Wednesday, March 12, 2014

London 2

The next day Javi had the morning free so we went down to the Thames' water front so see some of London's most iconic views. The Parliament building and Big Ben is that fantastic building across the river and on this side you can just see the London eye.

It was a cold brisk morning, after all it was February 18th in London in a year of great floods in the UK, but Javi was with me so I knew the weather would turn for the better. Whenever my husband goes to the UK the weather always takes a turn for the better. There is always little-to-no rain, sun, and it is always warmer. In fact if you were to go back and look at the weather reports for London the 17-20th of February you would see that it was "warm" for the first time that year during those days and the weather was horrible before and after.

We just wandered around in awe of the famous buildings and their beauty.

Here is the best shot we go of Westminster Abby, which was too big to get all in one picture from street level.

Another picture of a tower of Parliament with the union Jack flying high. You see? the sun is already coming out.

After walking around some of the more famous buildings we hunted through the streets until we found I Knit, one of London's most famous yarn shops. (Sorry to this date I have only taken one photo of a yarn shop from the front, I just never remember too.) Instead here is a lovely photo from this lovely blogger.

This was a lovely shop with some truly lovely yarn/selection, and the books! There were so many books! To get books in English in Spain is understandably difficult, and specific books, even more so. I got Knitting from the Top, a book I have always been meaning to get, and Knit Swirl. I also picked up a smattering of yarn including this truly souvenir yarn from I Knit's own hand dyed line "I Knit or Dye" (a great name or what?). As you can see I have already started knitting it up into a Gail (a small triangular lace shawl). The yarn is tonal rust with gold angelina spun into it, and it is so, very soft! The person working at the shop so so very nice and helpful, and I recommend the shop to all.

We than went to miracle that is Waitrose (just a super market chain store). The wonder of the super market is that we saw a lot of brands that I knew from the US and things which you can only get in the UK. (Please keep in mind that I have not been back to the US for basically 3 years.) Below we have: 
an oatmeal rain cookie (those exist in Spain only if you make them or find a speciality bakery). Burt's Bees lip balm (made in Durham NC were I lived last). Sourdough (oh! Sourdough you are so hard to find in Spain I never realized how I missed you so) pretzels. Finally Abbot Ale, one of the best beers I have ever had, only to be found in a small radius around Cambridge. I had lunch in the hotel room while watching the Olympics and then set out for Islington's high street (which was walking distance from the hotel).  It was a very nice walk.

As you can see the skies were clear and blue.

What is on Islington's high street, you ask? Why, Loop is!

Photo taken from their website
Having a hobby like knitting lends itself well to traveling. Yarn shops are rarely in the touristy areas and to get them you have to go into the residential areas and really see the city. Going to there shops allows you to interact more with the locals, allows you to strike up all sorts of conversations, the shopping is fun too. For those of you wondering, Loop also had very friendly and help staff and a nice selection of yarn and needles.

The walk back was magical with the way that they sun slants pink here in Europe.

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