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Sunday, September 15, 2013

UK Trip Part 3: Last days in London

Hey remember that time Ben and I went to the UK like 2 months ago? And how I was going to write all these blog recaps about it? Yeah...that didn't happen.

But I am determined to finish this even if you guys are still reading about it in December. So help me.

Anyway, the day after our Harry Potter adventure, we decided to hit up Westminster Abbey. We went pretty early in the morning and still had to wait in a long line, but it was so worth the wait. I have kind of a thing for churches and cathedrals - St Peter Cathedral in Rome is one of my favorite places I've ever been, and in Japan, India and Thailand I hit up as many temples as humanly possible.

Westminster is not only huge and gorgeous, but it's also home to poet's corner and is the burial site of many famous politicians, musicians, artists etc. Obviously I geeked out over Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten, GF Handel, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Henry Purcell, and probably others I'm forgetting. The coolest thing about Westminster is that while it is an amazing historical site, it is also a living, breathing part of the city with daily Evensong services, its own choir and an amazing organ. Photos are not allowed inside the cathedral, but I did snap a few shots outside and in the gardens.

Big Ben & Houses of Parlaiment

Westminster Abbey - and the long line to get in...

Walking towards the courtyards just outside the cathedral

After Westminster, we took a walk through the city and past Buckingham Palace, stopping for some cheesy tourist shots along the way. Mostly I hate being a cheesy tourist but sometimes I kind of love it, when the occasion arises.

I guess everyone must have thought the baby was coming THAT DAY, because there were huge crowds around Buckingham Palace who looked like they were waiting for something really exciting to happen. This is why I do not have a picture of BP...too many people standing in front of it and I couldn't get a good shot :/

British things!!!

Ben pointing to Big Ben...super cheesy

Also cheesy - the obligatory phone booth shot

After our royal jaunt we walked to the New Globe theater! Again, a piece of history that's also a living, breathing part of the city. This might have been my favorite site we saw in London - it helped that our tour guide was AMAZING and I wish I remembered her name so I could give her a rave review. She was awesome.

Obviously the New Globe is not the same building as the original Globe - actually it's not even in the same place, just basically nearby in the same neighborhood. And, since the original Globe burned down we don't even really know what it looked like, so the New Globe is an approximation of what the Globe *probably* looked like, based on writings from the time which described the theater, and from looking at the design of other theaters built in the same time period. Whatever, it is awesome. I wish we had been able to see a show there, but sadly no time :/

Putting up the set for their upcoming show

Seats in the New Globe

After the Globe, we went back to our hotel, showered and changed and took the train to St John for our 2-year anniversary dinner! A friend from work recommended St John because of their Bone Marrow dishes - Ben is a huuuuuuge fan of bone marrow (I really like it too, but he is basically obsessed) and based on the website and reviews it looked like our kind of place. We shared a bone marrow salad for our appetizer - not even a salad, basically bone marrow that you spread on toast, and then put some greenery on top of which I guess is the 'salad' part. I really love how they served it - they literally bring out this plate with four huge bones, and you have to dig the marrow out with a tiny fork. It sounds disgusting but is actually kind of awesome. I didn't get a photo and I'd feel bad stealing someone else's but if you look for 'St John London bone marrow salad' in google images, you'll see what I mean. For our mains I had a rabbit dish and Ben had some sort of delicious sausage concoction, and we split a Raspberry Fool for desert. YUM.

We had to catch the train to York the following afternoon, but before heading to King's Cross, we dedicated the morning to the second of our three favorite British things (the first being Harry Potter obviously) - Sherlock Holmes!!  First, the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street:


221B Baker Street

Where all of the deductions took place, allegedly. Because Holmes and Watson were totally real people right...?

Antique books int he living room
Hats and a pipe, just waiting for their owners to return...

Sherlock's favorite pastime - beekeping!

Next, we headed to the site of BBC Sherlock's '221B Baker Street' which is not on Baker Street at all, but is the street/house they use for filming. I cleverly dubbed this site 'Faker Street'...just take a minute to marvel at my genius.

Moving on.

Speedy's cafe is a real place, and there are probably actual people who live in '221B' and I'm sure those people are sick of random tourists and Sherlock Holmes-obsessed nutcases such as myself taking ridiculous photos in front of their door, but too bad for them.


Wonder if anyone's home??

Sadly, after Faker street it was time to say goodbye to London. We packed our bags, took the underground to King's Cross, and hopped on a train to York - but not before taking one last cheesy Harry Potter-themed photo:

Can I take the Hogwarts Express instead...?

And no, that barrier is not actually between platforms 9 and 10...I think it was between 4 and 5 which was where we had to be to catch our train. We were running on a tight schedule and didn't have time to go too far out of our way, so this will have to do.

Next up (er, the next time I get around to writing a recap post) - York!


  1. haha yeah i am the same way with recaps but i'm glad you shared and put up the photos! it looks like such a great trip!

    1. Oh don't worry...there's more where these came from ;) I predict at least 5 more recap posts. And yes it was an amazing trip!


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