My work is just starting to pick up, but before it did, I managed to get away for the weekend to London. First of all, I think next time I go, after having gone twice now by train, I will be flying. No longer will I take this five hour train ride! The plane rides are so cheap and would literally take thirty minutes. it is just not worth it to wait this long anymore. The one advantage was getting to see all the beautiful British cites and the coast in passing. I think I would like to go Newcastle. But I have bigger fish to fry in England(get it, fish and chips)! I need to go to Brighton first.
When we pulled in finally, it was about 3:30. So my friends and I decided to go to the hostel and set our things down in our room. Our hostel was located in Borough which ended up being an interesting little corner in London that I never experienced last time I was there. By the time we got settled there, we were starving from the train since we decided to not eat lunch at the little cafe they had on board. We went to Piccadilly Circus for dinner, which was coincidental since last time I was here, that was the first place my family and I went after getting off the train. This time it was different however as there was not a Taylor Swift concert that had just ended in Hyde Park which was an absolute disaster last time. Just floods of people in the tube and no clear way to compose ourselves in a new city. This time we could take it slow and just explore more. We really wanted Chinese so Chinatown was the obvious place to go. I do not think I mentioned this since last time but I am trying to go pescaterian and that was such a success on this trip. I had the mixed seafood noodles from the Chinese restaurant we went to and it was excellent. After that we explored Soho and got desert at a little Korean ice cream cafe where I got a green tea ice cream with all sorts of sweet fixin’s.
The next day was the touristy day. We caught a walking tour group through Westminster. That was a nice deja-vu for me since we went to Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey(although not inside), Buckingham Palace(the queen just never wants to be there when I come by), and a boat ride down the Thames as well as a tour of the Tower of London. But I decided to cut out of the tour during the boat ride and the tower as i had already done that and I decided that I wanted to see something else. I went to the National Gallery instead which was something I never saw last time. I was so happy I went because they had an excellent amount of pieces of art by some of my favorites. They had Caravaggio, Da Vinci(it is crazy how we only have one in the whole of the western hemisphere but Europe literally has hundreds), Turner, Van Gogh, Picasso, Cezanne, and Rubens. That night we went to Camden and got Italian for dinner. I got a margarita pizza which was delicious.
The next morning, on Sunday, my friends and I went to the Breakfast Club for breakfast which was fairly close to where we were staying. It, of course, had an eighties theme but it was not obnoxiously loud which made it so enjoyable. I got the most perfect chocolate banana pancakes that hit the spot and satiated my sugar tooth. From there, we made the trek to Greenwich to go to the Royal observatory with the Prime Meridian line where the coordinates are exactly (0°, 0′,0”). There was the most amazing park and vista of the whole city. I did not get to go to Greenwich last time and I discovered that it was my favorite area in London. We went to little shops in the town and that was a blast because they were the kind of grungy but charming little shops where everything is used and vintage and you just have to buy yourself a unique keepsake. We went to this used bookstore where everything was a pound and I got four pounds worth of books. Then we went to this outdoor market where I bought a dark, denim mini skirt. The man who sold it to me was the most interesting character. He was dressed like he steeped out of 60s London which made sense since he was selling some unique vintage pieces. He wore a head to toe colored corduroy bell bottom suit and he had a shaggy bowl cut—needless to say, it was perfect.
After that we had to get back to Kings Cross station to catch our train and make the long voyage back to Edinburgh. That trip was longer for me as i also had to take an hour long train ride back to Galashiels. The good thing about that train was that I did not purchase tickets before getting on the train because I was going to buy them from the ticket collector. But he never came around so I got a free ride back, making everything feel better.