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So, there's a few tourists around...

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 17 July 2010 | Views [740] | Comments [1]

17 July, 2.30pm
I think I'm on the edge of Trafalgar Square. It's taken a good twenty minutes of walking to find somewhere I could both acquire a coffee and escape the hordes of tourists. I've spent today largely just wandering and exploring, generally getting my bearings, and doing A LOT of walking! I started off with the Portobello Road Markets which were fantastic. It reminded me how much I miss real markets (as opposed to semi-modernised souqs) that don't hassle and hard sell. I spent plenty of time walking along past the pretty buildings and taking Amelia's advice to go past the touristy stalls to the more genuine markets. Delightful, relaxing, with lovely sunshine and a cool breeze. By the time I walked back up to Notting Hill Gate tube stop however, it appears almost every other tourist in London had converged on the one street! The place was completely packed and I had to use every Boxing Day Sales shopping skill Luvvy had ever taught me! Still, the pretty buildings and streets kept me happy - I love the architecture here as it reminds me of home; the Brits have just had a lot more time to make theirs more elaborate.

Next up, I was aiming for Westminster, not knowing what I was in for. Lines and routes all over the place are stopped on the tube for the day so I thought I'd be clever and walk some of the way instead of changing lines. Easy right? Ha. Ha. At least, after getting off at Earl's Court, I found myself wandering through South Kensington. I certainly could have done far worse for myself. With a significant drop in the 'chav' appearance rate, I quite enjoyed the thirty minutes it took to get to the tube station, even if I was very relieved when I found it. A seamless journey brought me to everything that comes to mind when you think of London (whiny Brits in Australia aside). The view was incredible! The London Eye and Aquarium to the left, and the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey to the right. It was about then that I really began to think, it still hasn't hit me as to where I actually am. Without the culture shock of Asia, it's extremely easy to think that you're not all that far from home and that everything is pretty much the same. I don't know when it will register; maybe the next time I walk head first into another cloud of hundreds of tourists.

By then I just wanted a break. I found myself a sandwich, chilled out under a tree then went in search of coffee without a crowd. It took twenty minutes and I had to walk the entire length of Whitehall, but now I think I'm almost ready to face it again, make my way back to Westminster Bridge, and find the Globe Theatre. Shakespeare ahoy!

I made my way back to Westminster Bridge with my camera wrapped around my wrist and th e shutter fairly flying. I love the giant Monopoly aspect - the only way I've actually recognised many of these places! I snapped my way all the way to Westminster Cathedral, keen to get inside after having heard so much about it. Sadly, I was all of ten minutes too late and it was closed to tourists for the day. It's all ok however, as I'm sure Andrew will enjoy going back there anyway. My wanderings to the Globe take me down the Queen's Walk, past a plethora of street performers and entertainment. It's like Melbourne's Southbank but times 40! I shall keep wandering, snapping away and aiming for the Globe.

My leisurely pace has failed me yet again! It was a bit bold to hope the Globe would remain open after 5pm on a Saturday, however I shall return and see all there is to see here - it was the only thing on my 'must do' list! Now, after seven hours of walking, I think I need to work out how to get home!




Fantastic! Sounds like you're filling the days up VERY nicely! Awesome... just awesome... Want to see LOADS of photos of the Globe, always wanted to go there... can't wait to see it! Big hugs babe!

  Robert Downey Jnr Jul 19, 2010 12:01 PM

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