Day 18 - London

Sunday morning would have been a great time to sketch, since my friends were busy - but it ended up one of those "comedy of errors" mornings.  Had to just go with the flow.  I jotted this one down while passing the Tower of London... Tower of London

...and ended up taking a river boat tour to Greenwich. The river view was mostly ugly condos with rich people in them, but it did open my eyes to some of the different neighborhoods adjacent to the Thames - for instance, this area which is maybe Wapping or Limehouse or both, who knows. I'd love to explore the area on foot and stop in at the Captain Kidd pub.

London River Boat Tour

I ended up in Greenwich and then walked back towards London by going UNDER the Thames!  Didn't even know that was possible on foot. Lots of folks were navigating the narrow staircases carrying bikes.

Tunnel from Greenwich, under the Thames

Then I was back with Lynn for another London Walk, "The Unknown East End".  The Walk was fun, but to be honest the most fun was walking around Brick Lane and Spitalfields after Louise met up with us again.  Brick Lane is thick with stylish young people all very carefully adorned.  There were also men trying to fill the seats of the many Bangladeshi restaurants, calling out greetings and promises and special offers. We went into a restaurant L&L had been to before and it was amazing - really, really wonderful food, something like Indian food but up the flavor and richness and smokiness and the types of naan on the menu.  Man!  I could hang out on Brick Lane for A WHILE.

East End Walk East End WalkEast End Walk East End Walk East End Walk East End Walk

I can't really tell you why I wanted my photo taken in front of the paper bag store.

Lynn and Lou did some skillfully executed pointing and peering.

East End Walk

We explored a few pubs, looking for one that might carry unusual beers - didn't really find that but wound up at The Royal Oak which was quite nice.

The Royal Oak The Royal Oak

On the way home we passed the Shard, which - at this particular moment in its construction - is looking like a very very tall Dalek. Wish my camera could have done better with this shot.

The Shard aka The Dalek

We had to say our goodbyes that night, as I'd be leaving for Belgium before daybreak.

These three days in London made a big impact on me.  London has my dear, brilliant, kind, warm, hilarious friends in it.  London has the British Museum, where I could sketch madly for many days.  London encompasses many distinct, gorgeous, vibrant neighborhoods, easily missed in such a vast city yet each a unique destination on its own once you know to look for it.

I hope very much to make it back soon.