Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Seven Sheep, Two Markets and One Medieval Minstrel

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to have the whole weekend off and since I couldn't afford a trip to Paris or anything like that, I decided to just head into London for some more exploring.

Saturday, I headed to London Bridge to see the 800th anniversary celebrations of its completion. The bridge had been closed to traffic and, according to the info I found online, "freemen and liverymen were exercising their 'rights to drive sheep across the bridge tax free'". So right there, in the heart of London, on a grey and muggy day, sheep were driven across London Bridge, by men in medieval robes (and also a couple in Drizabones!). The things you discover!

Next stop was Borough Market. One word: overwhelming! I think the whole population of London was there. It was an amazing experience, but after about half an hour of trying to weave through the crowds, I had to get out. Unfortunately, when I realised this, I was nowhere near an exit! I did make it out and I have to say that I didn't buy anything, other than lunch which was the best sausage in bread I have ever tasted!

After escaping the markets, I walked along the river to Hays Galleria, which did not live up to what I had imagined it to be, and then across the Tower Bridge to the Tower of London. Now it needs to be said that I am not a fan of bridges. I don't know where this irrational fear has come from, but I'm sure my dad didn't help, when driving over the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne, would always say, "This is where x amount of men were killed when this section of the bridge collapsed when they were building it". I am pleased to say that since arriving in London, although still with this fear of bridges, I have crossed the Millenium Footbridge, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Westminster Bridge and the Jubilee Footbridge. Well done, me!

Once safely on the other side of the river, it started to rain just as I arrived at the Tower of London. The line was too massive to get inside so I'll put that experience down as something to do when my friend arrives in November. Wandered around St Katherine's Docks too and it was nice to escape the crowds of people for a while.

After the Tower of London, I had a moment of insanity and headed to Harrods...on a Saturday...in the middle of a sale. Let's just say, this is one thing I will never do again!

That was enough for me and I caught the next train home!

Sunday, I had planned to stay home after my trip the day before, but when I woke up the sun was out and I just had to get out and make the most of it. In keeping with my market theme of the weekend, this time I ventured to Petticoat Lane Markets, which was not quite as crowded but still an effort to get through! This market was mostly clothes, shoes and bags and once again, I didn't buy anything - what's wrong with me?

The next stop was Regent's Park and I stopped for a while and listened to Jazz in the Park, before wandering down Baker Street, past the Sherlock Holmes Museum and then onto Oxford Street, where I still didn't buy anthing! Then off home.

Here are some photos from my weekend:

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