Has it really been a week since we arrived in London? I suppose it has! A week ago today, I was just getting home from work and was buzzing with excitement about this trip. Now, a week later, my bag is (mostly) packed and I’m relaxing in our flat, thinking of the fun (and great weather!) we had on this trip. On the one hand, it’s always sad to close out a trip, especially one to my favorite city, but on the other hand, closing that chapter not only leaves behind great memories, but also presents a blank page on which to write our next adventure(s). We aren’t sure what that will be yet (though Scott has a grad school trip to Japan in a few months), but I know it will be great! And don’t worry, London – somehow I think our paths will end up crossing again. 🙂
Remember how I said today would be a pretty low-key day? It was! But that’s a good thing – I like my last day on big trips to be a bit quieter as it gives me time to get back to wherever I’m staying to get things packed up, edit any remaining photos, and of course, write one more blog post. So today we started with a stop at Forbidden Planet so I could have a look around to see if they had anything I just couldn’t live without (and also to look for a couple of things I couldn’t find at Fopp the other day). Sadly (or perhaps happily, if I mean from a wallet perspective), nothing jumped out at me, so we left empty-handed to move onto our next destination, Borough Market.
If you’ve never been to Borough Market (as we hadn’t, before today anyway), think of it as a big, mostly-covered farmers’ market, with a variety of food for sale. Everything from produce to olive oil to raw meat to ready-to-eat meals (and plenty more) can be found there! It’s a pretty popular destination, so I had heard of it, but never made an effort to go, which is funny because it’s so close to London Bridge, a station I’ve used quite a bit in the past. This year, Scott got a recommendation about it from a friend, so we decided to grab lunch there today. Learn from us though – we almost didn’t make it because of the bank holiday! They were closed on Sunday and Monday (which is why it was empty when we met our friends there for a drink on Sunday) and apparently some vendors weren’t open today (though it looked to us that most were), so we probably would have gone before today had we realized it sooner. Nevertheless, we did make it and we had several tasty nibbles for lunch. However, the one drawback to eating a proper meal there is that there aren’t many places to sit down and enjoy your food, so you have to just be comfortable with eating while you walk, unless you can find a quiet spot to stand by a wall or sit on the ground. Whether you sit or stand with your food though, pay Borough Market a visit, at least for a snack!
From Borough Market, we had a wander down some of The Queen’s Walk to get to my favorite London view, Tower Bridge. The bridge is less than a mile from Borough Market and since I feel compelled to see the bridge on all my London trips anyway, it was a no-brainer to swing by for a few photos. Somehow, it seems like most every time I see the bridge, the weather is cloudy and that held true today – the only cloudy day on this trip! To be fair, it wasn’t totally cloudy and it didn’t rain at all, but I never seem to see Tower Bridge in bright sunlight. Either way, it’s a sight I’ll always love to see and it was a fitting way to end this trip.
One last round of photos drops in 3…2…1…
The façade of the old Royal Waterloo Hospital for Children and Women. It hasn’t been a hospital since 1976 and has changed hands a couple of times since then, apparently belonging to Notre Dame (as dorms) now.
This is at least the third trip on which I’ve come across Nathan Bowen’s street art. I never set out to find out, but I keep running into it. Great stuff!
The Shard peeking up over the other buildings.
Getting a peek at the HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge from The Queen’s Walk. The HMS Belfast is another place I’ve never visited (it’s a big war museum), but I will on a future trip.
After we got back to the flat, Scott spent some time catching up on some TV while I caught up on my podcasts and edited my photos. I did zip out for one more quick trip, this time to the nearby Fitzroy Tavern. It’s an old tavern with a long history, but it’s also the spot where Doctor Who fans gather once a month (on the first Thursday of the month, so sadly our trip didn’t align with it) and have been doing so since 1984. I actually paid the Fitzroy a quick visit on my first London trip over 14 years ago, but hadn’t been back since, so it was nice to see it again. We talked about having a drink or even a meal there, but never made it, so I settled for a picture or two.
Still on a slightly Doctor Who-related tangent, I also snapped a picture of Fitzroy Square as scenes from the 1966 story The War Machines were filmed there. Cool to see it in person, literally steps from our flat.
As for the rest of the night, we’ve been doing exactly what I thought we would – relaxing and packing. I’m all ready to go, minus the things I need to get together in the morning after I shower, and Scott is getting wrapped up now. Thankfully, our flight doesn’t leave until about 1p tomorrow, so we don’t need an early wake-up call. It’s been a great trip, but we’re both looking forward to life back at home.
London, you were great! As always. 🙂