Saturday, September 19, 2009

Project 365 England Thu 27 Aug 09

On our first official day of wandering around London we experienced two quite different ways of shopping: what we're used to at a Westfield shopping time (that's right, we thought we were in Australia) and the funky Portobello Rd.

Westfield London
Our first stop was Westfield London in Shepherds Bush, not far from where we're staying. We saw the address in a tourist book and given the frequent injections of shopping, so far, to keep Clarissa happy it seemed like a good idea.

I can see how lucky we are to have Horace with us ... he's knows where we're going and even though some of the bus numbers and routes have changed he understands how the system work and that's going to be a great help in getting around. Left to my own devices I'd catch the tube everywhere, which is hugely expensive. Instead, we've bought a weekly bus pass each, which cost us $3.80 per day ... compare that with $2 for a single trip, and we may have to catch two buses to reach where we're going.

Westfield London was so much nicer than the Westfields we have at home. This one made Southland look tatty. But in the end it didn't keep my attention very long ... after all we can shop in Southland any time we like and I was longing for the sights of the real London. Having said that though I got a few nice things, especially from Esprit, and Torchwood seasons 1 and 2 for the same price I would have paid for one season in Australia.

The Westfield sign ... I could have taken this in Australia.

A view inside ... it was all so white and clean looking, and the walkways were huge.

Portobello Road.
Portobello Road was exactly the sort of place I want to spend a lot of time visiting in London, and it was so good to see it again after 25 years! ... and although it wasn't as busy as usual because all the fruit and veg barrows don't come out until the weekend, I loved it.

We got off the bus and walked the entire length ... which is a decent walk.

I looked everywhere for the red door from Notting Hill and missed it; I'm bummed about that because I wanted to take a photo. But check out otherwise how cool this street is ... funky and just plain brilliant. So glad it was our first "real London" stop.

I had to take this ... I just love London street signs and I'm going to take as many as I can.

A view from the beginning of Portobello Rd where the antique stores are ... we were in too much of a hurry to stop but I would have loved to.

And the interior of one of the antique stores ... I love old silver, including how worn it looks. It just breathes history.

Another view of Portobello Rd ... this time at the bottom where we had dinner at a small cafe that sold Lebanese food.

Portobello Rd is still as quirky as ever ... crowds stopped to view this doll at the top of the fence and to take photos!

And there's more quirkly ... a local drew up in this car as we were having dinner; all kitted out inside and out with flowers and writing. The driver as well was dressed as an Indian ... and he looked brilliant.

I loved this clock as well on one of the buildings. A love of clocks must be rubbing off Mum onto me.

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