May 27, 2015

Scotland: Hopping Borders to England (Day 5)

Rousing around 5 am, we strolled off to board the train for London...
King's Cross Station, London (eee)!

A healthy brekky of cheese puffs and my favorite Juicy Water.
Oh, and Mars bars. Gotta stay balanced.

Passing rolling hills of green and shimmering seas of blue,
we chugged into King's Cross and stepped off the train into pandemonium.

People were everywhere.
And the ceiling looked just like the Harry Potter films! Wait...

I stepped all over my own feet when it was my turn 
to don the colors of my house (roar, lions!) and go through the wall 
to Platform 9 3/4

Ready? One, two, three... jump!
I skipped right in and never really came back.
My heart's still there. 

And of course I bought the professional photo in the shoppe around the corner too!
And a chocolate frog and a Platform 9 3/4 ticket and a... 

King's Cross Station made me so happy,
I was in a lovely mood for the rest of the day
(even when our train home was delayed because of electricity problems).

The edifice neighboring King's Cross was eye candy to say the least.
Just look at that rouge!

After 4.5 hours of train riding, we were a bit peckish,
so we picked a pub among the millions and hopped into The Queen's Head.

Might be the best pub in London for drinks, buuut...

...for food, it wasn't quite what we expected.

Being a proper pub, of course they had literature to tide over
those whose drinking buddies fell short of entertaining.
Huh, this looks familiar...

Not feeling the fullest, I gobbled this little guy down in the cab...

...on our way to the palace!
Buckingham Palace!

The regal lion and unicorn once again,
representing the unification of England and Scotland.

A small handful of ladies and gentleman
all dolled up for royalty
flitted around the courtyard beyond the guarded fences of the palace,
along with an assortment of stunning transportation.

A regal lion and his bond stand vigilant outside the gates of the palace...

...forever guarding the Queen Victoria Memorial.

My, what a regal sight!

Ooh, and a handsome one too.

The memorial's statues were massive.

Surrounding the palace were gardens and gates of gold.

Flags billowed in the rain-threatening winds.

Feeling a few drops, we ducked under tree cover on our way to Parliament Square.

Hullo there, Big Ben!

And a hearty howdy-doo to Parliament too!

When I first visited the Statue of Liberty in New York City, I was disappointed.
All the films and photographs made her seem like a towering beacon,
but she and Big Ben are a lot smaller in real life.
Still, they stand formidably against the skyline, ever tall and proud.

Turning the corner, we spotted another famous landmark:
The London Eye!

This enormous ferris wheel allows riders a bird's-eye view of the city --
on a day with more hours than ours, that is. :)

These wee Wallace and Gromit sheepies were sprinkled around the city.

Oh ho ho, another!

We ducked beneath the twisty Millennium Bridge on our walk down the riverbanks.
Any Harry Potter film fans out there?
This is the bridge the Death Eaters twist and snap in their attack on London.

Run, Muggles, get across the bridge!

And then, we were there
at Shakespeare's incredible Globe Theatre.

We only had time for a glimpse,
but someday I will see a performance here.

Yeah, no busking! 
.... *Googles what 'busking' is*
Yeah, no street performing!

All too soon, we said goodbye to this beautiful place
to try to make it to the daunting prison that is the Tower of London.

I think, uh, we're on the right path... *brr* 
Doesn't this look like a place right up Harry Potter's alley?
Hee hee, get it? ...Okay, sorry.

Emerging from the alley, we passed this quaint little pirate ship.

Southwark Cathedral!

This is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark
and has been a place of worship for around five times the age of the United States.

A little bit late, but...
Thanks for the welcome!

By the time we reached the famous London Bridge,
our time budget's wallet was bare threads.
Next time we're in England, we'll surely explore London more!

Knees aching (but feet very much alive, thank you goofy shoes)
we staggered into Dishoom, attracted to them for their gluten-free options.

And boy, did they deliver.
Practically everything tasty on the menu was gluten-free!
(The green highlighted areas.)

I of course, treated myself to my favorite Indian drink -- a rose lassi.
I also ordered the Murgh Malai, a melt-in-your-mouth chicken dish.
Everything I ate was Heaven on Earth, and not just because I was a hungry wolf. 

8/9 desserts were gluten-free and I was so happy, I almost ordered everything.
Thankfully, logic slapped my mouth away and I got just the one thing:
Memsahib's Mess
a bouquet of fresh cream, crushed meringue and strawberries, with rose syrup and gulkand.

Cory's fashion designer friend from back home (O'ahu) joined us for dinner
and I was surprised how refreshing it was to speak to another American.

Kelli ducked down the stairs to use the "water closet" and advised us to do the same
because oh my gosh, the aesthetic of this place.

This was the most interesting toilet I had seen since Japan.

Lush incense, ooh, these toilets smelled nice.
Is that strange to say? Probably.

When we return to London, we will definitely be paying Dishoom another visit.
This was the best Indian food I have ever had in my life.
Shortly after dining, we rolled our food-swollen bodies back onto the train for Scotland.
To be continued... in the next post!

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