London-Part 1

London Travel Blog

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Putney, my station
I arrived in London on the 27th and found my way from Gatwick airport to the Southrn Train to Clapham Junction onto another train until I arrived at Putney pretty easily. From there I had to walk less than a block to Vicki and Dave's. The only challenges, and it wasn't bad, was going up all of the stairs with my case. The American Disabilities Association would have a field day here.

I arrived late that night so, I got acquainted with my hosts over dinner, their cats Buddy and Cali, and their flat, which is quite spacious and charming. The coolest thing is that I have my own room.
London Bridge over the Thames, South side

Friday, when I woke up Dave and I took off for a walk to the River Thames (Tems) and went for a pint and a bite and kicked it until Vicki came home from work. Then the three of us met up with their friend Lee's house and cooked some dinner and watched World Cup Rugby.

Saturday was a busy day. That morning we got up early and went to Borough's market, which was loaded with locally prepared and process food products, from fancy cheese aged in wine called ubriaco (which I learned the weeks prior in Italy means "drunk") to borough market tea towels, and of course local produce. Although not like our markets where the farms have their own spaces, but rather little markets which receive distributions from local producers.

After the market we rode the Clipper, a commuter boat, up the river past Canary Warf and into the docklands, back down towards the Tate Modern and the Westminster Bridge.
Vicki and me on the Waterloo Bridge, with the Tower bridge up in the background
We returned home to get ready for our big hockey game at the O2 Arena. The game, believe it or not, was between our two Southern Cali favorites the Kings and the Ducks. We had prime seats in the Yahoo box (Dave works for Yahoo). After the game Vicki and I went salsa dancing and had a blast. We took the tube (the subway) there, but opted to take a Black Cab home, which cost 30 pounds (or $60). The Black Cab drivers have to train for three years before given a license to drive cab. They know where everything is and the best way to get there, it is the safest method, and they have sweet cars.

Sunday we hung out with another couple they know and watched "This is England" a dark comedy turned tragedy about a little boy who becomes associated with British skinheads of the 80s. It is good, and I recommend it, but considered yourself warned.
Borough Market Place

On Monday, the two of them went to work and I started to explore the City in the rain. I went pretty far to the North relatively non-stop. I started with the touristy stuff, including Big Ben, Parliment,Westminster Abbey, St. James Park (The most beautiful urban park I have been to), Trafalgar Square, the theatre district in West End, Convent Gardens, all the way up to London City University in the Camden Borough and back. I probably walked 7 miles in the rain. My shoes were soaked and my toes were prunes. I came home and made dinner for us.

Today, Tuesday I trekked some more on the opposite side of the Thames, making my way to St. Paul's Cathedral. North of the Cathedral was not lively at all compared the previous parts I walked. The Cathedral was closed for some reason, I did not ask, so I continued on and eventually made my way back home.

So far London, has been very vegetarian friendly, an enormous improvement upon Italy for me. You should have seen my face when I saw tabouli salad. And earlier that same day I had the best falafel I ever had, better than the acclaimed "best falafel in Paris."

My hosts take off tomorrow for Oktoberfest. I will let my feet rest in the day and then perhaps hit the salsa clubs again. And then again on Thursday. And who knows perhaps Friday...
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Putney, my station
Putney, my station
London Bridge over the Thames, Sou…
London Bridge over the Thames, So…
Vicki and me on the Waterloo Bridg…
Vicki and me on the Waterloo Brid…
Borough Market Place
Borough Market Place
From the Thames, North Bank
From the Thames, North Bank
Kings v. Ducks in the O2 Stadium f…
Kings v. Ducks in the O2 Stadium …
The Yahoo Box at the O2 stadium
The Yahoo Box at the O2 stadium
photo by: ulysses