Thursday morning I woke up early and headed in to town again. Thursday was cold, damp, windy, and cloudy. It never actually rained, just sort of spit every once in a while.
After breakfast, I headed back to the Houses of Parliament.
I also toured Westminster Abbey, which was amazing. It felt strange that the entire perimiter of the building was a series of tombs (Notre Dame in Paris is preodminantly chapels, not tombs), but it was neat to see where Elizabeth I was buried, as well as the Poets' Corner where so many of England's literary giants were memorialized.
After finishing up at Westminster, I walked along the Thames to Embankment, where I took part of the Thames River boat cruise that was included with my bus tour package. I got off the boat when it stopped at the Globe Theater, which I was dying to see. The Globe is fantastic. A free tour is included with the admission price, and I got there just as a tour was leaving. Our guide was wonderful- an older woman with a fabulous sense of humor, who loved the Bard, the Globe, and the whole project so much it was contaigious. I'm so glad I got to see the theater and have such a great tour!
Next I headed to the Tate Modern, which was right next door to the Globe. This was an incredible museum, though I don't much care for modern art. I love the really abstract stuff, like Calder, Miro, and Rothko, and the collection was fairly heavy on surrealists and other stuff that just doesn't do it for me. I had lunch at the cafe on the top floor of the museum, which was amazing. The museum is located right on the Thames, across the river from St. Paul's Cathedral. The cafe is on the top floor, and has glass exterior walls, providing for an absolutely astounding view. The food was pretty good, too.
I then walked across the Millenium Bridge and up to St. Paul's Cathedral.
(This would have been SUCH a great picture if my camera hadn't crapped out!)
After touring the Cathedral, I went to Islington, a very cool, not very touristy neighborhood with tons of fabulous shops and restaurants. I want to go back and explore this area in more detail. I wasn't wandering aimlessly, however, I was on a mission: a YARN mission. Loop is a fabulous little yarn store located just off the main drag between the Angel and Highbury tube stops. The store is cozy and bright, and stocks some fabulous yarns. Mostly Debbie Bliss, but lots of smaller labels as well. I broke the yarn diet and bought some yarn... Very expensive yarn. But it's London yarn, so who cares! I got one ball of the Be Sweet Ribbon Yarn in Eau de Nil, a beautiful seafoam green mohair boucle with bronze colored ribbons tied at various intervals, and one ball of HipKnits Hand-dyed Cashmere Sock Yarn in a bright teal. It's gorgeous.
After the yarn binge, I walked up to Arsenal soccer stadium to get a souvenir for the boyfriend (oh yeah- did I mention we're not broken up? Yeah.)
Then I headed to Liberty, one of London's major department stores. Liberty is home to a famous fabric and yarn department that stocks Rowan fabrics (Kaffe Fassett's patterns are amazing) and Rowan and Jaeger yarns. The arrangement was so spectacular- they carry the fully Rowan line in every color, and it's all arranged by hue. I wanted to get a picture, but I felt stupid taking photos of a wall of yarn, and there were too many people milling around for me to get a decent shot. I met up with the Rowanettes, who meet twice a month in the Art Bar Cafe at Liberty for knitting and noshing. What a great group of gals! I wish I could find their online forum... Anyway, the group was so weloming- it was nice to sit and chat with some like-minded fiber addicts!
I was only able to stay with the Rowanettes for an hour, becuase I wanted to catch a baroque classical music concert at St. Martin's In the Fields. The concert was fantastic- great music in a beautiful church lit by candlelight! Had a great salad downstairs in the Cafe in the Crypt- by far the cheapest meal I had, and the food was fantastic.
So that was my Thursday in London!