Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hello London

Jeremy and I travelled to London today, meeting Ed along the way too! This was also my first step above ground here, as when I arrived in London Heathrow I had made my way straight to Leamington Spa due to excess luggage and being very tired after travelling so long (so long). And my first impression was of a very fast city. Changing tube lines to weave our way to a particular station felt like moving in a strong current, squeezing and slowing and rushing. Reading the underground line map was a bit confusing at first but I was getting the hang of it at the end of the day.

Above ground the tide of people was strongest only in the most touristy parts of the city, like Piccadilly Circus (below), but it became more relaxed in the large and beautiful parks.

Our first destination was here at St. Pancras station, where all the eurostar trains terminate. It had these huge olympic rings which was pretty exciting.
 I was reading that St. Pancras was one of the last great examples of Victorian architecture. I remember learning this year in architecture school how much of a revelation steel had been for the construction of these huge beautifully open spaces.
 The exterior of St. Pancras. It reminds me of a gingerbread house.
We then made our way to the Portobello Market in Notting Hill, to try and see Hugh Grant, or at least some of the scenes from the film of the same name

I had this one in my mind as I was walking down the seemingly never ending tents and tables, full of people. (Thousands more than in the scene above)

Some enterprising cafe owners even used the typography of the film title as a handy marketing ploy.
We meet up with Ed and we caught the tube to Green Square (renamed green and yellow square by Ed), and wandered over to see if the Queen was in.

 Cross cultural Ed
Buckingham Palace. The gold leaf was extraordinarily bright, it felt as if it were glowing.
The Queen, unfortunately, was out.
We also visited New Zealand House, and 'Kiwifruits' the New Zealand store (complete with New Zealand twanged shop assistant) to stock up on some essentials.

Following the Mall (as in Pal), we found Parliament, in gorgeously elaborate victorian gothic style 

 I also liked this building, it was like glass filled with smoke.
Finally, we took the tube from Westminster to head back home, entering this huge yet cramped futuristic subterranean cavern, adding to a picture of London as a great, old, dense and continually growing structure.

After rushing around London for the day, it was very peaceful to be able return to Leamington Spa and walk through the quiet countryside under a soft and starry sky.

I'm looking forward to returning later this week and checking out all the amazing galleries and museums... I think I will be spoilt for choice.


  1. beautiful pictures! also, that is my favourite part of the movie. just love the chord sequence to that song.