And now the final installment of this series. After this, it’s back to food adventures!
Thoughts on London (I took a lot more pictures and had a tough time picking which ones to include here, so the rest can be found HERE):
– Thanks to this little youtube video my brother sent me prior to the trip, I learned all about the difference between London and the City of London.
– Borough Market is one of the highlights of our trip. It’s London’s largest food market, and for all of you Bridget Jones fans, yup, that’s where she went to get her stuff for her birthday dinner. The retail portion of the market (there’s a wholesale portion too) was only open three days a week. We were lucky to have wandered over as it was opening on a Friday afternoon.
All kinds of vendors with all kinds of fresh delicious food were present. Too bad I only had one stomach and a whole variety of customs laws to abide by! After perusing all sorts of stalls filled with all kinds of foods, we settled on sharing a duck confit sandwich. Oh the aroma of duck in a hot metal pan! For 5 pounds we acquired a sandwich. Totally worth every pound paid and gained. It was generously stuffed with duck meat (and skin!) and a little wisp of lettuce. It was delicious. I was also won over by a tower of brownies and a huge selection of all varieties of baklava (Jenny made the better choice…mine was just pretty to look at).
– Shakespeare is amazing when seen live, and especially so when seen at the Globe Theater. Persistence pays off for sure. We were just walking along and happen to walk by at about 1:30pm. Judging by the crowds milling about, there was going to be a 2pm showing that day. Intrigued, I popped in to inquire. Turns out the 2pm show was going to be Taming of the Shrew, although the only tickets left were 35 pounds and higher. After some walking back and forth, I made Jenny go inquire again, in case there were last minute returns. There were! Two tickets at 12 pounds each! Done!
The seats were way up in the rafters and off to the side. Don’t matter, it was a seat and it was covered (it started raining halfway through). I chit chatted with a man next to me, and when he left (He had to leave mid way through) he let me have his seat cushion (otherwise you had to rent it)! It would have been more awesome if it was a blanket, but I’ll take the cushion!
Reading Shakespeare was always required a lot of effort from me to really understand. Watching a play I was unfamiliar with (besides what I knew from 10 Things I Hate About You…which was on the tele back when we were in Edinburgh) made for a very interesting experience. Even though it wasn’t the easiest to figure out everything they were saying, I found myself drawn in anyway. The actors all did a fantastic job and the actress who played Kate was awesome. My only beef? That whole last scene with the obedience contest. Um…yea…no.
– It was raining so we took shelter in the Tate Modern. As an engineer, I was more interested in taking a look at the Turbine Room and Tank Rooms (in which, there is still a lingering scent of diesel). Those spaces were used for performance art. Why is performance art always about expressing negative emotions such as despair and angst? Do we only connect through shared negative emotions? If someone did something bright and happy, do we just dismiss it and call it gloating?
– London is an old city, and around every corner you can find little bits of the old integrated with the new. Unlike Manhattan, a true concrete jungle filled with sterile glass covered skyscrapers (mostly), London has that older feel to it. Narrow roads, narrow buildings, hidden alleyways that lead to quiet enclosed residential streets shielded from the busy main streets, Churches nestled within more modern buildings and church bells randomly tolling away.
– I can really get used to Afternoon tea. Sort of akin to our 3 o’clock coffee breaks, except not as frantic. Since we couldn’t really afford the proper English high tea at some expensive hotel tea room, we made our own interpretation. I really do love how we could have a pot of tea in a hole in a wall cupcake place called Sweet Couture located somewhere in Covent Gardens.
– Buckingham Palace is huge and also very crowded. Can you imagine having all those people hanging outside your gates all the time?
– Walk. London is also a very walkable city. We walked everywhere and at the end of the day somehow ended up at Covent Gardens filled with cobblestoned streets lined with boutiques and various shops. It also has the Transport museum, which is a great place to pick up transport posters to decorate your flat with (it’s my thing).
We bid adieu to London with a home cooked full English breakfast. Hauled our now heavier luggage through the train and tube system and made it to the airport.
Overall, I had a blast. I discovered new places and rediscovered some old ones in a new light (being older and wiser and all). I am so glad that 6 months ago I pressed that submit button signing me up for the marathon.
I was afraid, I mean, can I do another marathon, can I go alone if I can’t find anyone to go with, am I crazy cause it feels insane.
But in the wise words of AWOLNATION: “Never let your fear decide your fate”. Now if I can only apply it to some other aspects of my life…
Until the next adventures!