I had another pretty unimpressive day, from a tourist perspective. Also from a regular person perspective. I mean, I went to a Starbucks. And a Caffe Nero. Two chain coffee houses in one day (I had a lot of work to do today, so forgive me).
Satay House – So I went to this Malaysian restaurant in Paddington for lunch and had something called Gado Gado. I enjoyed it. I also had a Singha beer, apparently from Thailand. I just felt like the Malaysians could really use a win after this whole “we lost a plane” ordeal.
Baker Street – Infamous for Sherlock Holmes, starring some guy who did a lot of photo-bombing in this year’s Oscar’s. As you might guess, it’s a normal street. There’s a Sherlock Holmes museum on it that I walked by. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow.
Regent Park – Apparently parks are my thing. I see one nearby and I figure it’s worth checking out. I walked around it a bit (it’s rather large and the London Zoo is at the other end, but I don’t intend on going) and spent some time reading on a bench. I also found a spot which smells really nice, so if you’re ever in Regent Park in March and want a place to go that smells nice, let me know. It’s very specific.
Phoenix Hostel – After a couple lovely nights sleeping above $200k sportscars, I decided to go in another direction on this one. 17£ a night. It’s not like the other place (staying in a very nice lady’s home in Hyde Park), but it isn’t so bad. I feel like an old man here. Most of the people look like college students on break traveling. But it’s cheap, and there’s a bar on the first floor with “cheap” (3£) drinks and WiFi (they are cheap for London). So as long as no one steals my stuff, I could pretty much live here.
I talked with this girl traveling from Venezuela for a while. She “had trouble expressing herself in English” but I actually suffer from the same issue, so it worked out fine. Got some Lebanese food take away and then I went to bed.
I was 3/3 on being able to give other tourists proper directions today. I consider that an accomplishment, although I don’t know why, as a traveler, you’d see someone wandering around with a backpack and dufflebag and think “Of all the people in London, I’m sure that bloke is the one I should ask for directions.”
Portobello Market – I didn’t really know what to expect here. But it’s pretty crazy. TONS of antique stores on this strip, all out on the street with people walking through. From old leather brooches and hats (oh the fedoras) to costume jewelry and vintage books, it had everything you could think of. Plus some tourist shops and international food vendors, and that was just the streets. The market itself had rows of vintage clothing sellers. I was lugging my stupid bag around which sucked, but it was a neat atmosphere (I spent a few hours here).
Abbey Road – Lots of people walking across it.
Museum of Brands – A neat little museum that walks through advertising each decade. The branding part was cool too, showing the progression of the branding and packaging of major brands (Coca Cola, Nestle, etc)
Primrose Hill – This hill, as you can see below, overlooks London. Sorry, the pictures aren’t very good, but at least I took a couple. Next time I’ll remember to stand up and at least check them afterward to make sure they aren’t pictures of mostly grass. But I hung out here and read for a while, maybe a quick nap.
I think my favorite places to live were by here. They’re old of course, and it’s like regular attached apartments/condos/flats or whatever you want to call them, but each one is just painted a different color. Plus, obviously right by this nice park. So if you’ve got $3-4mil quid I can have, I’ll get one.
Euston Station / Train – I took a train from Euston Station to Warrington Bank Quay, where I had to jump on a train to Chester. I had to do the “get off the train and run” thing they do in the movies to make my connection and I just barely got there. Then I had to got on a transfer from Chester to Holyhead, where I then got on the ferry for Dublin (after waiting like 3 hours).
Irish Ferries – I found a middle ground between spending money on hotels and becoming homeless: overnight train and ferry rides. For 25% less than one night at my Hyde Park place, I got to sleep in a very nice ferry/train through the night, AND it took me all the way to Dublin.
So I woke up to the Dublin sunrise. Welcome to Ireland.