Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, and the Flea Market London, Britain, United Kingdom, p.4

These final few days in London have been quite enjoyable. They have been filled with flea market shopping, bike rides through Hyde park, and most importantly, delicious meals in various ethnic restaurants.

Saturday was the first time I used London's bike system. To rent a bike, it charges a 1£ access fee and then 1£ per hour that you use it. If you return the bike however in under 30 minutes to a bike docking station, the rental is actually free minus the access fee. That very same day, me, Nadia, and Sonia visited Winter Wonderland in Hyde park. As it sounds, Winter Wonderland is a christmas themed carnival set up in the park. But don't imagine those cheap carnivals in the parking lots of high schools, this one in London was actually quite impressive. It was at the carnival where I tried Kangaroo burger. I originally wanted Ostrich but they ran out.

The next day, we all met up again and visited some more flea markets. And by we, I mean: me, Sonia, Nadia, and Joan. This time, we visited the Petticoat Lane market where Joan, the Singaporean, made the bold claim that she was going to buy something for only 1£. It was quite a surprise us all when she not only accomplished this but at an even lower price than she claimed, 50p.

After shopping, Sonia then took us to this apparently famous indian restaurant for lunch where she told us that on some nights, not only do you have to reserve in advance, but the place is so popular that the line goes out the doors. Regardless of whether or not this is actually true, the food was still quite tasty.

Later that night, we went back to my host's house where she cooked kurma for us. If you don't know what kurma is, I would describe it as chicken in japanese curry over white rice because it tastes exactly like it. After dinner, Joan and Nadia went out to go Salsa dancing while I opted to meet some Aileen and her italian friends for a drink instead. In the end, they said it wasn't even a salsa event, but rather just a normal social gathering with club music playing in the background and free dinner. 

The next day, me and Nadia just took it easy and we just lounged around the house. At some point, I went to the library to plan for my trip back to Ireland. At this point, I am still not 100% sure if my Eurail pass will allow for me to travel to Belfort and back because Belfort is in northern Ireland and the north is not actually part of the EU but rather the UK.

As a brief aside; I feel as if these past few days I have been among the most strong and outspoken women during my trip. They say what is on their mind, they know what they want, and do what they want. To me, they really embody the independent spirit.

P.P.S. To get to the airport tonight, I will have to wake up at 2am, take the bus and get there by 4am, get on the plane by 6am, land in Dublin at 730am, and then take the bus into the city center arriving around 830am. That does not include the walk to my Ireland host's house haha.
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