Dominican Fair.
When you go to the fair, you never run out of things to look at. Each kiosk has unique, original artwork and jewelry to look at. I spent over $100 dollars during the festival, mostly on earrings and bracelets! You can also buy lots of delicious food: ice cream, bread, cold cuts, hot dishes, etc. etc.
If you ever get the chance to be in Poland over the summer, take it! We had a lot of tourists thanks to the Euro (European soccer cup), and Poland got nothing but good reviews. St. Dominic’s Fair is an amazing festival for anyone interested in any type of art or shopping.
I hope you found my blog post interesting! Thanks again for having me on the Europhiles, and be sure to check out my personal blog at www.paulinaczarnecki.wordpress.com.