Friday, July 11, 2014

London - Day Five

Oh crap - I cannot load my pictures onto Facebook tonight - no idea why not.  I will try again later.

Well - I guess I am back in my regular sleep mode - I don't need a lot as I lay in bed a   LONG time before I finally went to sleep.  However it was a peaceful and quiet night so that was good. M and I are pretty much keeping to the same sleep schedule.

Had breakfast at the hotel and then we were off.  We hopped onto the underground or is that the tube? or the subway? or the metro?  No idea - but anyway - we found that we had no problem finding our way to Oxford Circus. Having taken the Hop On Hop Off bus sure helps to orient oneself in a strange city.

We also noticed that in the subway - there are tons of people with luggage - like us - too cheap (or perhaps too frightened to take a cab) and everyone is staring at a map to figure out where to go - that would be the ones with the luggage!!!

We were having a look about the intersection at Oxford Circle when M spotted the London College of Fashion. Well we had to take a look.  It was open and we went upstairs to see an exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier's invitations to his exhibitions. Pretty weird and some of the outfits - well - even weirder.   We met a nice student (from Calgary) who is studying here. Doing her Masters in Fashion History.  She told us we could wander the building and we spent a LONG time in the library.  I am happy to report that I have a lot of the quilting books that they have!!!!!   Not all - but a few.   There is even a book by Canadian Laurie Swim in their stacks. I was ready to sign up by the time we left.

Next on the stop was the rooftop garden which is pretty funky and gave us a good view of the city.

Back downstairs, a quick good bye to Paula and we were off to our next stop. Liberty's.  We walked in and I had no idea that they also sold EVERYTHING - not just fabric.  We decided it was time for lunch and we would come back.

Our favourite lunch stop was just around the corner. Pret a Porter.   A nice place with everything already prepared - soup, sandwiches, salads, wraps - the whole bit.  A very nice selection, all natural food and relatively inexpensive.  THEN we hit Liberty's.  Wow - what a store.  First the architecture of the building is quite unique and there are five floors.

I had a laugh when we saw the scarf section.  Scarves worth more than 125 pounds were just tossed in a heap in buckets on the tables.  Yikes - they could not display them a bit nicer?????   We headed upstairs to the fabric department.  A LOT of Kaffe Fassett fabric - 17 pounds a meter.  Yikes - with the conversion - that is crazy. Did NOT buy any.   Lots of cross stitch patterns, some yarn, buttons, notions.  I did buy two 1/2 meter pieces of fabric. Both American (I believe), but with British prints on them. And a few buttons. We got out of there relatively unscathed.

Then we started to walk down Regent Street.   OH my - there is the toy store that was mentioned on the bus trip.  We looked at each other and decided to pop in.  Afterall - Lego Lania was in my pocket. The store was INSANE.   The sale people were trying out all the toys to get the people to buy.  Airplanes were flying around our heads, big balloons were swooshing by, bubbles blowing in our faces, and some guy was going around with a transformer that he shoved in your face!!   So many demos - it was a circus!!!!!    But loads of fun.   We found the lego department and well what can I say - AT LAST - there are the CROWN JEWELS.   Oh yes - and the queen - we got to visit with the entire Royal Family.   Wait until you see the pictures.  We had a blast and so did Lego Lania.

We kept wandering down the street and found once again Waterstones which is the big bookstore here.  We spent a bit of time browsing in our respective departments of interest. I found a couple of excellent books, but ended up choosing only one.   Too heavy to carry and I can probably get them back home.

Then we were on our way to a Spiritual book store that M found.  We worked our way through Leicaster Square (the movie part of town) and rather quickly found the book store.   Nothing is hard to find here or we are just lucky??????  And Cecil street where the book shop was located has no traffic on it.  It just seems weird to not have bikes, people, cars, taxis and buses coming at you from all directions.   I mean the traffic circle by Trafalgar Square is CRAZY!!!!!!!    I did get the plaque with the story of the blue rooster on it.  Done in 2013.  I forget the rest of the details, but it is so OUT OF PLACE in that square.

After that stop - we realized that we were very close to Buckingham Palace so we stopped in to visit the Queen.   A beautiful walk down the Mall and there it was - the Palace.   Stopped for a couple of pictures and then walked out the other side of the property.

Found a nice little shop for dinner and then onto the subway to get back home. Once in the station - we had a little discussion in front of the map as to how to get home. We could not find the station on the map, but eventually we just winged it. We were four stops from our destination. Hopped on.  Oh yes - we have the Oyster card - a silly name for a metro card, but anyway.  This morning when I tried to get on, my card wouldn't work.   Ooops - I then realized after two tries that it was my room key to the hotel!!!!!

We stopped at the grocery store again for fresh fruit and back to the room.  I have finally gotten into the book that I brought with me and I know I am going to have to buy another novel. I am cheap so when I found one at Waterstones, I didn't buy it - I said I would wait until the airport.  However I found the same book at the grocery store for 3 pounds less than the bookstore. So 3.99 instead of 7.99 pounds.   Not bad for a saving.

Ah - we are just relaxing now - about 15,000 steps on the day.  Not sure what is up for tomorrow. We are taking it one day at a time - although we do have a list of things yet to   do and hope we have time to do it all while we are here.

On that note - I am off to finish?? my book.

Have a great day!!!!!


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