Gated Cathedral

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Gated Cathedral

Right next to the Borough Market was a great little spot for Payaya and a drink. While sipping on some Pimm’s I felt like I should have had a suite on (like the table of 19 year olds next to me), but enjoyed the setting none the less.

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Good food, good cider, good weather?!?

London was filled with pleasant surprises.  None of which had to do with the exchange rate.  I can see spending a lot of time in London on another currency being a bad idea for the ole’ bank account but for a few days was well worth the 13:1 DIrham to Sterling rate.  London became 3 days of extensive sunshine and walking, the city is huge. To get a visual, lets just say a few centimeters on a London hostel map is not the same as a few centimeters on a Barcelona hostel map.  We walked more than anyone should have to walk to simply get to a walking tour, and after a very informative 3 hour walking tour we were ready for a nap of epic proportions.  There is a lot to see in London, and for a city that is so rich in history it still has a very modern feel to it, even in the most touristy of places.

One of my favorite parts of the trip (beyond the previously covered Borough Market) was the walk from Westminster down to the Tower Bridge along the River Thames.  It was filled with shops, cafes, bars, and the famous Southbank skate park which brought me back to my Tony Hawk Pro-skater years.  On the opposite side of the river, we stumbled across an old boat turned bar/club and had a Pimms pitcher that I wish never ended.

The Soho region got the best of us at night, with a special “screwing over dumb tourists” bonus to the underground for closing much earlier than we thought.  All I can say is that at 4am London cabs do not respond to the Moroccan way of getting a cab, or the New York way for that matter.

Open Air Goodness, The Borough Market

To compare London to the other cities I traveled to this summer would be an apples and oranges argument.  The city is huge, and consequently the map the hostel provided was huge, taking about two folds beyond the original presentation folding to fit into my pocket.  Smaller streets were not labeled, of course this made walking around a little sweat inducing at first, even with the english street signs.

When being in a city this big, I like to find a home base, whether it be a cafe or a square.  In London this “home base” was the Borough Market.  This open air market was filled with organic foods and drinks, ranging from truffles to homemade hard cider.  For an organic market, in the heart of London, it was fairly priced and we ate there a few times both to save a few pounds and because it was delicious (and the cider was 8%).

This place is big enough to find whatever kind of food you were looking for, but small enough to do a lap and go back to the dish that caught your eye.  That being said, I pulled the trigger on the first thing I saw when I stumbled into the market for the first time.  Indulging on a duck sandwich complete with homemade bread, drizzled with olive oil and some kind of spicy herb combo that complimented the greasy 5GBP sandwich to perfection.  Two Minutes after I purchased my duck sandwich, we turned the corner to find an artisan bread shop with thick cut salami sandwiches, which I rushed to the next day for lunch.

When asked by a fellow traveler who just arrived in London what my favorite part of the city was, I blurted out the Borough Market.  If you are ever in London be sure to make it there for lunch, and for a solid English speaking people watching session.