Part one can be read here.
So after sleeping like I would never wake up, I was ready to begin the next morning; We were heading down to Paddington Station to get our Oyster cards for the Underground, then going to the Museum of London. **(For those of you going “Oyster cards?” Those are the cards that you swipe to get on and off the tube… In the sixth Harry Potter movie, Mr. Weasley had difficulty grasping the concept of using such cards)** Anyway, as one could imagine with Paddington Station, there were lots of little Paddington Bears for sale. While racing through the station, I saw a nifty little kiosk with all sorts of bears. Sadly, I never got one on the trip, but I did get a little one for my roommate from the Museum of London, which was where I was headed.
Apparently the folks at the Museum of London hated large groups coming in without booking in advance (school groups, etc.), so to avoid their wrath we broke into three groups. The group I was in meandered around the area, killing time by looking at some of the sights in the area, such as St. Pauls cathedral, the Millennium Bridge (from a distance) and the Tate Modern (across the Millennium Bridge). After about fifteen minutes, we went back to the museum where we were turned loose to do as we pleased. (A major part of this trip was independent travel, so after each morning/afternoon activity, we could do whatever we wanted)
After wandering around the museum for a while, (pictures are on Facebook; it’s better organized that way) I met up with a small group of us who were heading to the Tate Britain to see an exhibition of Edouard Muybridge. I really hope I spelled that right. After about two and a half hours, we went back to our hotel where we met up with the rest of the group to go to a birthday dinner for one of the students. We ended up going to a fantastic Malaysian restaurant on Queensway, which was barely able to hold the entire group; we had to put three little square tables together, and even then, a few people had to sit apart from the group.
After a fantastic dinner, we went back to the hotel to unwind. I took my usual hot shower, wrote in my journal and went to bed at about ten thirty-ish.
The following morning, the group met in the hotel lobby to go to Portobello Road (a HUGE open-air market that sells pretty much everything). And boy howdy, did it have just about everything. I found everything from veggie stands to jewelry sellers to a WWII surplus stand (I regret not getting that gas mask). I ended up buying a pocketwatch with a spiffy steampunk-esque look to it, saving my money for lunch and Camden Town Market, which, according to one of my professors, was “much edgier.” :D
The people who wanted to go to the other market (a bunch of people skipped) met back at the hotel to go with the professors since at that point, we couldn’t really navigate on our own. We ended up taking a double decker bus (yay!) to a pub near the market, humorously called The Spread Eagle. On the way there though, it was decided that if we Londogoblins were forced into destitution and had to live like the Donner party, I would be the be the first to go because I’m “the youngest, the smallest and I look delicious.” FFFfffffffuuuu…
Anyway, back to the Spread Eagle (tee hee). It was here that I began my side-mission: Eat lots of authentic London fish ‘n chips, and see which places I tried were my favorite. The Spread Eagle set a very high bar for everywhere else I went to… those were some fucking amazing fish n’ chips.
Gorgeous. Now, after finishing the pretty much orgasmic fish n’ chips, it was off to the market. Before I left though, one of the professors sent me on a mission to find another awesome hat to add to my collection; back in the preparation class, everyone knew me because I wore a different hat everyday, each as odd and eclectic as the next.
Once my friends and I got to the market, it quickly became evident that this certainly was the edgier market, much to my enjoyment… dozens of stores that would make Hot Topic cry lined the streets, tattoo parlors occasionally dotted in between. By a Punkyfish retailer, there were a group of punks (REAL punks!) holding picket signs, advertising a show. With the atmosphere and some amazing fish n’ chips in my belly, I was pretty much in heaven. However, since this post is getting long (well, longer), I’ll just cut to the mission. I found a hat that may just be the crowning achievement in my collection. It’s soft, black, adorable and also happens to be a scarf/mittens as well. Hell yes.
After that, it was starting to get dark, so that was a pretty good indicator to go back to the hotel and start looking for dinner. I went to a British McDonalds with some friends, and to be honest, there wasn’t much difference in the food, but there were a few items on the menu that aren’t in the states, like Lion Bar McFlurries, Potato Wedges (with Sour Cream and Chives dip!) and cherry pie. Those were pretty awesome.
And again, after dinner, I relaxed, showered and wrote in my journal before starting the next day. I think here is a good place to end, hope I didn’t bore anyone to death. xD And here’s my hat with me under it… isn’t it amazing?!
Anyway, until the next entry, toodle-loo!