Thursday, February 18, 2010

London Days 1 and 2

After dropping our luggage in the flat in Egerton Gardens that we were renting (and giving Becca time to get onto the computer and IM her boyfriend), we headed out to Portobello Street Market for the first of two days of shopping. (Back to back shopping was necessitated by the fact that both of these markets are really only in true existence on weekends.) We walked to the So. Kensington tube stop (we’re about ½ way between it and the Knightsbridge stop) and made our way to Notting Hill Gate stop, which took longer than we expecte because the Circle line was down for the weekend.  We walked up into rainy winding Pembridge Road which was flooded with people shopping.  After a few blocks it was clear that Becca and Dan wanted to go much faster than Kathy and I did, so they took off to shop and we slowed down to people watch. To me the most interesting part of the experience was seeing a little of the area that had appeared in the Julia Roberts/ Hugh Grant film “Notting Hill” romantic comedy that came out about ten years ago. About an hour and a half later, we all met back at the local Starbucks, and headed to find some place for dinner.  The first several spots we tried to get in were filled so we ended up at Prince Albert’s Pub.  The food there—I had a vegetarian platter of falafel, fried zucchini, and fries—was pretty bad as were the various beers we tried.  Tired and jet lagged we headed back to the flat.
          On Sunday, Kathy, Becca and I went to Camden Markets.  (Dan had gone clubbing the night before with a friend from London and was spending the day with him.)  While the trip to Camden was longer, the market was much more interesting.  There were booths and booths of clothes, jewelry, food, and just about anything else that could be sold.  Becca developed her own style of haggling over prices (by telling a merchant that she only had a few pounds less than what he was asking to see if he’d take it for the item she was interested in). We ate lunch at “The Diner”, right around the corner from the section of the markets near the lock.  My Mexican breakfast burrito of eggs, black and pinto beans, and avocado could have used a little spice but it was much better than the previous night’s dinner.  And even though it was cold and rained off and on, the way the markets were set up made them much more enjoyable than the previous day’s shopping. (Not being as jet lagged probably helped as well.)

No comments: