Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Early each day to the steps of St. Paul's"


That's Mary Poppins up there, if you couldn't figure it out. I'm not going to heckle you if you didn't know, as I just remembered the lyric when I approached the massive cathedral early this morning. The bells were so loud!! The church itself is massive and beautiful to look at. I'll show you with a few pictures.

It's so big!

 You weren't allowed to take pictures inside the cathedral, as you can see I did not see that sign until after I'd snapped this one already. Luckily, nobody caught me and I was not chastised like a few others after me. It was very pretty on the inside as it was on the outside.
Me on the steps of St. Paul's
 We didn't stay for the mass, so Friend Jordan and I decided to go for a walk and see where London took us.
 A few minutes walk from the cathedral was Fleet Street. There really wasn't much down there except tall business buildings that were all pretty empty. I did find a sign though! A fancier sign was across the street, but I have learned after almost getting run over (Thanks you Jordan!) that it's just easier for all parties to just wait for the little green man.
 I really liked this door way...

With our exploring, we ended up shopping at Primark where I got that cute tote back for a pound fifty. I'm not sure who I'm giving it to, but I'm sure I'll find someone who wants it back at home! I'm thinking perhaps for one of my little sisters, or my mom. After we were done at Primark we had to go back to the dorm on our own for the first time. To say the least...we got a bit lost but managed to make it back to the dorm!
Jordana and I on the wrong bus
 I didn't get a picture of her face, but this was the sweet old lady I helped on the bus. She said that she had fallen off the seats so many times that the buses put in the arm rests.

After adventuring by ourselves, Jordan and I decided we'd join the photography class to a few markets. Both of our classes didn't have anything planned for the day, and I think we both enjoy having someone telling us where all the cool spots are.

The first market we went to was called the Sunday Up Market. It's only held on Sundays and it's in the Brick Lane area of town. I must say that out of all the areas I have visited in London so far, Brick Lane is perhaps my favorite. I feel like I could live down there. Perhaps not comfortably as it is very loud because a lot of students or people my age hang around there a lot. But it's by everything I like, and I would almost be happy just exploring Brick Lane the entire time.

On the way to the Market I saw a flyer for Blitz, a vintage shop I'd really wanted to visit. After we were released to explore, I asked the man who had handed me the flyer which way and away I went. Jordan accompanied me and it was pretty fantastic.
 I spent the whole time allotted looking at clothes here. There was so much to see! It was two stories and had a coffee shop inside. The dresses, however, were a bit over priced for my taste. At home I'm used to paying a few bucks for a dress at goodwill, however, these dresses were all around 20 pounds, no matter the type or shape of the dress. Though really none of the dresses were in awful shape, it just seems a bit ridiculous in my mind to pay twenty pounds for a used dress. Granted, some were very pretty and I did try on a few dresses. It seems that people here were more normal sized and so I found a few dresses in my size as opposed to the one or two I normally find at home. I almost splurged on a pink day dress that had a bow on the bust with two deep pockets for putting things inside, and a white dress with a purple designed fabric that was adorable. These two dresses were on sale 2 for 30 pounds, however I couldn't bring myself to buy them after doing the math for how much USD they cost. I should've taken pictures of the dresses, but I was so overwhelmed I hardly had time for anything!

After this we traveled to the second market right down the road. I don't remember what the name of the last one was, but there were a few cute vintage shops that I would've loved to try on a dress or two if I had had the time. Instead, I found this sign for another London vintage fair, however the date I'm going is when I'll be in Manchester. Though the other one I saw yesterday will be in Manchester that day too! So it's a give and take with these sort of things apparently.
 After this market we hopped on the tube towards the famous Hyde Park. The only thing I could think of when I was there though was this:

It's the first thing that comes to mind. That small beginning scene. Turns out, speakers do actually talk in Hyde Park. Apparently they're allowed to say pretty much anything they want in this one corner of the park and people gather around and listen. While I'm all up for a good heated speech/argument, up to this point I'd just had a few mini croissants for breakfast and was starting to feel a little light headed. Friend Jordan made sure to keep me on track after I saw a carnival and said we could investigate the carnival after I had eaten something.

There was a small little shop that was selling ice cream and food that I ate at. I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture of it! But it was so cute and the area was so nice I feel a return appearance is necessary. I ordered a hot dog, and was happy to see they had regular mustard instead of spicy mustard for it. It was sooooo good. 

After walking to the carnival and discovering you had to buy a ticket to get in, I went back to the little shop and ordered dessert. I decided to splurge and treat myself since I'd hardly had anything to eat all day and got a waffle with mint chocolate chip ice cream on top of it. Another excellent choice! While eating the waffle, I found a shaded place to sit down. It was just far away enough that it was kind of quiet, but you could still hear the roar of the speakers in the distance. Perfect. 

When it was brand new
It's all melted now...
After finishing off the fabulous waffle, I ended up lying down in the grass for a while until we had to meet up with the rest of the group. It was so pretty under the shade! And unlike Texas, where the grass is itchy and gross, London grass is super soft and magically free of crawling things. I'm not sure how, I'm sure crawling things are there, but the softness of the ground completely make it worth laying down. Everyone does it, people just lay out in the grass. Today it was considered super hot, so people were roaming around in bathing suits and shirts that cut off to show stomachs. It was very odd to see, considering we roam about in one hundred degree weather and it's still generally frowned upon to show your stomach unless you're in a bathing suit.

Before my nap

We met up with the photography group by this cool arch things and then headed off towards the London Eye. 

If you add an A to the end of Barbieri instead of an I it spells my last name!
 We got to the Eye relatively early, so we sat around in the grass again for a bit.
 We then saw a few professors so we waited with them until they informed us we could go on a bit early!
In line for the London Eye

This picture is magical because the guy took the picture on my phone without using the center touch button...he didn't show me the secret

Fish lamp post

Accidental green screen shot

On purpose green screen shot. Jordan took forever to push the button. That's Clarke! 
 I'm glad I got to experience the London Eye, and I'm grateful that we got the tickets at such a cheap price, but on my own I probably would not have taken this part of the London experience. I got some pretty good pictures with my phone and the view was spectacular, but it just wasn't my sort of thing.

Selfie on the Eye

After the London Eye, Jordan and I explored for dinner. When we went to Chinatown yesterday, I found a street in the middle of it with a bunch of little Italian restaurants that I wanted to try. On the way I saw an adorable boy playing bagpipes. 

 After going down the street that would've gotten us a bit closer to our initial destination, we ended up stopping at an American style fifties diner called Ed's.

 There were American flags everywhere! It was a bit weird, but the food was ok. I got a chicken sandwich with fries as my stepping out of my comfort zone was yesterday. Luckily, again, they had regular mustard. I ended up not eating all of the fries, so I'll probably reheat them for breakfast or a midnight snack. The journey home wasn't as eventful as the first time! Yay progress!!

Tomorrow's the first day of actual class, so...we'll see how it goes. We might try to catch our first show tomorrow, but we have to see how our schedules work out.

Thanks for listening!


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