Friday, September 23, 2011

Sherlock Holmes Adventure

Oh. My god. First let me just say: today was the best day. EVER. Look at that picture up there. Just look at it. Do you recognize it? Do you? Hmm I wonder why it could be such an interesting place... OH WAIT IT'S BECAUSE THEY FILMED SHERLOCK THERE. That's right, it's the outside of 221b Baker Street in BBC's Sherlock, only my favorite thing in the world ever (aside from Doctor Who and Greg and Dr Pepper)!

So let me just explain. My friend Shaun, who I know from way back in Montana, was the one who initially inspired me to move to London for grad school because she was coming here to study Library Science. She arrived in London a day before me, so we finally met up today to have a day of Sherlocky fangirl adventure! The first stop on our list was, of course, Speedy's Cafe on North Gower Street. We had lunch of fish & chips there, and discussed many dorky things and giggled a lot and were giddy. It pretty much ruled. If you like Sherlock and are able, you should go there; the man working there (the owner?) will tell you all about the filming and stuff. Amazeballs!

Our tour didn't stop there, though. After the fake Baker Street we headed over to the actual 221b Baker Street and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Turned out that tickets were 6 pounds (jeez Louise), so we just went into the gift shop and took photos of that and each bought a little Baker Street plaque for 4 pounds before leaving. It was super dorky and tons of fun.

After Baker Street we took the tube to Piccadilly Circus (which is not, contrary to what I used to believe, an actual circus with elephants and a tent). While waiting for the train we discovered that, excitingly enough, the Baker Street tube station is chock full of Sherlock Holmes's visage! Behold.

Oh man. The awesome things never end in London, you guys. Even the tube stations are full of photo ops. Anyway, Piccadilly Circus was incredible, and kind of felt like the Times Square of London but with a lot fewer flashy lights and more double-decker buses. There were human statues lining the street, people piled onto every conceivable sitting place, and a constant moving throng of humanity on all sides. I loved it. Can you spot me freaking the eff out below?

London is a lot more fun with a friend who's been there before. Shaun lived in London for four months while studying abroad in college, so she knew her way around for the most part and took us from Piccadilly Circus down to Trafalgar Square. The walk there was beautiful in itself; I can't get enough of the architecture here. You just don't get that kind of old stately beauty in the States, you really don't.

Trafalgar Square was exciting as well, but the sun was so bright I didn't get many decent photos there so you'll have to wait to see the lions and Nelson's Penis Tower or whatever until later. We did go into the National Portrait Gallery because we'd heard a photo of Benedict Cumberbatch might be in there, but sadly it must have been removed months before and was no longer on display. It was just before this discovery that we'd both wolfed down Mars bars at an inhuman speed, so needless to say we were disappointed and nauseous.

Not to be daunted, however, we decided to "walk it off" by ambling up into Soho. At first we thought it was some weird strip club neighborhood, but soon we came out of a little alley into a cool hipster-y street with weird hipster cafes and many fabric shops.

If that weren't exciting enough, eventually we ended up on Oxford Street, which... let me tell you. It is full, chock-full, of shopping. There are two H&Ms within like a block of each other. Two! Should that be allowed? That should not be allowed. And yet it is. We mere mortals shall not complain. There was also Aldo, New Look, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, and a bunch of other shops to tempt us. Luckily Shaun had a play to get to at 7:30, so we did some quick shopping in H&M (I limited myself! I swear!) and then took the Bakerloo line together before parting ways at the Piccadilly line. I nearly fell asleep on the way back to Uxbridge; that's how exciting my day was! Super exciting, guys. Super exciting.

Sorry I didn't take any photos in Soho, it wasn't stereotypically British enough for me. I only take photos of the Union Jack, double-decker buses, and Big Ben. Tough luck. ♥

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