Monday, November 22, 2010

Travel Diary: London Day 1

It’s been a busy couple of days getting to London.  By incredible fortune, the couple next to me on my flight decided to move up to some empty seats on the flight for more leg room and I ended up getting 3 seats to myself on a red eye flight so I forced myself to not get sucked in by watching movies, as I would be arriving in London at 7:30am.

After what seemed like an endless queue to get through customs, I found myself in London Heathrow airport feeling utterly confused.  The problems started when I got out of the terminal and tried to use the phone.  I tried dialing for what seemed like an endless amount of time only to have the phones tell me that my cousin who was meeting me at the airport had an invalid number.  I tried the pay phone with the text messaging/email option and it not only did not work but it ate one of the few coins I had in my wallet.  Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers because a kind lady noticed my desperate frustration with sweat forming on my forehead and not only explained the British dialing system but lent me her phone and helped me to find my cousin.  Who knew you had to drop the +44 and add 0 to call local numbers?IMG_9141After a quick freshen up and dropping off my bags, at a friend’s house, we headed to London’s famous Borough Market by London Bridge.  Borough Market is not only a foodie’s paradise, it is a representation of the best of Britain.  It must be a source of pride as some of the finest agricultural offerings in the country alongside locally made wines, jams and mustards are sold at stands.


Meanwhile the food stalls reflect the multicultural side of London by showcasing food from some of neighboring European nations. with Swiss Raclette, Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, German sausages, cheese galore, exotic meat/eggs, fois gras, Turkish Delight - the list goes on.  The air is thick with the fragrance of stinky cheese, grilled cheeses, roasting meat, mulled wine and apple cider. 

Samples are abundant and being offered generously to all passersby's.  I had a difficult time narrowing down the options as everything was tantalizing me.  In the end I tried some Raclette, Scallops, had a bite of wild boar, Apple Cider and finished it off with some Crème Caramel.


I can’t help but notice how beautiful it all is.  Especially these flowers for sale that look even prettier than the pictures. 


After a quick nap, dinner and hitting up a couple pubs I headed over to Heaven near Charing Cross for a late night concert of 2 different X-Factor performers, including the R&B boy band, JLS.  I was waiting for them to take the stage and the night kept getting later and later.  I found myself getting more and more squashed to the point where I felt my lungs could almost not take a deep breath.  I thought New Yorkers were supposed to be pushy but they have nothing on Londoners!  The shoving began long before the bands hit the stage.  Fortunately when the music started, the pushing subsided and we were blown away by great choreography and vocals

Just wanted to share a slice of what I saw, smelled and ate on day 1.


Emmett Sleepy do Boogie Honeycut said...

Keep it comin' love! Make sure to go to Dolly Dare in the East End!Near Spitalfield Market!

chibi said...

Very nice recap of your first day.
I'm glad you were able to place the call. You accomplished so much in one day.

cousin mgk said...

ooh, Erin in Borough Market! Erin in London! lemme know if you make it to the Tate Modern.

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