Title quote by Virgina Woolf
On Friday, I went down to London on my own. I didn’t have a plan, had no idea where I would end up, I just went. A few years ago, I did live in London for just over a month, so keep in mind that I do have a general idea of how London is laid out and where all the big spots are.
I slept in. I meant to leave by 9:30 but I awoke by 11:00. I almost talked myself out of going. I’m glad I didn’t. After a rushed two hours of filling out paperwork, taking a passport photo, attempting to figure out the bus system and buying my train tickets, I finally found myself on a train. If it was the right train, I was anxious and second guessing myself, but at least I was headed south.
I have travelled a lot before, I have also travelled alone. There is always this thrill when travelling alone, especially if it’s your first time or you just haven’t done it in awhile. There is a whole nother thrill when travelling without a plan. One issue, though… Once you arrive, what’s next?
Kings Cross Station
I finally arrived in Kings Cross Station and walked by the ever mandatory Platform 9 3/4. I stood staring at the Underground map for a good five minutes trying to figure out what to do next… Shopping, I’ve only been here a week, I’m sure I need something… Oxford Circus it is.
Surfacing from the tube at Oxford Circus was overwhelming. It was so busy. Nope, this wasn’t for me. I made my way to Picadilly Circus. The walk was amazing. Just being in London was intoxicating. The city has such a long and invigorating history, that no matter where you walk or what you look at, it’s easy to wonder just how many people have walked these historic streets.
From Picadilly, I walked through Leicester Square and made my way to Covent Gardens. Covent Gardens is a beautiful little shopping and cafe area. I found the cutest little toy shop, Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop. Selling modern versions of vintage English toys.
Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop
Don’t know this girl, would have been a good picture if I did though
The smallest of figurines
Modeled after the Shakespeare Globe
Now I have a little obsession with the Tube (more design wise, but the history is cool too), and in Covent Gardens is the London Museum of Transport. Last time I was there I really wanted to go but unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to. This time, though… oh man!
The museum is all about the change of transportation in London over the last 200 years as well as its cultural impact. It houses real examples of trains and buses through the ages; and it’s incredible!
The beginning of the Underground
Some old map 🙂
The newly designed Underground map at the time was revolutionary
One of the coolest playgrounds ever!
Yes, I actually sat and did the driving simulation
I could have spent so much money in here. Luckily the prospect of dragging around all that stuff all day stopped me
Afterwards, I took a walk around the block and ran into James Bond. Well, the Bond in Motion exhibit at the London Film Museum. So, on a whim, I did that too. It was so worth it. It was an exhibit that features the cars and other crazy vehicles from the Bond films. There are also lots of information from behind the scenes of the films, including design sketches and storyboards. More slideshow below!
After the 007 extravaganza, I walked towards the Thames. Just in time for sunset and London found its way back into my heart. I enjoyed the sunset, thought of Peter Pan as the Great clock glowed in the twilight and headed home for the day.
second star to the right, and straight on till morning
Overall an amazing day, and hopefully more to come back in London.