Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Travel Journal Day Seven & Eight: London

We returned to London from Scotland late Friday evening and although we had pretty much had our fill of churches and castles and royalty and all that, we had one more important stop to make: Westminster Abbey. This is one incredible building with an amazing history and so we headed straight to the Abbey on Saturday morning.

Right outside the Westminster Tube
Station is the famous clock: Big Ben
Westminster Abbey is only open
until 1:30pm on Saturdays and not
open at all (except for services) on
Sunday, so it was very crowded. There
is no photography allowed inside the
building--it is truly an amazing sight.
The inside of Westminster Abbey
houses the crypts of so many kings
and queens that I could not even begin
to remember them all.

Waiting in the Queue.
Our favorite spot in the Abbey is poet's corner
(with burial grounds and/or
monuments for authors such as T.S. Eliot,
William Shakespeare, Chaucer, Browning,
Keats, Dickens, as well as composers like George
Frideric Handel and actors such as Laurence Olivier.
It is an amazing spot. Of course, in the Nave, there
are also the tombs of Sir Isaac Newton
(The Da Vinci Code)
and Charles Darwin.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was dedicated
to the London Street Markets.

First we visited the famous Portobello Road:
Joey shopped his little heart out at all the
antique shops and stalls

while Michael and I ate everything in
sight including freshly made crepes with
Nutella and banana filling
and piping hot English Meat Pies....
The best thing about London Street Markets:
The Food!

On Sunday we headed to Brick Lane, another
famous London Street Market with lots of vintage
clothing stores.

In case you can't really make out the picture
below, it is a shop window of a women's
vintage clothing store... what are you seeing?
Stuffed squirrels dancing in a circle wearing
vintage doll clothes. I know, weird and creepy,
but eye catching. The clothes in this store
were awesome despite the freaky window display.
There was also a full sized mannequin walking
a stuffed badger.... you can see the Badger's
behind in the foreground.

The Indian Food in London is the best.
After a cold, wet London Street Market
experience at Brick Lane, we had some
Chicken Tikka Masala, yum, yum!

Then we headed off to the town of
Camden Lock north of London for another
Street Market experience. Camden Lock
is the "goth" market of choice, so lots of
tattoos, piercings, leather everything,
interesting people watching. There were
also lots of crafts and Obama t-shirts.

Obama t-shirts?

After Camden Lock, we headed to
Covent Garden, yet another Street Market,
this one right in the heart of London. We
finally made it back to the apartment to
pack and ready ourselves for the very long
travel day ahead of us on Monday.

Things I love about the UK:
Street Markets
Street Market Grub
The Tube (Underground System)
Indian Restaurants
London Theatre
The food markets at the fancy
department stores (like Japan only better
because I know what most of the food
Cool Vacation Rental Apartments
People Watching

Things I don't particularly like about the UK:
the plane ride getting there, and home
too many kings and queens to remember
hangings and beheadings and a generally medieval violent history
where the H*ll are the restrooms, London is the most
restroom UNfriendly city
black (blood) pudding, yuck!

We had a great time, sad to see it end....
next year: Paris!


Kim Williams said...

I loved getting your daily travel update! I also loved the I love acid t-shirt, I bet they had a lot of unique items :).

Betsy said...

It took a while, but I finally finished all of your London posts. :) I love that you love to write. It was fun hearing about all of your adventures. The pictures were great too. If I ever get to Europe, I am going to have to bring a dozen memory cards. It is so great that you guys are able to give Joey and Sammy all of these amazing experiences.