Day 3: Nice Surprises!

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September 22nd 2007
Published: April 5th 2008
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Day Three: Nice Surprises

Saturday 22nd September 2007
The day started off restlessly at 3:30am. I got up and wrote some postcards and went back to sleep till after 6am!
Off to breakfast downstairs. It ws nice, but I couldn't eat much. We set off for the walk to Harrods through Hyde Park. There were a few squirrels running around. When we got to Harrods at about 9am, we found that it didn't open till 10am.
We walked around it, reading the great window stories, then went for a walk through Kensington. (VERY rich houses at about £4 00 000!! Amazingly we ran into our house builder from Caboolture, Kelvin, in the backstreets, doing the exact same thing we were. Waiting for Harrods to open. It really is a small world.
It was very quiet and lovely to be walking down some "real" streets. There were many flats. It was interesting to look down to windows and see some kitchens below ground level. We soon became quite lost! We had the general direction but were getting a little worried with all the twists and turns as we had ventured past the limits of the map.
We made our way to the back of Harrods just as it was opening! It was an amazing store. A lot more cluttered and old looking than I imagined. Honestly, there wasn't a lot there I'd buy. The toy floor was fantastic. It was very hands on and the staff were rollerblading around the roadways. Many interesting toys I haven't seen before.
The difference in the clothing stood out. Everything was big bulky winter coats. There'd be nothing I could have worn back at home.
The Christmas store was wonderful. So many interesting and different decorations. Biggest regret not buying some items from here!
The hall was FANTASTIC and the most interesting thing in my opinion. The pastries and sweets were amazing. Each section had their own attendant. I bought some clotted cream fudge that tasted just like Mummas and will be getting LOADS more next time!
The variety was amazing. Each sort of food had it's own area.

The lolly section had lots of Halloween treats out on display. The fruits were all interesting. Some I had never seen before.

Afterwards, we bought an Oyster card and caught the Tube to Picadilly Circus. It was very modern and bright. We ducked into Hungry Jacks to use the loo and then had planned on going to Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square. Unfortunately we walked the wrong way up Regent Street. However, we noticed a lot of people going into a store called "Hamsley's". It seemed very popular so we went over for a look. It turned out to be an amazing toy store, 5 floors high. It was very interactive and salespeople were encouraging you to play with toys and were giving demonstrations. There was a gorgeous girl's level. The dress ups were to die for. The dressing rooms were little princess castles. We bought the girls a make your own balloon kit and walked on.

We decided (I decided) that we would use our travel card and go to Notting Hill for something different. There was a sea of people heading somewhere, so we followed them. I knew it was something great when tehre were people taking photos of the Portobello Road sign.
When we reached the top of the hill, there were markets that went for iles and a massive throng of people. Every corner and hill, there were more stalls and people. It was hard to see for the crowds. The sheer size was amazing. Rob had some seafood pallela they were making in huge vats. He would have preferred some fried seafood further up. I had some churros. They were sticks of fried dough a little like doughnuts but crunchy. They had chocolate and sugar sprinkled over them. Yum! £3.50.
On the way back we stopped at a little pub - the sun something? for another Pimms and a toilet stop. We caught the Underground back to the Marble Arch (The public transport system is amazing here. Trains every 4 minutes or so. Each line is on a different level, so we were underground about 3 levels. The escalators were huge and amazing. Rob went bakc to the room and I walked up Oxford Street looking for a jeweller - couldn't find one) Once again the throng was as far as you could see. I am amazed at just how many people there are in London!

After a rest, we went to the Three Tums for lots more Pimms The atmosphere was good. The Aussie bar staff were fun. There was a couple from Bagara sitting near us, soing a different Insight Trip. We had a good chat. Tonight I had the British Steak and Ale pie with chips and peas. It was HUGE and delicious. Rob had the fried scampini.


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