Friday, February 1, 2013

London: Week One

                Big Ben

Here are just a few photos from last weekend! It has been so tough to keep up with this blog. I am always going and going and going. My internship, classes, homework and exploring keep me really busy.
Last Friday, we started out by going to Kings Cross Station to see Platform 9 3/4 which was a little cheesy, but I'm still happy that I got to have my photo taken there.The man who was watching the line gave us scarves from whichever house we liked best. I obviously chose Gryffindor. Even if you're not a Harry Potter fan, this tourist trap is a must see.  My roommates and I hope to go on the Harry Potter Studio Tour sometime this weekend, but we still have to plan it. A family friend went on it over the summer and said that it was well worth the £30. 
We also explored the area around Westminster again. It never gets old! There is always something to see. When we went, it was super cold. We really had to brave the wind and pull out our heavy gloves and scarves. 

Kensington Gardens was another highlight of the weekend. There was so much open space and we saw people with children and animals everywhere. It is such a contrast to the huge buildings that surround the streets in Central London. We walked down the street with all the diplomatic houses and then found our way into the park. We almost lived in this area which would have been nice though there aren't as many grocery stores or restaurants nearby. Kensington Palace was beautiful, though we did not go all the way in. We may tour the palace another day. 
I will have to say that Portobello Road Market was one of my most favorite parts of last weekend.
There was such an array of goods and people crammed into about ten street blocks. The goods in the stands ranged from antiques, fruit and scarves to Indian food, meat and lace. It was so amazing to be there and see so many different things packed onto ojne street. There were people from all over doing shopping, eating and socializing.

I would love to do my shopping every weekend at this market, but it is a little more convenient to just go to Tesco or Sainsbury Local to get our groceries. I will definitely be going back sometime soon though. 

There was a lot of ethnic food for sale at the market. I saw stands with Indian, Ethiopian, Spanish, Italian and Asian food. There were also stands selling delicious looking pastries and produce. 

I knew that I wanted to eat lunch while we were at the market, in order to get the whole experience, so we walked around for a while and I settled on getting a crepe. We watched the people make them in front of us. My good friend Emily got a Cheese and oregano crepe which was really good. I got a dark Belgian chocolate crepe which was delicious and warm, but oh so messy. I had chocolate all over my face and hands. It was so good that I did not mind being a little messy in public.  

After the Market, Emily wanted to go back towards Buckingham Palace, which we had visited earlier in the week, to get some postcards that she had seen at the gift shop. We took the tube there and when we walked back to where we thought we had found another tube station, we ended up really close to the London Eye. So we explored that area and took a few photos of the sun setting behind Parliament and Big Ben.

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