Thursday, July 10, 2014

Little Bits of London

London is HUGE. Clearly, I already knew this, but it's one thing to know something in the abstract, and another entirely to experience it. 

We took a bus in from Brighton on Tuesday and proceeded to walk as far as our feet could take us in a day. I was reminded once again how much I wish I had some sort of step counter...oh the miles my Keds have traversed!

I managed to get a rough estimate of how far we explored. We only had minimal back tracking, and I must say I am rather impressed with my new found navigation abilities. This was an accomplishment
seeing as we only had a paper map and I am accustomed to using my iPhone to tell me how to get from point A to point B in Corvallis (yes I am ashamed to admit that).

Just about 12 miles! I love walking and because we didn't take the tube we were able to see so much more of the city, including less populated residential areas.

Yes, lucky, wonderful British people actually live here. They push their prams, lace their children's trainers over bobby socks, drink tea and scones, walk their dogs, tip their hats and say "Cheerio!" Or at least then did when Mary Poppins was around. I am definitely guilty in assuming everything British is from the turn of the century with a charming flair, but honestly, there hasn't been much to prove me wrong thus far. :)

21st century people and technology coupled with 19th and 20th century charm.

The first stops were Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, two of London's eight Royal Parks.

Karina was so happy surrounded by so many birds!

Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.

"All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust"

The Italian Gardens, built in 1860 in Kensington Gardens.

As we made our way up to Kings Cross Station, we passed shopping and residential buildings, each more quaint and British than the last.

And we made it! This first building is actually St. Pancras International train station, Kings Cross is much less glamorous from the outside. But of course, we were there for one specific platform. ;)

Kings Cross
"Platform 9 3/4? Think your being funny do ya?"
"It's Ron's first time at Hogwarts as well. Now all you have to do, is walk straight at the wall. Best do it at a bit of a run, if your nervous."
We were quite naive in thinking we could just walk up to the platform, take a picture and be done. We were packed like sardines in line for more than an hour, but it was worth it!

We made our way back along the crowded Oxford and Regency streets to Victoria Station.
Burberry flagship store, so British, so classic, and so expensive. 

Another benefit of walking and taking our time? Seeing things we didn't plan on! This is the World War 2 Memorial, unveiled in 2012 by Queen Elizabeth during her Diamond Jubilee. 
Well hello again, Buckingham Palace! It was much easier to see without all the people crowding around for the changing of the guard.

So concluded our London excursion, but I also wanted to share another little tidbit. 

Last night, we compiled a fantastic team of Harry Potter whizzes for the East Slope Bar quiz night. We came prepared with our random knowledge of  actor names, release dates, quotes, magical objects and random facts, and we won! We were probably a little more excited than was proportionately appropriate, but it was so gratifying. The prize was free drinks, and we all spent 10 minutes contemplating what we knew absolutely nothing about. Fruity? Not to intense? Wait what's that? The poor bartenders were very patient. 

My first drink in my life would be because I won a Harry Potter quiz competition. So perfectly me.

1 comment:

  1. The pictures and comments...brought London just about close enough to touch. Thank you for sharing your day again. CONGRATULATIONS on winning the Harry Potter Quiz Night.... and your first drink. AND the picture at PLATFORM 9 3/4 is priceless!!!