Monday, May 24, 2010

¡Qué posh!: Week in London

Just returned to Madrid from a week in London. It was so surreal being in an English speaking country. The first since I've left for Madrid in January. We kept wanting to use Spanish but it was much easier to acclimatize there since we actually know English instead of having to improvise, like in France or Austria.

We arrived on Tuesday later in the afternoon and took the underground to Robert and Janet's house (friends of Jessica's parents). The underground is not as luggage-friendly/handicap accessible as Madrid metro is, so we schlepped the suitcases up and down lots of stairs. I felt bad for Jess because she had ALL her luggage since she was leaving from London to the USA. We were working up a sweat especially because London was so hot all week! It was wonderful once we could put our suitcases down. Apparently we had just missed bad weather! *Side note: I grabbed my camera to discover that my laptop, which was also in my purse, had smashed into it and broke the screen. Luckily I could still take pictures, I just couldn't see a single thing I was taking a picture of! So most of these pictures are off, but some turned out surprisingly well.*

Robert and Janet's house was so cute. Very British looking, and in a great area! They made us dinner the first night and we sat and chatted for over 4 hours! We had so much fun getting to know them. They were really great! Robert loves to cook so he also made us breakfast the next morning. It was AWESOME.
They have 'look right' and 'look left' on every corner...actually VERY helpful.
Our underground station aka the home of Sherlock Holmes!

On Wednesday we saw so much! In no particular order: Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, London Tower, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, King's Cross (aka Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform), and Big Ben/Parliament. We didn't go inside anywhere because it was all so expensive and it's always more pretty to look at usually. That night we went ate fish and chips with Robert and Janet at this famous restaurant. It was so good!
Big Ben and the famous telephone booths
Buckingham Palace...due to my camera I didn't get very good shots
London Bridge
London Tower
Trafalgar Square
Bridge across the water...not too shabby for not being able to see!
Street performer and London Eye
My proudest 'blind' photo. Big Ben

Thursday we went to the Burough Market, similar to the SF Farmer's Market. It was so great. I love Farmer's Markets so it was definately my 'cup of tea.' We bought some delicious goat cheese, paired it with a baguette and some fresh pesto sauce, and had a feast. The guy who sold us cheese knew I was from San Francisco because of my accent. It was so bizarre! I've never had that happen before. I looked around to see if I was wearing anything with SF on it, but nope, he just knew! Crazy. We had some of the food leftover so we brought it back to the house and Robert complimented us on our selections. He would know better than us!

Burough Market
Our lunch
Always good to know.

Then we walked down the street to Madame Tussaids Wax Museum. We were very excited, until we finally got in and saw how ridiculously crowded it was. The whole reason you go to a wax museum is to take pictures with the sculptures, but it was so crowded I felt like I was in a herd. It was also impossible to get to certain figures because of the crowd. We weren't very big on the crowds, so we just kind of went through and left.

We grabbed a quick dinner and headed to Victoria Station because we had bought tickets to see Wicked. It was such a great performance. I can never look at Wizard of Oz the same again! Definately, definately recommended.

So good!

We wanted to get drink some wine after the show, but all the bars close down from 11-12...we were shocked to say the least. We knew it would be earlier than Madrid, but that seemed ridiculous. Not to mention that is usually the time we leave our houses in Madrid. So crazy!

Friday was our "shopping day." We went to Oxford Street and the streets surrounding it, and bought some really cute NECESSARY ;) things. After shopping we went to Portobello Road and Knotting Hill, where all the elite live. There were little children running around in their school uniforms, which required hats like in Mary Poppins. It was hilarious. Portobello Road was really cute, and we ate at a really delicious restaurant. I got the veggie burger (first one in months!) and it was so good even Jess wish she had ordered it.

Portobello Road
Knotting Hill

Saturday we went to buy tickets to the Les Miserables matinee performance, but it was sold out. So we opted for Lion King instead because we heard that was good as well. I really enjoyed it. I thought Wicked was better, but Lion King was still really fun to watch. Now I want to go to some shows during the summer because I forgot how much I enjoy watching plays/musicals!
In the Cirrrrrcle...the Cirrrcle of Liiiiiiife

Sunday we had an appointment for "Pop up on the Roof Tea" through a popular tea house in London. Their regular high-tea was sold out, so they told us about this and we just said sure, but didn't really know what it was. We arrived to the place they told us, completely confused because we saw nothing. So we headed for the stairs, since it was suppose to be on some roof, somewhere, and when we got to the top we saw about 7 tables cutely decorated with teapots and plates. It was straight out of Alice in Wonderland or something! It was so cute. We got champagne, our choice for a pot of tea, 3 tiers of assorted sandwiches and sweets, one plate with a scone with butter and jelly, a delicious merange, and a 'pims' drink at the end. They boxed up all the leftovers to take with us too. It was so much fun.

Tea time! My favorite time :)

My favorite was the scone with the butter and jelly...the butter has a special name, like clotted cream or something. I can't remember.

After getting Dad's Man U Jersey :), we went back to the house because Robert and Janet were making a big dinner since we were leaving in the morning and their friend who was in town only for the day was also leaving in the morning. It was delicious and then Jess and I spent the rest of the night packing and watching movies on my computer. It was a great trip and I really enjoyed London. It felt a little bit like home because of the coffee shops, English, and cutesy shops everywhere.

Elephants on Parade! These elephants were all over the city, painted on by different artists, like the San Francisco Hearts.

I'm here for my last week in Spain. I plan on going to the North for a couple days, but I haven't decided anything in detail yet. I love you all and will see you soon!


  1. Thanks for the blog! If you want to keep up with your Spanish online or on your iPhone a good service is ( Buen viaje!

  2. So glad you liked Wicked. I would love to see it again! It definitely makes you look at the Wizard of Oz a bit differently!!!! Can't wait til you get home and tell us more stories!!! xoxo

  3. Pretty cool Al,Londan looks very interesting, LOve You.Dad

  4. yea it was. you would like London trip?

  5. looks like a fun experience, Alex. Glad to see you're making the most of it and trying new things

    looking forward to reading more


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