Wow... time goes quickly when you're traveling, because everything is new!
What did I do Friday? Hmm... well Jenna (Maria's roommate who is also from Finland) and I tried to get into a Catholic Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral so that we wouldn't have to pay to take a tour. We figured they couldnt charge us to worship God, we were right! However we were also too late getting in... After that we went off to Kensington Palace, which is the royal palace that was used before Buckingham came into vogue. Got to see some of Princess Diana's dresses (she used to live there) and then some far more historic rooms that were used by Queen Anne and Queen Victoria in the 18th-19th centuries. It was actually a really great tour for a museum!
Kensington Palace is located in Hyde Park, so after the museum we wandered around the gardens and to the central pond, which is filled with swans. It made for some sweet photo shoots!
Friday- today- My first day to actually hang out with Maria because she has been working. She and I got up and had a late brunch and then took the tube to Notting Hill so we could go to Portabello Market. Its on the top 10 list of things to do in London. It was fun! VERY crowded with tourists. Its fun to see so many different types of people because they all have unique and crazy fashions. I took a lot of covert pictures of people, though I think a few of them suspected.
Notting Hill is located in an interesting neighborhood that is very colorful, enhanced by the fact that there is a lot of government housing (like projects) in a very touristy area. Its good that in London the low income housing is mixed in with normal housing, so there aren't terrible parts of town (I'm sure there are, I just haven't found them yet).
It's interesting- here they sell second hand/vintage clothes in the market so its very popular. I like it that they value interesting fashion, but I enjoy having it an undiscovered market in the U.S. so that I can continue to get cool things at St. Vinnies that no one else can ever find!!!
After leaving Notting Hill, Maria showed me to her favorite store "Primark" which is known for very low cost fashion clothes. It was a madhouse! I felt like I was in a livestock barn- people pushing, grabbing clothes, trying on clothes in the open in front of mirrors. The place was absolutely packed. With good reason, the average cost of clothing there is £5.
Now I'm resting my legs... probably will go back to Central London (zone 1) tonight with Maria and her friends.