Today was jam packed, with enough chill moments to make it enjoyable. We got off to a slow start at our (now favourite) bakery. The barista today has family in Vancouver, so we bonded over that commonality. We grabbed some groceries and wine from the local supermarket. In fact, I think I’ll have to start detailing the wines I have, so that I can keep track of the good, bad and the so-so. And I had completely forgotten about the macadamia nuts that Glen gave us as a going away gift. Come to think of it, maybe they were actually intended for Phil for his birthday. Too late! Thanks Glen!
Sorry the pictures are so pixelated. I suppose I need a good camera (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). We left Kings Cross and headed to Brick Lane in East London, which is famous for their curry’s. Not well planned on our behalf – we had just had lunch and weren’t hungry, so we had to say no to the restaurateurs who harass you on the street to come into their establishments. Apparently, the trick is to hesitate when they ask you and then they drop their price by about 20%. I will have to go back to confirm that this works. The neighbourhood is lively and more gritty than where we’re staying. It appears to be hipster paradise between the vintage shops and the independent coffee houses. Although, most of the residents of this area are Bangladeshi; whence, the onslaught of curry options. Thanks Tamara for the recommendation to check out this area!
Since it was such a beautiful day, we kept wandering and stumbled upon Boxpark, which is an amazing idea. It’s the world’s first pop-up mall and it’s located in Shoreditch. They used shipping containers to build the entire mall, which is low cost and gives opportunities to restaurants and stores that might otherwise not be able to afford a store front in London. Although, Nike was occupying a large percentage of the bottom floor. I was relieved to see it was empty. We decided we better do our part and support small business, so we had a beer and a cider with chips on the sunny patio.
They had a better picture than I took, so I borrowed it from their website.
Since the sun was still shining, we kept wandering and ended up at Old Spitafield’s Market. I honestly couldn’t have planned this better. They have antiques, restaurants, art, and clothing. I was in heaven and passing off the experience as sourcing work for my future Interior Design job.
Phil quickly tired of the market, so we kept walking and ended up at London Bridge. Apparently, the original bridge was sinking into the Thames, so the Brits sold it to an American, who has resurrected the original London Bridge in Arizona. I’m really having a hard time picturing that. The new one was constructed some time in the 1970’s.
After walking all over London the last couple of days, we thought we’d do the touristy thing and hop on a boat up the Thames. As with all touristy things, you always end up feeling slightly ripped off. The view was amazing though and the weather could not have been better. We saw Big Ben and the Parliament buildings. We cruised past the site of William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and got a sense of where the main attractions in London are located. All in all – an amazing day!