Our severe lack of a map caused us to make up really creative ways to find our way back to the hostel. Usually, the castle was a good landmark, and easy to see from everywhere, but the neighborhood we'd wandered into was buried behind tall buildings. Thus, we just started out in the general direction from which we'd come. When the castle finally came back into view and we knew we were at least in the right area, I decided I needed to duck into a market and grab some delicious British chocolate. It was very lucky I did. If I hadn't, we wouldn't have walked out and noticed, directly in front of us, the Lebowski bar. This exists!!!
They have an entire menu of white russians, which I was actually pretty sad about not being able to drink. There happened to be trivia going on as we walked in, too - Big Lebowski trivia, naturally. So we had to stop and sit for a drink. Secretly I think we were both hoping to stay for long enough to avoid the pool tournament back at the hostel, but no such luck. As it got dark, we headed back and joined the chaos happening in the commons room.
Noah used to work at a pirate store, and was their Jack Sparrow. There's actually a whole community of Jack Sparrows all over the world that share information on where to get parts of the costume and fabrics, etc. So through an online forum, Noah set us up a place to stay a little ways outside of London proper, and we miserably lugged our stuff through at least 4 lines before arriving at the house. Scott had a fantastic little flat and was very welcoming. We hung out there for a bit and then headed back out to explore, and be super tourists!
|We'd had lovely weather in Scotland, but it was appropriately rainy and bloody cold when we arrived in England.|
It was late in the day, so we wandered toward the Tower Bridge, passed the castle, and meandered along the south bank toward Parliament. Something I learned quickly about London: Pret a Manger is freaking everywhere. Jesus, they're more abundant than Starbucks in the states. At a four way intersection, there is one on every corner. The only good thing about this: they had food that I can eat - with vegetables! - when I was starving and there weren't any options anywhere else.
The second day in London was set aside for wandering, of course. We got up early and took the ridiculous amount of trains back into the city to eat at this (mostly) vegan place Noah had found online, Tibits, in Picadilly Circus.
I find this statue immensely creepy. Why are the women of WWII just clothes?
I loved the flaming wallet. As we left the Golden Hinde and headed across London Bridge, Graham provided a commentary of the buildings and the bridges and everything, making me wish that anyone in our country knew as much about the towns and cities we live in as all these guys knew about London! At some point, it was decided that we all had to pee, and Darren, who worked for the Underground, snuck us all into a secret employee bathroom in the tube station, which, for some reason, Noah and I found to be very exciting.
Beaucoup des Jack Sparrows.
Oh, you know, just payin' the check.
(To be continued)