Hey everyone. Sorry it has been so long since I last wrote. (Mind the gap in communication.) It has been so hard to find time for the internet in our whirlwind journeys.
So, on Thursday we left Seattle and had a night flight to London. We arrived in London on Friday afternoon and made our way to Notting Hill, the neighborhood in which the Julia Roberts movie was based. We met our host Jen at her apartment just a few blocks from the underground station. That afternoon Joey and I walked to Hyde Park while Paige took a nap to recuperate (she took one too many sleeping pills on the flight). After Paige woke up we took the double-decker bus to Piccadilly Circus and wandered around seeing the sights. We stumbled upon the National Gallery, which is open late on Fridays and is free to the public. We saw hundreds of famous paintings. It was nice to see these artworks in the flesh rather than in books or on slides like I do in class all the time. Some of my favorites were the Bathers at Asnieres by Georges Seurat and the Rembrandt collection. Then I took Paige and Joey to their first bar, the Prince Albert.
On Saturday morning we woke up and went to Portobello Market on Jen’s suggestion. Apparently it is the largest open-air market in the world and I believe it. It stretched on for miles and we only saw half of it. There was a multi-block section full of antique stalls and shops that I think would have given Aunt Louise a dizzy spell.
While the market had many things to offer, I settled for a single banana and then we were on our way. Next we went down to Westminster Abbey and the South Bank neighborhood around the London Eye. We sat in the park and wrote postcards.
On Sunday we woke up refreshed and headed out to see St. Paul’s church and the area around the Tower of London. We hung out at the Tower Bridge for some ice cream. We even stopped by a Mithraeum, an ancient Roman cult temple, because Paige will give a presentation on Mithraeism when she studies in Rome this spring. Unfortunately it wasn’t much to look at. We also headed north to visit Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. This is where Harry Potter catches the train to Hogwarts every year. After that we walked to Camden for some dinner. We wandered around the famous Camden open-air market trying to convince Paige that she did not need to buy a pocket watch.
That night we stayed with Kelly’s friend Guy in Brixton, the neighborhood made famous by a Clash song and that song titled “Electric Avenue”. Guy’s roommate Mali plays the harp and she gave us a free concert. It was amazing! I have never seen anyone play the harp before. Afterwards Guy and his other roommate Keith took us to a pub to hear a band play. What a fun night!
This morning we woke up and caught our *delayed* flight to Amsterdam. It was the shortest flight I have ever been on; it was only 40 minutes. When we got here we settled into our three person room at the Bicycle Hostel and went out for some Tapas before calling it a night. Speaking of night time; I should get to bed. Don’t forget to view my Flickr album of London by clicking My Photos to the right. (Once you click you may have to search for me by typing in “firstname.lastname@example.org”) Hope to post again soon!