Monday, 30 March 2009

East End and Tower Bridge with Clara and Daniela

Last Sunday Daniela, Clara, Chloe and me went to London on the coach for the final time. :( (This school year :)) We visited Brick Lane, as Daniela had never been before, and Chloe set out on an adventure of her own, to see the sights in central London. I had never seen it so busy! I thought it might be a bit busier as the markets are on on a Sunday, but it was choc-a-bloc! We ventured into the 'Sunday Up Market', which was crammed full of people and stalls, selling exotic foods from across the globe. Turkish, Japanese, Ethiopian, Greek, Indian, French, British and Chinese! We decided we must eat here at lunch. So we explored further into the market and found rails and rails of vintage clothes at good prices (compared to the shops down Brick Lane), handmade clothing, craft and jewellery stalls. There was also an incredible cupcake stall. There were some iced and topped with strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, others were cookies and cream flavoured. But I opted for the blueberry flavoured one, decorated with a beautiful iced rose. It was delicious. Clara and Daniela bought some scarves at just a few pounds, and Daniela purchased a cute little pocket mirror for her sister. I bought some brown 70s sandals for £15, which I had been looking for a year! We then looked around the shops. I passed a stall that i think was trying to convert people to Islam. The man gave me a free 'The Meaning of the Qu'ran' book which is interesting and I think a translation of it. Daniela bought a rose jumper from the East End Thrift Store Clara bought a blazer and top from there and something from a shop where a Marilyn Monroe CD was playing. I bought a yellow play suit, a marching band jacket and a turban hat. We looked round Beyond Retro but reached saturation and starvation point so left after I got the turban. We then sat on a bench is a church yard and ate an early lunch. On the way back we passed a crazy guy dressed as a CCTV camera and searched desperately for a place to sit and get a drink and entered a cool 50s diner which had a bowling alley at the back. However after reading the menu we were put off by the extortionate prices. we looked around. What are we gonna do now?! the Waiter kept asking to take our order. We decided it was fine to forget our pride and embarrassment and make a run for it out the door. We're not from round here so it's fine, I thought :) We looked around a second market where I bought some cool skull earrings that reminded me of Frida Kahlo. Then it was back to the tube station. Whilst walking back a homeless guy approached us asking for money for food. I wasn't sure if that's what it was for, but why shouldn't he spend it on what he likes? He has nothing else. We got off near Tower Bridge and walked along the Thames, where Clara and Daniela took many photos. The Norman Foster City Hall building was much smaller than I had anticipated and i don't think I have seen it before, as we don't usually go to that part of London. We walked further along until we reached the Underground. As we were rushed out of the station we looked up. Big Ben towered over us and tourists cooed as camera flashes sparked. We then got the train back to Victoria and walked down to Buckingham Place. Then it was a walk back to the train station and a drink in a cafe. we nipped to the toilet and ran back to the coach station, which we couldn't find anywhere! We ran through the streets of London shouting. I was really panicking. Then we found it. We found Arrivals. The coach was due to leave and we had no clue where departures was. I flagged down what turned out to be our coach. The driver pointed over to our station which we ran to, by this time I was in tears. We stumbled into the bus parking and asked the coach director what to do. Luckily for us it turned out to be late, although we seemed much happier than the other passengers, who had been giving him an earful when we joined the queue. After embarrassed looks and chuckles from the driver, we finally stepped foot on the coach.

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