Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In Europe part 3: London

Getting to London was a bit of a task. I started from Amsterdam Centraal. I got on my train with no issues but something seemed off. It said it would not be going to the airport because of an accident. It did however tell me it was still going to Brussels Midi, which where I was catching my connection to London. 45 minutes into the trip they informed us that this train would not in fact be going to Brussels. It was going to stop in Rosendaal where we needed to get on a bus, drive three cities away to where we would get on a different train that would then go to Brussels -_-'''. The best news was that this was added about an hour on to our trip. Good think I had exactly an hour in Brussels... Long story short, I missed my train to London. Luckily, there was another Eurostar train to London only an hour later and it had spots available. I got on that train and arrived in London 2 hours later.

As far as London goes, I really enjoyed it. That first night I went to the Wellcome Museum to see their exhibit on Identity since it appealed to the linguistic-anthropologist in me. I was disappointed to learn that the website had posted the wrong dates for this exhibit. It had in fact ended a week earlier. I was happy however to see that the permanent exhibit was a small medical museum. This pleased the future doctor in me. The museum had two parts, one was a medical history museum and the other was a medical art museum. The medical art museum had a few neat items. They had a huge bookshelf packed full of a set of books that contained the complete human genome supposedly. It was pretty neat. I, myself, enjoyed the historical part more. I was especially intrigued by some of the non-medical objects they had such as the Chinese foot binding shoes. I knew that they were small but I didn't think that they were quite that small. I can't believe they could even fit a baby's foot into them.

The second day I went to the Camdem Markets. I really enjoyed this as it was pretty much a little city of alternative fashion. I bought two necklaces, a belt, and a bunch of panda stuff. I went to Cyberdog and was sad that I couldn't afford anything that I was in love with. It's pretty much a raver or cyber goth's dream store. I also found a few lolita stores. There was of course SaiSai and another smaller store that was a branch of SaiSai. I also saw a store called Angel Pretty (lol). I didn't actually go in though since at this point in time I had seen all the GLP products there were to see and was tired of being harrassed by store owners about any item I appeared to be mildly interested in. I just looking at it damnit! Let me shop in peace! Seriously though, I wish store owners at places like this would learn that this kind of behavior deters customers. They do it at cons too. It makes the customer uncomfortable and then they leave without buying stuff. Go ahead and greet them but it's much better to let them look and they will ask you if they need any help.

I also went to a lot of the tourist attractions in London. I visited Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Tower of London. I was disappointed by Buckingham Palace for the sole reason that the guards weren't in red nor wearing a furry black beehive hat. That's really the only reason I went there... St. Paul's Cathedral was probably interesting but I personally didn't feel like spending the 12.50 pounds to go inside. The outside was pretty but the tiny bit of the inside looked similar enough to the Notre Dame of Paris to feel like I was missing much. I did enjoy the Tower of London. It was easy to spend a few hours in it. While there wasn't anything that really stood out about it, it was nice to see a castle that wasn't over the top like the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre.

Assemble there everyone!

While the touristy things I did didn't really stand out in my trip, I did have a few interesting things happen. I did manage to find a pub called The Dolphin Bar about 5 minutes walk from my hotel. It was a little Irish pub with scrawny British guys serving beers at the bar. It was also a Thai food restaurant though. It had two or three Thai kids about my age running around bringing people their curry and satay. It was quite a shocking mix. The Thai food was good enough for me to eat there twice during my 6 day stay. The other thing that stood out in my trip was much less pleasant. While I was en route to Buckingham Palace, some British guy started talking to me. The fact that he walked up to me while I was walking stuck me as strange to begin with. He didn't come off as super creepy until about a minute later though. He asked if I would "take some time to go with him." I naively thought he meant he wanted to have a drink somewhere. I declined and added I was meeting friends that night and have stuff planned until I leave London. He asked if I "really won't get with him tonight" Still thinking he was talking about drinks, I said no, I really can't. He then asked if I was really that loyal to my boyfriend that I wouldn't get with him at least once. At that point I finally caught on to what he was insinuating. I angrily told him that I was definitely loyal to my boyfriend. He then said that he'd leave me be on my way. I was quite glad because if anything other than that had come out of his mouth, I would have gone into Bitchy American Mode (TM).

My lolita coordinate for the day ^ ^

My favorite thing I did in London wasn't actually in London at all. I took a bus trip out to Stonehenge. It was pretty amazing. The bus trip was about an hour and a half and made me quite sick, but it was very much worth it. Stonehenge itself is a tiny bit smaller than I had expected it to be. I had also expected the "busy highway" that ran next to it to be more than a two lane road. Our bus driver was also rather entertaining. He was constantly muttering about how he'd like to squash all the cars and pedestrians that stupidly run in front of his bus. He also was really good about pointing out points of interest during the drive such as the building where all of the dinner scenes in Harry Potter were filmed and Mary Poppins' House.

All in all London was great. I really enjoyed it despite it's tourist attractions not holding up to the awesomeness of Paris and Amstedam's. It's somewhere I'd really like to go back to .

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