Since most of my class was in Ireland for the weekend I was off to explore with only my agenda in mind. It was quite nice knowing that I could get up when I wanted, leave when I felt like it, and stay where ever I went for as long as I liked.
Friday morning I woke up to sunshine. It was wonderful. I revamped my plan for the day to make sure I was able to enjoy a nice run in the park. I knew I wanted to be able to leave in time to catch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace at 11:30 a.m. My run was quick, but that is ok, I knew I had plenty of walking ahead of me.
Although I research what tube station I need to get to I never know where to go when I leave the underground. There are so many exits that it is hard to figure out where you are in relation to whatever you are trying to find. Luckily, they do have maps and signs all over the city for certain attractions. When I found one for Buckingham Palace I just walked in the direction it pointed. I cut through Green Park and followed the ceremonial music. I knew I was missing the beginning, but luckily I saw the changing of the guards last time I was here.
|Lots of Guards in Funny Outfits|
|Lots of People With Lots of Umbrellas|
As I wandered through the crowds outside Buckingham Palace I took note of the frustrated police officers. People wouldn’t keep traffic going when they needed too, which is important when you have a large group of guards coming, and people just stopped to take photos whenever they felt like it. Most police officers were very friendly. “Keep moving please.” “You can’t stop here. Keep moving.” And when it became apparent to the officer that he was better off speaking to a brick wall I heard, “GET OUT OF THE AWAY ALREADY!”
And as fate would have it I got stuck in a massive down pour outside of the palace. The wind was blowing sideways and at one point I tried to correct my inside out umbrella only be be smacked in the face by it! The rain didn’t last forever. By the time I made it to the underground, soaked and cold, the sun came back out. I continued on with my outdoor plans and hopped back on the tube.
|Self Portrait With Palace: Fail.|
|A Lady Offered to Take a Photo After Watching me Struggle|
|Here Come Some Guards|
I traveled to Notting Hill to walk through Portobello Market. You are probably swooning a bit at the mention of Notting Hill and are thinking about Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts falling in love. The thought is quite charming, but where I was didn’t have a very charming feel. The market was nice, but I heard most of the sellers are out on a Saturday, not a Friday. I have also done really well when it comes to spending money. (“Yay,” says Justin as he reads this.) I am focusing on making sure I am purchasing things that I really need to have and that I definitely cannot find at home.
After my trip to the market I was tired and laid down for a brief nap before heading to Jenny and Patrick’s flat for dinner. I met Jenny at a local supermarket and had fun decoding the different words they use for certain produce. For example, we looked for a zucchini and it is actually called a courgette.
We made dinner in her flat, which is basically a vertical residence versus a horizontal one, and enjoyed sipping cider and chattering about. It was exciting! (joke here that only TrojPat will get, sorry) Dessert was yummy too, as I was introduced to a flapjack. It is an oat bar caked in carmel and chocolatey goodness.
|Working Together Like Engaged Couples Do|