Late. Again! I feel like I should just stop putting that disclaimer down at this point, it’s definitely not doing my carefully curated professional image any favors.
Anyway, Caroline and I did a ton of amazing things in London, but the highlight has always been and will always be the food. I’ve raved about it before, so I’ll keep it brief, but man. If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself in this city, you’ll never go hungry [although your wallet might.]
As it happened, our first stop for the day was Borough Market. The food here is noticeably ‘fancier’ and definitely more expensive, so I’m almost glad we came here when our money was at an all-time low, although the artisanal fudges I saw will haunt me until the grave.
Still, despite the fact that we had literally zero money, we managed to stuff our faces a little bit.
Vegan burger with falafel [?] from one of the many vegetarian/vegan-friendly food stands.
Thai coconut pancakes. They’re slightly sweet and gooey in the middle, and super cheap!
We didn’t spend as much time in the market as anticipated [the food was just too tempting, and we needed to have enough money to at least feed us for the rest of the trip], so we spent a couple of extra minutes aimlessly wandering before heading out.
Somewhere along the way, we stumbled across this:
There are a number of these Before I Die walls around the world, but this is the first time I’ve seen one in person. Basically, you take a piece of chalk and finish the sentence.
‘Before I die, I want to travel the world.’
Okay, I mean, it’s definitely not the most original wish in the world, but this is a travel blog, right?
[Okay, yes I bought more food, but this strawberry turkish delight was uber cheap and came with free samples, let me live my life.]
Anyway, our next stop of the day was the London Tower, which is conveniently located by Tower Bridge, one of London’s most picturesque/iconic bridges! Despite the gloomy weather, the bright blue details
The London Tower itself was also très cool, although we didn’t take a tour, because money. More specifically, the fact that we have none.
Walking across Tower Bridge, however, is completely free, so we pranced around and took some photos and enjoyed the scenery while native Londoners no doubt wondered, ‘What are those girls smoking, and could I maybe get some?’
Finally, we got it together and crossed back over to see St. Paul’s Cathedral. No photographs are allowed inside, like with most churches, but that domed roof alone is the stuff of legends.
Look! It’s me.
With all that fall foliage and a minimal number of tourists, it was a perfect photo op moment. If only my hair had gotten the memo.
Our second bridge of the day was the Millennium Bridge, a more recent/New Age-y construction that led us straight to our next destination–the Tate Modern.
Of course, the first and only thing we did at the Tate Modern was… find a place to lie down. That sounds really lame, but this giant open section near the front entrance eventually turned into a lights/music/general noise show, so if we had to take nap in a museum, this was definitely the place to do it.
By the time we left, it was already dark out, and London was lighting up. I love big cities, of course, and one of my favourite things about them is the fact that they never really get dark.
We walked in the general direction of Chinatown, which was where we planned on taking dinner, just enjoying the sights and talking about life, as usual. Central London is still lively and quite safe at night, and seeing the occasional grown adult run past in full Halloween gear seemed completely normal, even though it was still a few days before Halloween. [A couple of familiar faces were also glo’ed up for the evening.]
For dinner, we spent a minimum of twenty minutes trying to find a place that not only served soup dumplings, but offered a veggie-friendly version as well. I think the only bit of Chinese I’ve retained at this point is xiao long bao, [soup dumplings in Chinese] and that one tidbit of knowledge turned out to actually be helpful, because we eventually found Dumplings’ Legend.
I also ordered an appetizer of duck, because my stomach > wallet.
Anyone who knows me knows that the soup dumplings I had in a little shop back in Shanghai have been haunting my dreams ever since. Happily, I now get to report that for the first time since coming back from China, I got to eat one of my all-time favourite foods again! They weren’t as good as the ones in Shanghai, because those were probably crafted by God himself, but they definitely hit the spot and were a perfect way to round off the night!
I’ve created a portfolio for my photography, since I take a million pictures every time I step outside and can never feature everything I want to here! If you’re interested, go ahead and check it out.