Sunday, 1 April 2012

London Day 1 - Harrods and more Harrods

23 hours is an awfully long time to be spent travelling.  However, I fortunately made good use of my time by reading Clash of Kings (Book 2 of Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin). I managed to finish that off in the trip, which makes me wish I had packed the 3rd book in my bags so that I could read that on the return journey.  I suppose I could pick it up here for under $12 though it means I will end up with 2 books.  I think I will do that, and sell it on Ebay when I get home.  I also managed in a few hours of sleep (almost a couple really!) and I watched 2 movies, The Descendants and Happy Feet 2.  I won't really count that I watched Twilight Breaking dawn part 1, because I really had that just running in the background while I was reading and only stopped reading to watch the good bits.  Oh, and I watched my first episode of Big Bang Theory.  Everyone kept telling me I had to watch it and I never got around to it.  The episode I watched was really funny, reminded me of Friends but they were all nerds.

Landed in London around 530am, picked up by sister, and we took the Underground back.  Got my first dorky Monopoly pic of myself under the Leicester Square sign.  Hopefully I can get the whole lot, though I doubt that but I will try my best.  It would make a good scrapbooking pic though, me with all the places on the board.

All the buildings are so... English!  The terraced houses, the mini balconies, the chimney stacks - I am not good with architecture but is that Georgian?  I wished I could take pictures of all the nice houses, but I feel like that would start getting old really quick.  These are some of the architecture around Clapham.  Sash windows, like the one seen in the top picture, is very common around Clapham.  Parapets, like those seen in the top picture are common after the Building act of 1707 as projecting eaves were seen to be a fire hazard.

Today was spent shopping at Harrods.  I was excited to see typical London motor icons such as double decker red buses and little black taxis.

The iconic upmarket London department store, Harrods is located next to the Underground station Knightsbridge.

The food hall is amazing.  It's hard not to take pictures of everything!  But it is like any other upmarket food hall I suppose.  My sister and I indulged at the bakery and I had to take a picture of the vegetables nicely arranged as well.

There is just so much to see!  I spent a while in the food area, handbags, children's toys, fine English china, electronics, souvenirs... and walked out with lots of bread from the bakery, toys (Harrods bear, red double decker bus, black taxi and mini cooper with a union jack, and a little puzzle track with a bus and taxi), Royal Crown derby porcelain birds (sparrow for sentimental reasons, and an english Robin), mugs and Harrod bags as gifts, a Longchamp expanding bag for myself to take back extra things home.  I had a panic while I was looking at Harrods mugs because my bags knocked one to the floor with a loud crash, but it didn't break and I examined it carefully and put it back on the shelf.  I was paranoid after that!

The Egyptian Escalator was beautiful and I could have taken so many pictures but there are people everywhere!  And an opera singer even comes to the balconies sometimes to sing.

It's so easy to get lots in there.  Look at how huge it is.  This map was compiled from the free store map booklet you can get from an information counter.

We spent 7 hours there!!!  After that we went home by taxi and then out for groceries at Sainsbury's.  Stayed in watching TV and eating yummy chicken and leek pie that my sister cooked for me.  And I was tired.  It was a big day, where everything to me was amazing and wondrous and to a Londoner would be commonplace and mundane.

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