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London calling (Pt. 1) ロンドン第一

November 15, 2010

Really, what does one say about one of the most famous cities in the world?  It’s a place I’ve been meaning to get to for as long as I can remember and now that I’ve been, I can’t believe I waited so long.  Yes, it is a bloody expensive place to go especially when you’ve just arrived from Budapest where prices are amazingly cheap.  However, I’ve lived in Japan and believe me, it’s not exactly an inexpensive place to be either.  It’s just something you need to take in stride, really.


I tell you though, finally being able to see, in person, the landmarks that I’d either seen in movies or read about in books was pretty exciting.  Places like Trafalgar square, Tower of London, Southbank and Kensington were fantastic.  If you go to the Tower, go early!  Especially if you intend to visit the vault of the crown jewels.


There are ways of saving money in London, particularly if you want food.  First, have lunch at Borough Market in Southbank.  Being from Vancouver, we have Granville Island Market which is awesome but Borough Market is equally amazing in that it has so much ready-made food available that is reasonably priced and delicious.  Second, go to a pub.  Yeah, obviously I’ve been to “British” pubs in other countries but heading into an authentic one for traditional pub-grub and a pint’a is extremely satisfying.


For a book collector as I am, London is antique book Mecca.  I had a list of the shops I wanted to get to and I spent hours wandering through them and reveling in being able to handle most of the amazing volumes they had there.  Oh, to be independently wealthy.


Need a museum fix?  London is also your place.  I spent hours in the various museums on offer: Tate Modern, The National Gallery, The Victoria and Albert, The British Museum and others and I can honestly say that in all the time I spent, I merely scratched the surface of most of what was held in them.  You could do an entire holiday and spend it all in the museums.  I will certainly be heading back sooner, rather than later.


Today’s photos of Westminster, Borough Market, Southbank and the Tower of London (give or take).


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