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Published: April 30th 2007
middle aged female tourists flock from all over to buy Harrod brand goods
Alight here for the Piccadilly Line to Cockfosters... Mind the Gap... Please stand clear of the closing doors. Those are great first impressions of London - a city composed half of tourists and ex-patriots and the other half of Londoners. Tourists flock in droves to London to check out the famous Picadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Buckingham Palace among other top attractions.
Having been to London previously, I endeavoured to check out the quirky areas I didn't get a chance to see previously. The theme of my sightseeing activities this time around has been markets.
Portobello Market - located in Notting Hill, this area was made famous by the Notting Hill Film with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Cult fans of this movie will be disappointed to discover that they used false fronts in the movie and the actual locations do not exist apparently. The Portobello market itself seems to be the top attraction for Italians as it seemed as though the entire country was on Portobello road jostling elbows with one another to get a closer glance at London's rubbish turned antiques. The market was mostly of antiques including silver spoons, pots and kettles to your heart's content.
shiny for sale
Portobello Antique Market.
Lane Market - this market most definitely catered towards the working class of London and was a hot spot for immigrants. It reminded me of India and Turkey where vendors had a definite chant going... 2 shirts for 2 pounds, 2 shirts for 2 pounds. I did manage to find a steal of a deal but this involved trying on the pant behind a rack overtop of my pants. This was certainly not a place for the modest in want of a change room to try on these cheap clothes. If you are looking for that 2 pound bargain or 10 pound shoes, or 1 pound covergirl makeup that is cleary covered in 5 years worth of dust... you've come to the right place.
Spitalfields Market - only streets away this market catered towards the young well-established generation of Londoners. Elegant people would sit on the patios drinking expresso or would browse the stalls looking for the latest designs of up-and-coming designers. Despite this market being located mere blocks away from Petticoat lane, there was a night and day difference in the clientele and their respective social classes.
London, or actually Windsor also houses one of the three Legoland
doing your laundry AND dishes
common english sight - laundry machine in the kitchen. unheard of in north america!
amusement parks in the world. The others being in Denmark and California. What is so great about this place you say? Well, to see the entire amusement park built out of lego brings back great memories of primary color plastic building blocks. I must admit that the creations there, such as dragons, horses, princesses and dinosaurs clearly put my little colomns of lego to shame. I am comfortable admitting that I don't possess the talent of lego construction.
Windor, is also famous for the location of the Queen's summer palace and the place where Charles and Camilla got married last year. However, this failed to excite us nearly as much as the plastic blocks of Legoland.
And now the random information you've been dying to learn about from my time in London...
Did you know that where you live is crucial in determining what services you have access to. Areas are divided according to square miles and postal codes. Therefore, people of a certain square mile can only go to certain dentists, doctors and schools in that area. Roads are a lovely dividing mark for areas and it is common to see that houses on one side of the
sculpture in the garden of the Victoria and Albert Museum
road cost 40 000 pounds more than houses on the other side of the road despite identical size and appearnace because the more expensive house grants children living on that side of the street to access better schools than the other side. It's a good thing this doesn't apply in Canada. I havn't gone to the same doctor twice in years!
Did you also know that there is something absolutely black and filthy polluting the air in the underground tube? Riding the Piccadilly line will almost certainly guarentee you black snot. I wouldn't have believed it myself having not experienced it. Having done so, I urge all of you to check your dirty kleenex next time you ride the underground in London and you will have a great conversation piece the next time your conversation stalls and turns awkward.
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