Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A London Adventure with a Scotsman

Like all adventures, it started off without a plan.
All it took was :
A spark of an idea.
A spontaneous ''yes !'' .
A giggle from me .
A smirk from him.
And the decision was made.

Then with only £10 each ,8 hours , a map and phones dying out of battery, we bought our tickets

 and jumped onto the train .

Scotsman Karim and I had just arrived back from a 3 night festival in Henley.Though we slept under the stars and rain in our tents we had to endure cold showers, filthy outdoor toilets and 3 hours of sleep. I was going to trudge back home to finally take a hot shower and catch up on my beauty sleep but with the Scotsman departing at 11p.m to retreat back to his motherland , we embarked on our journey to explore London.

He found the trains especially fascinating. Apparently Scottish train seats comes in pairs . I explained to him that the English enjoy their company and having seats come in three's would only be deemed acceptable !
He caught my fib and soon figured out it was because the English enjoyed putting their feet up after a long day at work . 
He tried to fit in with other Englishmen but it was his accent that gave him away. 

 Either that ,or it was when he took his camera out to take a picture of it .

Our first stop was Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross station.

We bumped into Daniel Radcliffe on our way to our next destination. It must have been his Scottish luck but still I questioned this sorcery.
 Laird K was over the moon.

Next stop was Camden.

We got ourselves something to eat at The Ice Wharf. Chicken Taquitos for him.

Chocolate Sticky Pudding for me. Because I love my desserts so much I usually order them before my main meal at any restaurant I go to. With a puzzled look from the waitress she handed me my pudding then my Bingo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese and Chipotle sauce , of which I shared with Laird K at my demand.

We picked out where to go next and were on our merry way.

We headed to Baker Street to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

On our way, we questioned the reasons behind the peculiar names of London towns.

 After many perplexed looks, we agreed to leave it to Sherlock Holmes to investigate. I did however,later on find out that Baker Street was named after the builder ,William Baker, who built the town in the 18th century.

Just before the Sherlock Holmes Museum stands a shrine-like store dedicated to The Beatles .

With every step he took closer to the museum, the scotsman became happy,


 and eventually, his happiest.

We had arrived only to find out Sherlock had just left for his next investigation.

Back onto the tube we hopped, I took Karim to my favourite place in London.

Here ,I admired the houses and dreamt of a future of when I'll be able to live in them.

Laird K admired the cars the street had to offer.

We took a stroll around Notting Hill and admired it's beauty while watching the sun go down at Kensington Palace.

Now,an adventure wouldn't be an adventure without facing some challenges. Kensington Gardens had promised the availability of their toilet facilities till 8 p.m . Due to the disappointing negligence of the gatekeeper, the toilets were unavailable to us at 7 p.m. Having already spent a few of our pennies on public toilets, we had extremely high hopes for using the ones the Royal Park had to offer for free. When we sought the advice from their Customer Service for an alternative toilet, they turned us away apologising for not knowing where it would be.

But in the spirit of being adventurous, we soon laughed the matter off and carried on exploring.

When Scotsman Karim was a bairn ,wee laddie or little boy if you please, he had a teacher who would come into class telling everyone stories of his travels.Showing them pictures of all the wonderful places he had been to. On one of his travels he visited The Royal Albert Hall which is one of England's most prestigious buildings and one of my favourite world landmarks. It was built on the orders of Prince Albert in 1851 for the purpose of providing his people a place to be entertained and enlightened through all forms of art.Be it theatrical, performing, decorative,fine or visual. Sadly, Prince Albert passed away in 1861 before he could see his idea come to life. Thankfully in 1867 Queen Victoria fulfilled the Prince's wishes and continued the construction of the building.

Karim had always remembered that one photo his teacher spoke about and so we paid the beauty a visit.

It stands beautifully in its velvet-like red bricked walls , laced with intricate metallic golds that coruscates even under moonlight.Rimmed with ancient Greek art that presumes the origin of  the Theatre and Performing Arts. The building extrudes pride and value to all the forms of art has to offer. It's spectacular and my pictures honestly does it no justice.

Our walk was cut short because of the rain so we boarded the bus to Marble Arch.

Our 8 hours was almost up by the time we arrived at Marble Arch.

By the fountain we stood taking out the last of our penny's and spent them on 3 wishes. With our backs facing the fountain and the stars looking down at us , we closed our eyes,made our wishes and threw it high behind our heads,only opening our eyes util we heard it splash into the water and land at the bottom of the tiled floor joining the other coins and their wishes.

What followed after was a series of blurred photos, tired legs, long yawns and a pang of sadness for the day would almost be over as the welcoming of unwelcome goodbyes drew near.
That day I went home cold,wet and exhausted with dirty hair,no money and  legs that could barely move but yet I felt like a million dollars.
The day summed up this quote fantastically : 
''Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer''- Unknown.
The highlight of my day was when I made 3 wishes at the fountain and the walk back from Buckingham Palace when Laird K was on the phone to his comrade,Laird B. I could listen to the Scottish blether all day.

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