25 March 2011

london part 3 (shamrocks, wizards and a bittersweet goodbye)

Wednesday was a bit of a sleepy morning, after booking around the city the day before.  We tubed over to Regents Park again to visit Jeannie, and walked along the water looking at all the different birds.  Erin and I decided we'd go to Kings Cross and find Platform 9 3/4.  When we got to Platforms 9 & 10, there was a sign saying that the platforms were under construction, so we started wandering down platform 10 looking for the relocated one.  Finally a construction worker saw us, and pointed us around the corner to the shopping cart stuck in the wall.  Because it's just a temporary set up, it was a big fake brick wall and it's really, really silly looking, but we used the photo-op anyway!  We are such nerds.  After our Harry Potter excursion, we went next door to The British Library.  This is such a wonderful place to visit and I really recommend it.  Did I mention it's free?  There's all kinds of interesting things to look at, including original Mozart and Beethoven scores, and Beatles lyrics scrawled on the back of envelopes by McCartney and Lennon.  We spent Wednesday evening in Camden Town eating all kinds of delicious things.  First Erin got ice cream made using liquid nitrogen, then we both had tea, then a few of us went out to Thai, followed by gelato.  I also managed to break my favorite pair of vintage cowboy boots, and scrape up both my knees.  Good thing I carry my robot bandaids. 

from the top: feeding the birds in Regents Park | on my way to Hogwarts | canals in Camden | nitrogen ice cream | a spot of tea

Being the loyal Irish gals that we are,  Erin and I spent a lot of Thursday searching for green clothes for Erin to wear.  Apparently the British don't wear green- not on St Paddy's or on any other day.  The closest thing we could find was this weird teal/sea-green color that just wasn't cutting it.  We also went to Buckingham Palace in the morning, and then walked from there through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to Kensington Palace.  We were having such a great time walking, we continued on and on, and eventually went off my map.  We had no idea where we were, so we hopped on a bus back to the tube, then back to the hostel so we could get ready for the evening's festivities.  That night we got together with a bunch of girls from Regents and a couple British guys and hung out in the East End.  The best part of that evening had to be the bus ride home.  A crew of Irish kids got on the top of a double decker with us, and we all had a massive sing-a-long, complete with the Irish flag tied across the stairrail.  You couldn't come upstairs unless you walked under the flag... Aaah the Irish.

from the top: the Queen's digs | Hyde Park swan | Royal Albert Hall | Kensington Palace

Friday was our last full day in London!  It was bittersweet for sure- I really didn't want to leave the city (or Jeannie), but it was also one of the best days of the whole trip!  We went to the Victoria and Albert which has climbed to the top of my Favorite Museums list.  There's lots of wacky furniture and pretty costumes, and you can even have tea in the gorgeous cafe!  We had lunch at Borough Market.  I think I talked to every single cheese seller, and tried every single cheese.  It was delightful!  I also managed to cram in fish & chips.  That evening we hopped over to pub to have one last hurrah.  (I had to have the Guinness I never got on St Paddy's.)  I also managed to eat the most delicious meal ever- a sweet potato, brie & leek pie (photo below!) 

from the top: inside the V&A | the V&A courtyard | Borough Market | Guinness and the best pie ever!!!

Saturday was a mad rush of breakfast with Jeannie, last-minute souvenir shopping, and a long tube ride to the airport.  We said goodbye to our wonderful home for the week, Palmers Lodge in Swiss Cottage.  If you ever need cheap accommodations in London, I definitely recommend this place.  It's one of the nicest hostels I've stayed in, and the neighboorhood is lovely!  On the way to Heathrow, I tried to soak in every last bit of British accent (i.e. creepily listened to the guy's phone conversation on the bench across from us).  Our flight back was way too long, but at least I got to watch The King's Speech.  I HEART COLIN FIRTH. 

Thank you London, for a most unforgettable time.  I hope to see you again before too long.

Our neighborhood and Palmers Lodge Hostel

Thanks for bearing with me as I droned on and on about my trip! I really wanted to record everything that happened, and I hope it wasn't too boring. I'll be back to regular posting tomorrow!


  1. I loooooove Harry Potter and I'm such a dork so I would have probably done the same ahah!
    Lovely pictures, seems like you're having a lot of fun!

  2. Oh, such gorgeous photos! I love that bird, is it a heron? I don't know my birds too well...


  3. Ahhh, I am so jealous! Platform 9 and 3/4 is basically....my number one place to see when I visit London!

  4. Brilliant post, as per usual, I love your photos of London. You're right about the green thing- I have been looking for a green pencil skirt for bloody ages and no joy!


  5. This sounds so magical. I love the photo of you at platform 9 3/4! And I totally understand why you would be creepily listening in on people's conversations just to get a few more moments of that accent... aah.

    Also i LOVE that you tried all the cheeses. Cheese 4 Life!


  6. Love the shot of platform 9 3/4 your trip looks amazing I am so jealous.


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