London Day 3 – palaces, parks, shopping and theatre
This feels like a lifetime away, so I hope I can remember it correct. It will be a quick update, as by the time i finished sorting the pictures and uploading them, its almost 10pm and the battery of my laptop is dying. I am sitting in the little garden of my hotel in New York, listening to the ear crushing buzz of air conditioners around me.
From the windows during my early morning breakfast I could see the day was going to be cloudy and rain was drizzling already.
I caught the tube to Notting Hill, where was my first stop for the day. The same one from the so called movie with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
Other than just walking through, I was also headed to the Portobello markets, as you know I do like my markets and love to browse through them anywhere.
This part of town is quite different from the center – little quaint streets, cute little townhouses, greenery that is a bit more unruly. It has a lovely feel about it.
The market is basically on the Portobello Road and even though its still early in the morning, there are heaps of people headed that way. I just follow them, as my map finishes before this part of town.
The street is packed. There are mostly antiques around, but not only. All kinds of other bits and pieces can be seen, but antiques are definitely the main draw card. I was trying to find two nice silver spoons for the girls, but couldnt find anything that really grabbed me. Plus, with all the bargaining and choosing going around and my complete lack of knowledge on the things, made me realize this is really out of my league. Still, it was fun walking around and marveling at some of the items.
Then I saw something I do understand – Food! Supposable German stall with sausages grabbed my eye and I ordered a spicy one with the works – sourkraut, onions and whatnot. Unfortunately the sausage was crap and the whole thing ended up in the bin.
So I got that:
And later on, after some more walking around, I got myself this:
I wish I remember what they were called, but its some kind of fried dough with sugar and warm chocolate sauce. They were delicious and crunchy!
The market goes on and on and feels like it will never end. As a matter of fact it might not, as I didnt get to the end of it. I read its almost 1km long, so no wonder it felt so overwhelming.
Zizi, look what I saw ;)
Then I had a good walk to the Kensington Palace. Once you enter the palace gates there is this side building (shown at the top of this post) and there are numerous birds and squirrels, who seem used to people, as see how I was greeted!
Then I walked around the gardens and the actual Palace and then went out the main gates:
Then it was back to walking, until I reached the Royal Albert Hall, which is absolutely magestic, as you approach it from the street. It was built in the 19th Century, but looks like it belongs to this one every bit. There was some kind of performance as I arrived, but after wasting way too long trying to figure it out and walking around this huge building in search of the Box Office (which is at the back), I gave up.
So I just jumped across to the park and listened to some free concert on the grass.
Then I found myself in the middle of some street festival on Exhibition Road. This is the home of a lot of the design and architecture schools and they were having some kind of fun day and showing off their work. Live music of all kinds was playing along the road and the buzz was happening.
Then I went through the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is one of the biggest in the world. The building itself is magnificent, it caught my eye even from the Exhibition Road. Inside it is equally breathtaking.
Who’s outfit is that? ;)
This was hanging right on top of the entrance and it mesmerized me. It was huge and I absolutely fell in love with it. I dont think I have done it justice with this picture.
Then after so much art and creativity, it was time for some pure commercialism.
Where else, but Harrods!
At first I was a bit skeptical, The parts I went rhough initially didnt really seem that special…until…until I reached the food court. OMG! This is a gourmet lover’s paradise.
It consisted of several charming halls with different themes, food and treats that make your mouth water. Little food bars everywhere and smells that make one wish that that stomach of ours was bottomless.
This was the chocolate/sweets hall.
Next was a quick stroll through Hyde Park.
Back on the tube and into the Theatre District, which was absolutely alive by now. It was around 6pm and the area was person next to person, all going somewhere fast. There was a live music area as well.
I saw a 1/2 price ticket boot for the shows and decided to go see something. I chose Monty Python’s “Spamalot”, which is ‘lovingly ripped off from The Holy Grail’
The performance was heaps of fun and we all laughed entirely too much. I do love Monty and his humor. It was a great ending to a busy day.
Now for a new experience in my day. I grabbed a pack of fruit from the grocery store, that I hadnt seen before. They looked rather interesting and were called Physalis and were absolutey delicious. Tasted like nothing I have had before – slightly tart, not overly sweet. If you see them, get some.