Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sherlock Holmes Museum, Abbey Road Studio, and Indian Food

Slept an hour later on Saturday, December 24th. It was nice! There were only a few attractions that were going to be opened that we had not already seen, so we could spend a little more time snoozing and be all right.

I was looking out the window of our hotel as Frankie was getting ready and I saw this guy.

Cab Driver in Training
Before our trip we had watch a Rick Steves' video about London and he mentioned how the cab drivers have to study all the roads in London and even know the history.  Rick Steves also said that if we saw anyone driving around on a scooter with a map in front of them that they very well could be a cab driver in training.  I am pretty sure the man in the picture was doing just that.  At one point I saw him raise his hands in confusion and disgust trying to figure out where he was.  I was very comical from my point of view.

Out of the hotel we started our day off by stopping at a French bakery called Paul, for a pastry and a coffee.  They had some delicious looking goods!

Paul-French Bakery

Paul-French Bakery3

Paul-French Bakery4

I had taken several pictures, as you can see, and then there was something I saw in the front counter that I wanted to take a picture of.  I asked the lady behind the counter, since she was standing right there, if she minded and she said that she preferred that I didn't take any pictures.  It was fine if I took them from the window outside though.  Ummm.....oops! C'est la vie!

Sneaking off with my stolen pictures we headed to the tube stop and on to Baker Street, home of the world's most famous address. 221b Baker Street - Sherlock Holmes!

Baker Street Station

Baker Street Tube Decor
I am sure this was just promotional for the movie, but it was still cool to see at the Baker Street tube station.
221B Baker St Door

Time Period Police
That is not a real policeman, he was dressed in the time period that Sherlock Holmes was set.
It was 6 pounds (about $9.50) each to get in.  I really wish I would have read Sherlock Holmes BEFORE going to the museum.  I think we would have found it much more enjoyable.  I already knew about the pipe and hat of Sherlock Holmes and I did read the book once we got home. I found it fascinating and highly recommend it to you!

Sherlock Holmes Pipes

Sherlock Holmes Hats

The rooms were set up to show scenes from different cases that Holmes had solved and it showed how the rooms in his house might have been set up in the Victorian age.

The Man with the Twisted Lip
This one portrayed the case called, "The Man with the Twisted Lip".
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
From "The Adventure of the Speckled Band".
Our experience, without any real background knowledge, caused it to be not very fun.  We were crammed in a small house with a bunch of Asian tourists. Not to offend anyone, but my experience with the majority of Asian tourists have been as follows: They come in large groups and take a lot and I mean a lot of photos of each other at each and every landmark, spot, or anything of interest. They pose in their pictures and use a lot of peace signs....a lot of peace signs.

We finished up at the Sherlock Holmes Museum and headed out towards Abbey Road Studios.

Adjust Your Dress
Seen on the way out of the Sherlock Holmes Museum
 Just down the street from 221b Baker we stopped at a shop dedicated to the Beatles.  They had EVERYTHING Beatles!

London Beatles Store
Store Window
Beatles Socks
Beatles Suitcases
With all the goodies I walked out of there with only some postcards, which my usual souvenir. They are cheap, easy to bring back home and they usually capture scene that I cannot because of a no photo policy, too many people, the event or scene was in the past, or I can't get to the right angle for that perfect shot.

We were now prepared to go to the Beatles Coffee Shop and Abbey Road Studios which required us to get back on the tube and head to the St John's Wood station.  The coffee shop is just around the corner from the exit of the station. It is small but a nice stop.  Abbey Road Studio is a short walk from the station.

Beatles Coffee Shop

Abbey Road Studio2
We couldn't go into the studio but that is OK, the fun part is the famous crosswalk and the fence outside.

Abbey Road Crossing and Studio
THE crosswalk that the Beatles walked across for their album titled Abbey Road.
Abbey Road Crossing

Let It Be

Yellow Submarine

Hey jude

Come Together

Take a Sad Song and Make It Better

We sat there awhile and watched other people crossing it and pausing for pictures.  There were a lot of cars that would drive by but some of them would stop and wait. I am sure the people of that area are use to it.

Girls Walking Across Abbey Road
Once done with Abbey Road Studio we decided to go to Camden Market, but before we got very far we saw this family.  Is this not the epitome of an English family!?

British Family

The twin boys with the hats and scooters.  The baby in the pram.  It was perfect and I got a picture of them without them seeing me and wondering why I was taking a picture of them!

