Tuesday, July 13, 2010

London I Love You

It is not the places that create memories when we migrate to different cities, it is the people we travel with and meet along the way. This past Saturday was the most memorable of the whole London trip and was achieved through pure spontaneity. When traveling, my Lonely Planets never leave my side, but I've learned that it is best to use them only for navigation purposes. I hope that through sharing my experiences on that Saturday I can convey to you the fruitful possibilities of a plan-less day!

We began by nourishing our bodies with the protein and carbs necessary to start off our walking-filled day. The perfect summer breakfast consisted of smoked salmon, avocado, grilled tomato, and scrambled eggs...

We jumped on the "tube" and headed to Camden Town to see the diverse crowd the area is famous for and shop the street markets. Walking through the bustling crowd can be exhausting on a hot summer day, but my eyes take over when viewing so many different styles and interesting people.

In this area, you'll see everything from extreme metal rocker, to vintage girl, to... typical tourist. The markets are unlike any I've seen before; selling rocker tees, silver necklaces, plastic coats, neon tutus, and street foods from all over the world.

Who doesn't love a Nutella filled crepe? or a cheese filled Arepa?

After sampling some of these delicious street foods we explored the vintage shops and ran into a series of peculiar stores that were heaven for any romantic girly-girl; racks filled with lace dresses, jeweled headbands, and vintage-inspired purses.

Right as we were about to hop back on the tube, we couldn't help but notice a huge crowd of people jumping and singing. As we got closer we realized an indie band was putting on a show in the middle of the street. The guitarist and singer were rocking out and jumping around sometimes standing in the middle of the street blocking traffic despite the honking busses. Sometimes the bus drivers even joined by honking to the beat and dancing in their seats. The energy and excitement in the crowd was incredible and after 5 minutes everyone caught on to the chorus and sang along.

This rebellious attitude and oozing talent sent an adrenaline rush through our bodies and was an embodiment of the attitude and style seen in Camden.

Exploring a big city based on impulses can be a hit or miss situation and although Camden was definitely the hit, the miss was the river tour we decided to take. NEVER take the Thames Clippers unless you want to view the city behind foggy, dirty windows in airplane-like seats with no actual tour guide. After wasting a few pounds and almost 2 hours on this ride, it was time to find a dinner spot.

After walking, and walking, and tubing, and walking we randomly found this enchanting little street...

And ended up at this restaurant with french-inspired dishes ran by casually dressed ladies eager to give the best in customer service...

The delicious dishes and South African white wine served here were the perfect ending to our adventure filled day. To run into this little spot by coincidence gave us a satisfying feeling that could only have occurred through our spontaneous decisions. The styles we saw, and foods we tried that day were everything I love about traveling and it was that evening that London ran away with my heart.

Madrid is the next stop. Adios!

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