I wonder what makes a person decide where they want to travel to. I, for one, never feel like I have a “good enough” reason when I have my heart set on going somewhere. A stock image of a city’s most famous architecture? How much I enjoy the Americanized counterparts of a country’s cuisine? Maybe your reasons don’t matter as long as you have the $$$ to get there.
Admittedly, I have always wanted to visit England for no other reason than that it simply seemed cool. That’s it! No cinematographically-epic movie, no classic English novel, just some foggy (ha!) idea that it would be wonderful.
And it was.
My sister and I flew from Copenhagen to London early in the morning after what was for me a night of endless tossing and turning. When I went through customs, I told the man I was just hanging out in Europe and he told me my plans sounded “a bit vague” for three days, so I had to backtrack and say that of course I had specific plans to see the glory that is Big Ben. Thank goodness for my sister who I’d half-listened to when she mentioned a few things London was famous for, or I would’ve probably told him I was there for the Indian food.
The hostel we stayed at was surely a maid’s quarters at one point, or so my sister says. You had to go down to the basement and through these narrow hallways lined with mirrors (creepy. so creepy) to get to the bedrooms.
The city itself was much less eerie. Actually, it was really beautiful. We stayed right by Hyde Park which was incredibly serene and picturesque, and just a short walk in any direction took us to the more metropolitan areas of the city. The first night we walked everywhere from Piccadilly circus to Covent Garden and there were so many little streets in between that I felt like I would never reach the end of anywhere. That’s what I like–feeling like there’s always more around the corner.
Our first proper English meal. Not the most delicious but maybe if the steak inside the pie had been more tender…
One thing I wished was that I’d had tea more than just once. We had a fruity tea so it wasn’t one of the flavors that went with milk which I wanted to try in my tea…though now that I think about it, I’ve had milk tea at boba shops plenty of times here in the states. Huh. Is it similar? (And how ’bout this stream of consciousness blogging, huh?)
Funny fellow at Covent Garden
Piccadilly circus, which I guess isn’t the kind of circus I thought it was.
One of my FAVORITE sightings of the whole trip was this blue rooster. How cool you are! This was right in front of the London Museum of Art, another great spontaneous decision. I know it’s all about the Louvre in Paris, but I personally loved this museum much more.
Scotch eggs–soft boiled eggs with sausage and breadcrumbs around it. Couldn’t get enough.
Pork belly confit with black pudding. Black pudding is a British blood sausage, and as a Vietnamese person I know all about eating blood sausage. Oh, and this meal took place in front of a fireplace and next to a typewriter. When I’m alone in my apartment, I eat dinner over the gas stove while reading a book, but it’s not quite the same.
Sticky toffee pudding! My favorite rendition of the dessert is still here in Los Angeles, but it was great to try the real deal. Twice.
My sister and I brought back a lot of candy from London, so excessive sugar intake has been this masochistic joy in my life for the last couple of weeks. There’s this candy bar called Crunchie that’s honeycomb in the center and chocolate on the outside and though I’m fresh out, I may have discovered that it’s available on Amazon and that there’s a recipe for crunchie ice cream.
I might. I just might.