I've been procrastinating, but here is - finally - the last part of our London trip!
Part 6: Monday - The One Where We Go Back Home Again :(
Monday morning Henni and I were in a tricky position. We'd gotten to see pretty much all we'd planned to in London, and we had to leave for the airport shortly after lunch, so we couldn't go off and do something outside London. Instead we decided to putter around the center of town for a bit and visit some of the stores that weren't high on our list, but which we'd written down as "stuff to do if there's time".
We started by heading off to Covent Garden. I'd been there several times before, but when I tried to show it off to Henni when we were in London last, I'd picked a time when it was absolutely run over with people, so you couldn't really get a proper feel of the atmosphere. This time it was more or less the opposite though, as we arrived before many of the shops opened! It's still a fun place to walk around though, and the lack of people meant that even I got to see some new stores I hadn't discovered before.
My favourites were a knick-knack store and a toy/games store with all sorts of puzzles, gimmicks etc. I was very tempted to purchase some of them, but had just spent most of the morning desperately trying to pack (and close!) our suitcases without leaving anything behind. Somehow we always arrive to London with half-empty suitcases and leave with them absolutely stuffed to the gills! (Yes, our suitcases apparently have gills... aaaanyway).
In the knick-knack store I found the coolest cuckoo clocks. I've always loved cuckoo clocks, and these had all sort of different animals - a sheep, a dog, an elephant, a couple I don't remember, and then my favourite, a monkey resembling that from Madagascar!
No, I didn't buy it, because it was just a tad silly - but I liked it!
From Covent Garden we decided to try to make our way across to Trafalgar Square, but instead of taking the long way around, we wanted to take a short cut through some of the quaint walking streets of London. I don't know why I've never done that before! I know my way around, yet I tend to stick to the bigger streets, which is such a shame, because I'd missed out on these! Ironically enough we found lots of lunch places we wanted to try... next time ;)
Anyway, we found Trafalgar Square without problems. I was in doubt at one place only, and then discovered that we'd just crossed the road we'd taken when we walked there with Natasha, Ben and Alisa, and all was well again. I hadn't really planned on visiting the Kiwi Shop, but since it's right by Trafalgar Square and we had plenty of time anyway, I thought we might as well, which turned out to be an excellent choice, seeing as I finally found Bub Bridger's book!!! :)
We'd read about a shop in Burlington Arcade which had 25 different versions of macaroons and wanted to check that out. As we came close to it, however, we realized that this was definitely the higher end of London. And sure enough - the arcade was filled with shops where I'd be afraid it cost money to breathe, and the macaroons themselves cost £4.50 for 100g. Never mind then!
We'd arranged to meet up with Lars at the Plaza for lunch, and though we were in good time, thought we might as well head over there right away as we had nothing better to do, and my legs were starting to complain again ;) Again we took the small streets instead of the main ones, and again we discovered an entirely different part of London we hadn't noticed before!! Now I know where to go next!
We were about half an hour early, so decided to split up as Henni would find it easier to 'waste' that time in HMV and I'd find it easier to 'waste' it in Waterstones :D I was looking through some of the books I really WANTED to buy, but couldn't fit into my suitcase when suddenly I heard Lars' voice, "Sheesh, can't I even enter a single bookstore in London without meeting you?" He was early too and had had the same idea of how to kill time as I ;) We caught up with Henni and went to get some lunch.
It's just fast food, but I really enjoy food courts - of course, it probably helps that we don't have them in Denmark, so they're still a novelty, but I find it very practical to have so many restaurants share a space, so we could each have what we were most in the mood for. The recession has really taken a toll on London though - a lot of the shops were closed, and I was once again reminded of how fortunate we are not really to have been affected that strongly in Denmark.
We took the train back to Kings Cross, went to pick up our suitcases (having to empty out the entire luggage room as ours had somehow ended up in the back!) and headed back to the station to take the train out to the airport - where Lars was detained in security as he'd forgotten to remove an unopened coke bottle from his bag!!! Shame on him ;) Henni and I got a good giggle out of it though.
I don't remember much else from the airport or the flight home, so that must mean it was pretty uneventful. Our luggage was a bit delayed though, which I wasn't too thrilled about, as it was getting late, and I had to get up early to go to work the next day!
But finally it arrived and we took the nearest cab home - dropping Henni off on the way. It had been a wonderful trip, and Henni and I weren't even close to getting tired of each others' company, which is always a good thing ;)