09 July 2006

London trip, June 2006

Here is a brief list of my likes/dislikes during my month in London June this year.

Thumbs up:
-The London Underground; the tube. A million times better than public transport in Auckland, NZ. My Oyster card became an important apendage.
-The London Eye (though its overpriced).
-"B@1" a chain of cocktail bars that have a FAB happy hour (2 for 1).
-Dough balls, from Pizza Express. Who would have thought that little balls of pizza dough, dipped in a galic butter could be soooo good! I was unhealthily excited when I found out that Salisbury's sold them in the frozen foods section also.
-The (new) Globe.
-Kew Gardens, which were just beautiful.
-The weather while I was there. Only one day of rain and the heat wave kindly waited until just as I was leaving the country.
-Concerts in Hyde Park, namely 'Massive Attack'... No words can describe...
-Camden markets on a Sunday. I was in Emily the Strange heaven, though I didn't buy anything. Still, great shops and stalls.
-Tower of London.
-Forbidden Planet, such an awesome "cult" store, with everything from comics to Little Britain talking mugs. I ended up there 2 or 3 times during my stay.
-Thames River cruise.
-Banana fritters at 'The Banana Leaf' Thai restaurant in Clapham somewhere... The fritters were just divine! The Pad Thai Gai was a bit of a letdown though.
-Paperchase, a brilliant stationary store. I notice that there matching stationary is now appearing in Borders though, so I will not have to miss gazing at matching pens/cases/bags/writing paper/folders etc! -
-Squirrels and Foxes; darn cute!

Thumbs down:
-The tubes at rush hour, in the heat, packed like sardines in a can... Oh the horror!
-Tube delays due to "a body under a train"... disturbing and sad. Locals are jaded to the horror of it and a body becomes a pain in the neck because their train will now be late.
-Madame Tussards. Ok, so it was fine, but a little disappointing. The ride through history thing was pretty cool though. But, in the end, if hadn't gone, I wouldn't be too upset. On that note I did skip going to the London Dungeon.
-The people on the corner trying to sell 'Big Issue' magazine. Honestly, there seemed to be someone on every corner. It was very disturbing.
-Exchange Rate NZ$ to £ gets a special mention because it was CRAP while I was there. £1 = $3. In some cases I refused to submitt (like at one place they wanted £7 for ONE cocktail - that's NZ$21!). Admittedly, this is not London's fault. I am merely whinging.
-Oxford Street, which I found overrated. Friends pointed out to me that for Londoners Oxford street is brilliant for shopping as every store you could want is there - and sometimes its there 3 times! I enjoyed Covent Garden shopping much more.

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