Elena’s Birthday Weekend in London, Days 1 & 2

This time in Europe, I wanted to make sure that I saw Lena because it had been a while since we’d met: so I asked her what she was doing for her birthday. At the time, she said she wasn’t doing anything, but after confirming that I was coming, she decided to have 2 gatherings while I was there. I was so excited to come!

The first night, I didn’t visit anywhere, but simply stayed at Lena’s, where we had tea, and talked. These are the coasters I made for her:

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The second day, I went to brunch with Kristyn at Bermondsey Yard Cafe. Kristyn attends service at the church where my mom plays, but we had never really spoken before meeting in London. The reason for our meeting is because at Christmas service, one of the members of my mom’s congregation told me that I should meet up with Kristyn because she is doing a year-long program in London School of Economics: I knew that Lena would be busy in the afternoons, so I figured it would be great if I could have a travel buddy in the meantime. Here’s what I got for brunch:

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After brunch, Kristyn insisted that I see the Natural History Museum.

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This dinosaur, named Sophie, is the first thing you see when  you walk into the museum.

It is the world’s most intact Stegosaurus fossil skeleton ever found, missing only its left foreleg, the base of its tail, and a few other small bones. . . . It took 18 months to dig this fragile skeleton out of the ground, after its discovery in 2003 at Canyon Ranch, Wyoming, USA. ~ Natural History Museum, London, UK

The hall is quite impressive upon first glance, especially the big tunnel contraption which an escalator rides through.

Here’s a video of the escalator ride, which I took only on one side.

Kristyn told me that one of the best parts of the museum was the Darwin Hall, which thanks to my luck, is closed for renovation until the summer. 😥 But here are a few more pictures of things we saw (put your cursor over the pictures to see the captions).

After the museum, we took a small walk around because I knew there were a few points of interest in the surrounding area. We walked past the Albert Memorial, and around the Albert Music Hall, on the way to the Royal College of Music. We entered the College, but the students were on break already so everything was closed, and we certainly couldn’t see the hustle and bustle.

Kristyn and I had some more time left before she needed to go, so she suggested we visit the markets in Notting Hill. To get there, we needed to take a bus: this is important because although I had been in a British car before, I couldn’t remember whether or not I had been on a bus before. The bus driver is on the right, which is actually incredibly disorienting, look!

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There was a variety of goods sold in the market. Flowers, fruits & vegetables, clothes, antiques, jewelry, souvenirs, you name it. The prices were not too bad; she and I were simply not looking for anything to buy.

We walked into a secondhand store, but I quickly realized that all of the clothes I was interested in were absurdly shaped and as such, were not for any kind of figure aside for the ruler. Oh well. Having been to Notting Hill before, Kristyn suggested that we walk into a bookstore she was familiar with, called Lutyens & Rubinstein. It incorporated an unusual interior design so I want to show it. I found a cool book there for my judge, but don’t tell him, shh!

In the evening, Lena invited friends from her London Business School program. We had a lot of different types of pizza and mixed drinks. One of her friends advised me to go to this place called ICEBAR LONDON, which he said was a bar that was managed at below 0° Celsius, in a pseudo-igloo atmosphere. He said the walls and tables are made of ice, as well as the cups in which the alcohol is served.  I thought it would be so awesome to visit it! In the next post, you will see that I did get that opportunity. 🙂