After another tube ride we made it to Camden! It is not food market like Borough market. It is a mix of strange, interesting, and the possibly illegal (we didn't see anything bad, but you never know!)

Camden Market2

London Shirts
The one on the right is from the recent riots!
I want the skulls and roses rain boots (or wellies as they call them)!

London Punker
Oh crud! They saw me taking their picture!  Teehee!
Platform Boots
Those on the left would make me at least 5 foot 7 inches tall! (Assuming they would add 6 inches)
We were walking along among the tightly pack stalls. I was about 10 feet in front of Frankie when suddenly he catches up to me and says that we needed to get out of this area very quickly. He said that he was about to punch some guys because as I walked past them they acted like they were going to grab me from behind. They were joking (I think) but Frankie didn't think it was very funny. He just glared at them. They turned and saw him and instantly started to apologize repeatedly.

Frankie is a BIG white dude with a beard and mustache and if you don't know him he can be VERY intimidating. He is my body guard. They were not big white dudes, they were average sized Indian guys. I thought their reaction was so funny...they probably wet their pants just a little. It took Frankie awhile to calm down and even if you bring up now he still will start fuming.

We ended up eating lunch at Camden market at a Mexican food place of all things. They said their boss was from Mexico. We both had quesadillas and they were good!

Mexican Food
I though it was funny that we were in London eating Mexican food made by Asian guys while listening to Middle Eastern music and sitting on the seats of Italian motor scooters. It was GREAT!

Moped Seats
Frankie saw that one of the stalls was selling Persian tea. He bought us both some and it tasted so good although it was very hot.  I burned my mouth terribly!  They guy also gave Frankie a date (the fruit) for each of us to try. I like dates, Frankie didn't care for the texture. This was the first one I had fresh as opposed to dried.

Before we got too far out of Camden market Frankie saw a little shop that was offering foot massages. He wanted to get one yesterday in Chinatown but I didn't want to have to wait around. We didn't have much else to do so he went in. I thought he was going to ask that poor Asian lady to marry him because it felt so good to him. I just felt sorry she had to touch his feet for 15 minutes. He feet are not use to as much walking as we have done this trip and they were hurting him.

Frankie Getting Foot Massage
That's Kim from Thailand...poor girl!
We had plans to meet friends at 6:30 at Khan's restaurant and we still had about 3 hours to kill. So we walked on and found this huge "for Europe" grocery store. It was the size of  a Wal-Mart Super Center food section. We bought some food gifts found only in the UK and went on our way with a now heavy-ish bag.

We went to see Big Ben and the London Eye one more time and then headed to the restaurant.

London Eye and Blue Lights in Trees

At Khans Restaurant we ate some wonderful Indian food. I had Chicken Korma which is chicken with cream, almonds and coconut.  The picture does not do it any justice.  It was my first taste of Indian food and man I have been missing out! It was DELICIOUS!

Chicken Korma and Naan
Frankie had Pasanda which was marinated lamb pieces prepared in cream, spices and cooked with coconut, almonds and cashew nuts. Also, very good! We both ordered naan which is the flatbread in the picture above.  It is a little thicker than a flour tortilla but with a similar taste if the tortilla is a homemade one. We also had papad which is a like a thin chip that can get dipped in various sauces.

Papad and Dipping Choices
The Papad and dips.
I knew I would be experimenting with Indian food recipes once we get home and have.  It has been a great adventure into a new food land. I know there are Indian restaurants near where we live but we will have to search them out. We tried one recently because we had a Groupon (online coupon) for it, but I don't think we would go there without the Groupon, because it was rather expensive.  It was good, but costly.

The friends that we met up with are great people and I am so glad we got to meet. It was the first time to meet them offline.

 At one point I was digging in my purse for something and realized my passport was not in there. I didn't say anything to anyone.  I swallowed my heart and reasoned with myself that I probably took it out accidentally when I grabbed post cards and bags yesterday out of my purse. I stayed calm and when we got to the hotel I checked for it as I prayed. It was there...shew!!!

The next day was Christmas and we knew that there would be no public transport and very few things open.  We decided we were going to chance it and not buy any groceries for Christmas day and just hope we could find something to eat.

Stay tuned for our last day in London and see if we had to go hungry for the day or if we found food!  I know, I know...very dramatic and now you are hooked, right?