Monday, December 15, 2014

London 2014

Well, I made it!

It was looking like everything was going to fall apart just before the trip, but I'm glad to say my bout with a "stomach bug" is over and I'm happily posting this from a cozy flat in London, sipping on some lovely tea.

On to the photos from Days #1-2!

St. Paul's Cathedral

We're staying at a quaint flat near St. Paul's church. Every time I pass it I thinking about that scene from Mary Poppins: Feed the birds, tuppence for birds. . . That was then and this is now, though. We're in a "post-jubilee" world and the Queen has certainly left her mark. On our way to find a place to eat I noticed several stations where a symbol of royal crown was displayed with something magical to behold. In the picture above, you'll find a cool upcycle of a ruined cathedral, now with organic plant beds at its base. I love that mix of old, new, and green.

Burrough Market was over-whelming and fantastic at the same time. It normally closes early-ish on Thursdays through Sunday, but during the holiday season it has extended hours/days. It reminded me of the bazaars in Istanbul with its many sellers and products. Lots of sights and smells to take in. While it would have been nice to pick up something from one of the stands, we were so tired from out trip we decided to sit down at a restaurant there called Fish!. Tim got the monkfish; I had the halibut. Both were tasty. 

Celebrating 11 years (with jet-lag)

It was a short train ride to Westminster. For some reason, as soon as I saw Big Ben I began to cry a little. Perhaps I was emotional because my best laid out plans to use the bus system were foiled by re-routing due to construction, I'm a nerd, or as I've stated before this trip means a lot to me. (I'm getting out there and doing things in spite of my disease!) All of the above would be a good guess.

Ah, Buckin'em. As luck would have it, I showed up just in time to see the changing of the guard. I was told this is kind of a big deal because it only happens once and day and usually the crowds are so large you don't get to peer through the gates unless you've been standing around for hours. Cool.

Her majesty's secret public service! I'm talking about The Queen's Gallery. I had to pay to get in, but the bathrooms there with their fancy soaps and pretty marble sinks just about made it worth it on their own. The current exhibits showcased gold throughout the ages and, separately, the 1860 Prince of Wales Middle East tour in photos. The story of his visit to thank 'Abd al-Qadir was particularly touching and bittersweet as the purpose was to thank him for sheltering Christians during their genocide in Syria. (Why is this stuff still happening?!)

Trafalgar square

I found this neat place on the recommendation of some blogger who I cannot credit at this time. This is Neal's yard. It's a colorful corner in WC2 that celebrates organic eating and green lifestyle. All the healthy shakes, herbal soaps, and vintage clothes were a dream. I definitely want to go back there.

And that's that, for now. The hubby just got back from the office and it's off to get some Turkish food!

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