Never have I been more thankful for an early morning class. Every Wednesday this term, I have one early morning class with the rest of my day free. Normally, I would be complaining about waking up early, but the class forces me to not waste my day. Since the rest of my day is free from the chains of higher education (I’m joking, I promise), I get to take full advantage of the free day. Last Wednesday, I used it as an opportunity to learn a bit more about London.
I wanted to give you quick rundown of few things I explored in real life and learned about though google and helpful signs for tourists.
1. Leather Lane Market = Amazing street food.
The Leather Lane Market may seem a bit scruffy at first but it has some amazing street food. The street is lined with traditional street stalls (half of which were selling some amazing food). I walked up and down the lane almost ten times before deciding to buy steamed buns with roasted duck. Never had duck before, but HANDS DOWN best duck in London. I will be going back to try to the other food places.
2. Holborn Viaduct
Thank god for modern technology because I had no idea what the bridge was or why this bridge was painted until I googled “red bridge London with dragons”. The bridge was the first Flyover or Overpass Bridge in Central London built in 1860’s and was opened by Queen Victoria. It originally was not painted this ostentatious red, but 150th anniversary it was repainted and gilded with real gold. The Guardian article I found explaining that the city wanted “maximum bling” for the renovation of the bridge. The Holborn Viaduct’s bling definitely caught my attention.
3. Old Bailey:
You cannot read the inscription in the picture, but above the main entrance, it reads, “Defend the Children of the Poor & Punish the Wrongdoer”. Old Bailey is the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales. It also has some great outdoor space around it for picnicking. For Sherlock fans, Old Bailey is featured in the episode “”The Reichenbach Fall”.
4. Greyfrair’s Garden: London loves its outdoor public space (and so do I). This is one of the more creative creations. After the Christchurch Greyfriars was bombed in the World War II, the ruins were turned into a garden. Sitting inside the garden is absolutely peaceful despite its location.
5. St. Paul’s Cathedral:
The iconic dome in the London skyline is St. Paul’s Cathedral, the first church built after Henry VIII’s break from Catholic Church. I didn’t have the opportunity to go inside the building, but it is absolutely beautiful. The open space around the Cathedral was filled with tourists and Londoners on lunch break. Although I attribute this type of architecture to US. Capitol building normally, it is interesting to see the influences of this dome on American architecture. The painting under the US. Capitol dome, “apotheosis of George Washington”, which has religious undertones also makes when you understand the domes were originally used most prominently in religious buildings.
6. Postman Park:
I took a small break to read a few chapters in the Postman’s Park.
7. London Museum:
Denoting the history of London from the city’s inception, the museum was a great way to get to learn more about London. I also saw the ruins of the wall the originally surrounded London as a form of protection during the Roman rule of “Londinium“. The museum is situated directly next to parts of the remaining wall ruins. (Checkout the selfie with the ruins!).
The Museum is also setting up an exhibit of Sherlock Holmes which is why there are pink dancing stick figures outside the London Museum. It references the Sherlock Holmes’ story, “The Adventures of Dancing Men”. I cannot wait to come back to see the exhibit of Sherlock Holmes in completion on another Wednesday adventure.
Getting back to Passfield Hall from London Museum took an extra hour than necessary as I explored the back alleys of London. To everyone who is asking if I have gotten lost yet, the answer is a resounding no! I am just taking the path the less traveled.
This Wednesday, I will be going to a Kongos and One Republic concert. More to come on London music adventures.