Portobello Road, Harrods and British Airways "London Eye"
London Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
August 27th, 2005 – by: Vikram
The day began rather early for us seeing as we wanted to make it for the early rush @ Portobello Road. We got there around 8am in the morning. In particular, our walk down from the Notting Hill station to P. Road was captivating. It was a cloudy day in London and the white buildings looked spectacular. There's such a feeling of pristinity about that area of London. You always keep reading about the rich and trendy living there, and it's so fathomable once you've seen it. Thankfully, the walk to the actual Market was a long one and we got to take in a quiet London on a Saturday morning.
Portobello was a great site to see. I won't say it was the BEST moment because to be honest, I see things like that in India all the time, so I don't want to be exagerrating and saying it was one of a kind.But having said that, you'd never think good ol' Blighty has flea markets and lots of enthusiasts willing to shop that early, and on a Saturday morning of all TIMES! We didn't really purchase anything, that's cos we were all travelling light and had other places to fly to from London.
We then took the tube to see Harrods'. This was purely for a Kodak moment. We went inside too, spent less than 30 minutes and I managed to take a few pix inside as well, before I saw the "No Photography Allowed" sign. <g>
Following this, was our first big tourist moment - LONDON EYE!!
I'd heard so much about London Eye.Right from the time my mum took a pic of the wheel back in 2001, to the time I started planning for this trip, everyone has been flogging about it. It's amazing how it's become a Thames landmark, and almost a MUST-SEE of London. It's very convenient to get to by tube, and for those of you buying ONLINE tickets - There really is no point. I bought them online, and I still ended up standing in 2 queues - 1 to redeem the eTicket printout (which takes about 15 mins) for the actual paper tickets, and the other queue outside to board the Eye (which took about 20-30 mins). Compare this to people who were buying tickets on the spot. There were more no. of clerks at the regular ticket counters vs the eTicket counters, and so those customers got serviced faster as opposed to us. And mind you, we're not talking about a weekday afternoon but Saturday 4pm which sounds quite primetime-ish to me.
Coming to the actual flight, those capsules are a delight.They've done a good thing by not overcrowding the tube. The sky was overcast that day and the Westminister side (esp Houses of Parliament) look gorgeous. I just wish we had a more decent view of St.Pauls'. The flight itself was a good one. Moves really slowly you'd never know which is a good thing as I did see lots of senior citizens on the flight. My only gripe is that automatic "photo". They don't announce it very well when the flight is nearing the end. I'd seen some of my mates' photo taken in the capsule and I was looking fwd to the opportunity myself. But the voice was so bleak and sudden I didn't realise. Thankfully my mum and I were standing by the corner where the picture is taken, next thing I know the flash goes off! My dad was so busy with the digicam he missed it, and was gutted for the rest of the day! After finishing London Eye, shopped at the store and we then went walking by the Thames, beautiful sight! Had all sorts of street performers, people picnicing, just a beautiful sight. We walked up the "Queen's Walk" and found our way to Taz, a turkish rsnt. Food was nice albeit expensive.
I noticed 1 thing in some London rsnts that I haven't noticed in Dallas - it's this "minimum order of 9 GBP per person" (9 or whatever amount).It's one thing that the meals are pretty pricey and we were hungry that the bill ran up to more than 247GBP, but still...! I thought it was quite unfair.
After dinner, we walked back on the route we came on, along the Thames, and back to London Eye. I had no idea that Saatchi Gallery was THAT close! Seeing the distance btn London Eye and Saatchi in the DK books, I thought around 20 mins walk or so...but it's right NEXT DOOR. Sadly though, it was closed by the time we got there. Two bonuses I got however were the lovely waffles outside Saatchi and pictures of me with the Parliament houses in the background, in the night.
We finally made it back to the hotel room, it was around 10pm and we were so dog tired.It was a wonderful day. Beautiful start to a holiday - lovely weather, lovely food and well....... I got to go to on the London Eye!
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