Since Kent had to complete his take home exam, I spent the last day in London with my friend Ida. This also made Kent feel better that he wasn’t able to spend the day with me. Although, I felt bad that he had to stay in to do homework when we’re on vacation! Oh well, life isn’t always perfect is it? We have to do what we have to do, in his case, an exam. I tried to plan the trip strafer, but sometimes you can’t predict a take home exam assigned by a prof a month before your trip now can you?
I’m going to forewarn you that this is going to be a long post because I had a big day with Ida and we visited a lot of places in London. This was one of my favourite days of the trip because I was able to spend it with a friend on a beautiful sunny day and we did so many things. I always hear British people how grey and wet London is, but we were very lucky that we didn’t experience any of that weather while we were there!
Started the day off by having a big breakfast at Speedy’s! For those who aren’t SHERLOCK fans, This is the cafe that’s featured in the BBC show Sherlock, which is located beside Sherlock’s residence at “221B Baker Street”. The diner is not really on Baker St, the filmmakers just chose this specific building and Speedy’s just happened to be beside it from what I understand. They change the number of the apartment for filming purposes. If you actually go to 221B Baker Street, I’ve been told there is a Sherlock Holmes museum there.
The food was fairly cheap 5£ for chips (fries), a burger patty (yes hamburger patty), sausage, bacon and eggs! So 5£ is about $10 cdn, which is about average for all this food. According to Ida, it’s pretty cheap in London for breakfast.
After breakfast, we decided to go to the British Museum, where the move ‘A Night of the Museum 3’ was film. We wanted to see some mummies, and it was free entrance. Don’t try to see the whole museum in one day, it’s practically impossible because there are so many exhibits! Do your homework in advance, figure out what you want to see and go there. Oh and study the map well, it’s easy to get lost!
This is the ceiling on the inside the museum, I think it’s beautiful and it makes me appreciate the thought and creativity that went into it.
We only planned to see the mummies and Egyptian exhibit as that was what fascinated us the most, On our way there, we stumbled upon the Rosetta Stone, which was displayed at the entrance of the Egyptian exhibit. This is the stone that shows a script translated into different languages and this is how people learned that the Egyptian hieroglyphics weren’t just pictures, but a language. You can read more about it on wiki. I’m not sure if what I just said is 100% true lol, that’s just how I understand why this stone is so important us.
Next up, the mummies! So instead of opening up some of the coffins, the professionals x-rayed some of them to see what was inside… (if you click on the photo, it should open up to the original size and you can read the description of this mummy).
They do open up some of the coffins to examine the mummies, I’m sure they’ve even unraveled a few mummies in their time as well. It’s creepy, yet so fascinating at the same time. I guess it’s normal for humans to be obsessed with death since we’re all so obsessed with life as well.
We didn’t walk through the whole museum as this was the mummies were the most interesting for us to see. I’ve been to many museums in my life and have seen many historical artifacts from all over the world. I’ve been very privileged to do so I know. I also rather spend more time with people than artifacts.
Next up, the Borough Market in London, which they claimed to have existed since 1014! That’s over a thousand years! No wonder it’s so famous. I wonder how many followers I’d get on social media if I existed for a thousand years! lol.
I didn’t know what to expect really, and I don’t think I could compare it to anything else in Vancouver, other than our Granville Island market, but much more colourful and full of people! See for yourself…
There’s just so many people around, that it’s hard to even take photos of the stands at large! My experience of the place was a bit over whelming because there was SO MANY things to look at! I mean, they have a stand dedicated to just mushrooms! Not to mention a ton of fruit, meat, cheese stands, kitchen trinkets, bags, you name it, they probably had it!
We did buy one thing….fresh juice! I had the apple pomegranate and Ida had the Orange Mango? I just remember it being very fresh and delicious and worth the 3£? Sorry, I can’t remember every bit of detail. This is why I’m trying to document my travels now. Photo albums just don’t cut it anymore do they? Especially as I’m getting older, details start to fade a lot faster too.. We took a short break here before we headed over to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. While we walked our way over there we saw some famous architecture.
The Shard Building
Tower Bridge, which I’ll see up close below…
The ‘Walkie Talkie’ building, this building has become famous for it’s shape for one, but Ida told me a story that when the building was first completed, the face of the building you see now, is made of all glass, and as the afternoon sun shone on the glass, and due to the building being curved, it directly sunlight onto the cars below and started melting the rooftops of the cars! True Story! Here’s one of them: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-23930675
A monument to commemorate on of the big fires in London, I don’t remember which one as I believe there were a couple of large fires in London?
And since we were close by, we also stopped at Leaden Hall! This is another market that has been a round for a LONG TIME, but most importantly….this was a market that was used to film scenes for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter Series!
The market is closed on the weekends, but that’s because I was able to get some great photos without all the bustling people like at the borough market! The amount of detail that’s on these shops are really beautiful. So colourful and vibrant! and that’s probably why the film makers wanted to use this as one of their locations!
We’ve finally arrived at the Tower of London, but we didn’t go in because I didn’t want to pay to go in. We are travelling on a budget and there are only so many things you can do when on vacation. Visiting museum after museum wasn’t our plan since we rather see the city we’re visiting rather than stuck behind the walls within a city. We do visit some museums, we just don’t have time for all…. Instead, I just look at the walls on the outside and take pictures of them!
It is a bit hard to see the Tower of London with that massive wall around it isn’t it? Oh well! While we’re walking around and munching on a snack, we noticed that the tower bridge was lifting to have a boat go through! It was quite interesting really. It’s amazing how technology from so long ago still works to this day!
Can’t complete the experience without walking OVER the bridge as well! You can also enter the bridge and into the towers, where they have a glass floor and you look down towards the traffic of cars and pedestrians below. We also didn’t think this was worth the money to do.
Now that it’s close to dinner time, and Kent has finished his take home exam, he was going to meet up with us at Dishoom, a very popular Indian restaurant around Piccadilly. We lined up for about 1hr 45min to eat at this place….
The lineup was long, I’m not sure if they take reservations, but if they do make them! At least we had each other, and free tasty sample drinks they offered to keep us occupied.
The food is quite good, however, I think that growing up in Vancouver I’ve been spoiled with the delicious tastes of food from all over the world and with some of the best chefs of the world, so it’s still not the BEST indian fusion that I’ve had. I still rather line up an hour and a half to eat at Vij’s! This is just my personal opinion and taste buds though, you must try both restaurants for yourself to compare 🙂
Not to shabby for our last day in London. Next stop…PARIS!