Published: July 12th 2012July 12th 2012
(I didn’t want to pay for internet yesterday and I used up my old card from Manchester, so here’s our last day of London mixed with our arrival in Morocco. Oh my goodness!)
Yesterday was our “let’s hop all across London” day! We made good use of our day pass on the Tube. It was also a great day of nerdom. So much nerdom. Mostly on my part.
First we headed up to King’s Cross to be Harry Potter nerds – we found Platform 9¾ which only had a few kiddos around, so it was easy to take pictures and be wizards for 5 minutes :). From there we went up to this cute little tea shop that was in one of the guides are hostel gave us – Em said the tea was really good, but cheap it was not. Way to lie guide, way to lie.
From there, all the Sherlock nerdom on my part began. Aw yeh. We walked up North Gower Street which is “Baker Street” for their show. We walked by their door and I’m a total nerd because I was just grinning like a school girl. Ahahaha.
I grabbed lunch at Speedy’s – it was actually really, really good! (It’s the cafe besides “221B” on the show – the place is full of photos from the cast visiting and shooting days and all that). I had a hot choco (rainy day again) and it definitely hit the spot. I was also super lame and got the “Sherlock wrap” ahahaha. But oh my, it tasted great!! Chicken, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes,bacon, and sweet chilli sauce on a grilled wrap... oh yeahhhh! I’ll be back next time I’m in town.
After that we walked down to Baker Street – the real deal – just to bum around the Sherlock gift shop. I would have bought something but the line up was ridiculous and I just didn’t care enough. We got some pictures of “Baker Street” and all that jazz too.
We then went up to Cambden to look at their markets – holy that was insane. The shop market was too touristy for my liking... like the clothes and such, and everyone trying to get you to buy their stuff. The food stalls were interesting – had I not just had an amazing lunch I would have loved to try some. So much food. Everywhere.
Next stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral – all the times I’ve been to London, still hadn’t made it out here. The building really is gorgeous – I had fun looking around while Em ate her lunch on a bench enjoying the brief window of sunshine. 10 minutes later it started to pour so we chilled in the gift shop/cafe area in the church. Good thing about rain in London so far is that it hasn’t lasted long.
From there we walked over to St. Bart’s Hospital where I cried soft tears of Sherlock sadness. None of you know what I’m talking about (except Mom?) and that’s ok... it be sad. I wanted to explain it to Em but she might read the original books/watch the show now... so I don’t want to ruin things... and I’m just full of all the Sherlock feels.
ANYWAY. I’m a nerd. It’s established.
We went back to the craziness that is Oxford Street – there was a dress Em wanted and forgot in one store, and after trying on some of my leggings I decided I needed another two pairs. At least we were in and out this time.
Next stop was Waterloo to take pictures of Westminster from the bridge. So pretty. We wanted to come back at night when everything is lit up but we were way too tired. Next time.
We headed over to Tower Bridge – we were pretty quick though because it started to really pour rain, and it was windy – not a good mix at all. My umbrella finally went inside out and sort of died (not bad for a £1 umbrella from Glasgow!) and Em’s shopping bag was paper... sooooo not good news ahahaha. We recovered nicely in the Tube though.
Last stop of the day – Harrod’s. Oh my goodness, what an experience that crazy place is!! We went on a hunt to find the cheapest thing (not including the food section – that’s too easy) and the cashmere gloves for £33 and a few of the pet accessories were the cheapest things we found. It’s so insane thinking that people can just walk in there and spend like £800 on a purse no problem. It’s great to look though – some really beautiful things.
It was funny when we left – we were standing the middle of one of the jewellery sections when Em asked where we were going, I’m like I think this way? There was a security guard walking by and without looking at us he says “are you sure?” But now we didn’t know if he was talking to us so we got really confused haha. When we finally pieced together that he did speak, I’m like well, we’re looking for the Tube, where could we catch it? Without batting an eyelash he replies, “well, at the Tube station” ... yeah, walked right into that one hahaha. He was good though – gave us proper instructions after that ;)
And fast forward now to today! The voyage to Africa!
Very quick rundown because I’m dead tired – more details about Morocco in general tomorrow.
Here’s a crazy notion – trying to catch the Tube at Victoria during rush hour with all our luggage, not the best plan I ever had. But we succeeded and made it to our Gatwick Transfer no problemo. I’ve been hoarding free newspapers for four days (sigh) so I spent the drive to Gatwick reading through them. Our terminal was super empty which was great for us – flying through security.
Fun fact: customs/security seem to hate me on this trip. Leaving London while dropping off our bags we had to prove that we had an onward flight out of Morocco. Then they wanted to see onward travel out of Spain. She then asked for an itinerary once back in Canada. I’m like... uhm, we live there?
Anyway – flight over was quick and easy – I got to finish up my papers haha. Landing in Marrakech was the world’s easiest customs though – he didn’t ask a single question, literally took my passport and stamped it. Ok fine then.
We got our bags and decided it was worth the money to get scammed by the taxis rather than take the bus and risk getting totally lost. I knew the taxi scheme ahead of time, so at least we knew we’d be paying double the rate.
Our timing ended up being perfect because as we got left off at the Medina, some other backpackers saw us and asked if we were headed to their hostel too. Too perfect – so we went with them through the alleys and came up to our lovely little riad. It is too adorable here – I love it. More on that another day.
(It’s actually so fantastic the timing because the taxis have someone waiting to “show you around” once you get off at the Medina, but of course those offering to help as soon as you get out of the taxi are part of the scam and want more money... soooooo yeah.)
We had to venture out to get food at the supermarket (sidenote, super hard to shop when labels only have French on them 25% of the time lol). We succeeded though - Em got some good stuff. In the process of our venturing we learned the art of Frogger-street-crossing here in Marrakech. There are no real lanes and cars are all over and cross-walks seem to be at a premium. We succeeded in Round 1.
Here’s to tomorrow.