London For a Day: Walking Lots and Hipster Stuff
Look, this the second last post for my recap of the 12-days-in-Europe-Trip. It has been a LONG road to get all of these completed so again, thank you for putting up with my lack of timeliness.
London, England happened to be the second-last stop on this trip and that made it country #39 for my lifetime travels. I landed very early from a flight to Prague at London’s Heathrow airport. The horror stories I heard about this place seemed kind of irrelevant once I got there because I found customs to go pretty fast, they were nice and I guess because I only traveled with a backpack there was no luggage of mine for them to lose. I made it through Heathrow unscathed. VICTORY.
First I would like to say – THE CANADIAN DOLLAR CAN GO TO HELL. I withdrew 50 Quid and it cost me $88.41 Canadian. I thought Switzerland sucked for exchange rate and how much shit costs?
British Pound: ‘Hold my beer’.
I’m still pissed at this conversion rate. Fine, whatever.
So one thing that did NOT suck about coming to chip-chip-cheerio land was my friend Tare!! (I have embedded the link to his Instagram in the first name, so if you are a single woman who likes tall men that travel and sound like the long lost Nigerian member of the Beatles? TARE IS YOUR DUDE!)
He’s just going to love that description when he reads this.
Aside from the jokes, I had two people who really helped me with planning for London. My friend Joni who just recently hopped over the pond to Toronto and Tare who still lives there. I knew that the Tube in London was pretty well organized, but it truly helped a lot having two people explain it a bit better to me and give me advice.
So basically the first order of business was getting this Heathrow Express pass thingy handled. I purchased that way ahead of time but I did notice that when I landed there was representatives for it absolutely everywhere so you can buy it at the airport as well.
It got me to Paddington Station pretty damn fast, I was impressed. Furthermore, once I arrived at Paddington there was a spot called Left Luggage inside of it that I was able to leave my backpack and laptop bag in so I could freely wander around London with nothing weighing me down. TWO big wins.
After this I literally just wandered around alone until it was time to link up with Tare. I made sure to go to Hyde Park and talk to myself out loud at the Speakers Corner on an issue I feel deeply about – that pita with cheese is NOT burek, it is sirnica. I ended up walking through some super upscale area with luxurious cars and embassies on every corner. Then I saw Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and a partial view of Big Ben because it was surrounded by construction mostly. I guess I did the typical touristy stuff?
Tare and I finally found each other at some station downtown and he decided that part of my day should be spent looking at hipster stuff he likes. So I was like, OK sure. Let’s do that.
We end up at some place called Brick Lane? There was some pretty cool paintings and other artsy things there, although the building looked weird and drab from the outside. My favourite part of it was actually this one structure that had been erected of numerous OLD radios all playing one thing at the same time. When you see the picture of it below, you’ll see how nifty that looked.
After seeing Tare’s hipster stuff, it was time for him to take me to my most prized activity when I travel – food. I cannot thank him enough for bringing my foodie self to Borough Market. OHHHMMMGGG.
This market had absolutely everything and anything on display to eat and THEY LET YOU TAKE SAMPLES. Imagine if Costco was local produce? Yeah, that’s Borough Market. We tried cheeses and hot sauces and different desserts. Eventually we settled on eating some king prawns and BBQ chicken. (not samples, actually paid for this)
I looooved Borough Market. If I ever go back to London, that is going to be the first place I take the Tube to, mark my words.
Following the market, I went to see London Bridge and my lovely tour guide explained to me all the fancy pants things I needed to know about the bridge, about central London and also how to tell which soccer hooligan supported which soccer team just by the way they dress. Even without jerseys on. Wild.
We ended our day at this place called Shoreditch BoxPark. I really liked this place as well because there was lots of food, the music was great and there was alcohol. We sat down and complained about life, while drinking rum and cokes. This is how I wish EVERY day would end for me.
I was supposed to be responsible and catch a 7pm train to a WHOLEEE other part of London for my super early flight to Iceland – that definitely didn’t happen. I don’t think I even got into my hotel until closer to midnight. Real responsible adulting when it comes to me. But why sleep on your LAST night of vacation you know? Rather hang out and talk life with a foreign friend over drinks while cursing at some footy.
London was pretty cool. I don’t think I would have found it as cool if I didn’t have my own personal tour guide who knew all the random things to do that I may not have necessarily chosen on my own.
I’m sure London has a million more cool things to do, but I think between 8am and midnight I got to see and eat my way through it pretty well. Successful day trip, probably will end up back here again on some layover one day.