April 6, 2014

Leaving and Loving London

My last day in London. *insert tears here* Even the sky was weeping for me, as it poured buckets for a large portion of my day. 

I had developed a "to-do" list before I came to my grand city, and I had just a few more things to see before I left. Despite only getting an hour-ish of sleep the night before, I headed out early on Wednesday morning to make sure I saw everything, starting with Covent Garden & Neal's Yard

Neal's Yard is one of those tiny little scenic places you find and pin on Pinterest time and again. It is nestled off a street in Covent Garden, where you could easily miss it if you weren't looking. There may not be much to do there at 9:30 am on a Wednesday, but it sure is a photogenic little hide-away. 

The Covent Garden Market was similar to Neal's Yard in being in a bit of sleepy-time mode in the morning. Poor planning on my part really, but it gave me a good place to return to (yes London, I will be back). 

I left Covent Garden and headed down to the Thames where I got yet another grand view of London, still spectacular beneath the clouds. 

I'm still kicking myself for not being a "cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater" at my next stop. I went to the Southbank Centre to see the Martin Creed "What's the Point of It?" exhibit. I am not a huge fan of modern art, as I noted in regards to my trip to Tate Modern, however, I loved the Martin Creed showcase. It was interesting, whimsical, shocking, and best, interactive. 

The last exhibit allows the audience to get up close and personal with the art: in the form of frolicking through a room filled to the brim with giant balloons. This is where I wish I had broken the rules and brought my camera in, just to give y'all one look at the most fun I have probably ever had in an art exhibit. However, lucky for us, Miss Rosie Londoner captured it on her blog (which is where I gathered the recommendation for the exhibit in the first place) and you can see the fun of the balloons here. And if you would like a glance at some of the other showcase pieces see the official website here

It may have not been on my official "to-do" list (and for those of you who know me well, there was in fact an actual list), I had to be sure to say "bye-bye" to Benny before leaving the city. He promised he didn't want me to go as much as I didn't want to. 

I waited for yet another red bus to come pick me up, having become accustomed to the convenience of London transportation.

I was soon picked up and delivered to Notting Hill, which I am going to have to pair with Covent Garden on places to return to. I finally got my taste of a rainy London day when it began pouring buckets the second I arrived in Notting Hill. 

However, luck would have it, Notting Hill was able to offer me a very important thing I had yet to get in London: fish n' chips. I popped into The Windsor Castle Pub (ok, I ran into Windsor Castle Pub, completely soaked) with the promise of warmth and fried food calling my name. 

I tucked into a corner on a cushy couch, preparing myself to stay as long as necessary to avoid the rain.

There were a few other lone soles in the pub, and I could tell, we all had the same idea. 

My food arrived quickly, and I was not disappointed in my very random choice of dining location. A piece of fish the size of my head was served up on a plate of hot crispy fries chips, with homemade tarter sauce on the side (and some mash peas, but I avoided those). 

The fish was steaming hot and the beer battered crust was the perfect balance of crunchy and soft (a hard contrast to get right). 

I took my time eating, due to both the scalding temperature of the freshly fried food, and the continual rain. I wasn't complaining though, I nestled myself on the couch with my book and food, and was more than a happy camper.  

When the rain finally stopped, I made a dash for the bus (in fear it would begin again) and made my way to the one place I had yet to see: Harrods. I probably should have taken some pictures of the interior, but to be honest, I was just too overwhelmed. Harrods is definitely a place you have to experience. The sheer amount of things within the walls of the expansive department store is bewildering, not to mention the quality and diversity of the things themselves. I may not be able to afford a thing in the place, but I could (and did) wander Harrods for hours just soaking it all up. 

The last day I spent in London was not full of all the sparkle of days previous, but I like to think it was a little more realistic. There was rain, neighborhood wanderings, and some local haunts. It was a day I could imagine myself having if I was an actual Londoner. 

I don't know how to sum up everything I felt and loved about London. I think Samuel Johnson says it better than I:

"You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." 

There is too much in one city, really, for it to even be allowed. I like to think I saw a lot in my five days in London, but I barely began to scratch the surface. That is one of life's great terrible-wonderfuls though: you can never see it all, but if we ever could see it all, then all the wonder would be taken out of the world. The wonder can never be taken out of London, because you could never see it all, though I plan to make a pretty good effort at it. 

Until we meet again London, 

Yours, Kenna 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, B! I can't really complain on being back in ol' Italia! Though it is definitely the total opposite of England, it's fair to say I love them both equally.


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