I’ve been doing the unthinkable and writing far back in retrospect. Blogger faux pas? Perhaps, but I felt wrong leaving a significant chunk of my journey unrecorded. Alas, here’s a look back at December.
After far too much deliberating over whether or not to abide by the pesky Schengen Area regulations (90 days in the region per 180 day period), I decided to play it safe and spend sometime in England and Croatia.
I spent a few weeks with friends and families of friends in London, with a wee bit of Couchsurfing in Brighton and Canterbury (chose the latter as a base for a day in Dover, home to the famed White Cliffs). I’m going to leave my England entry brief, just a few lasting impressions and (mostly edible) visual highlights:
– Dreary weather and gray skies made me want to be lazy and eat cookies and drink mulled wine and hot alchy cider all day….which on some days is exactly what I did.
– The coffee is crap and the pub culture is impressive. The same great older male character watching you can easily find at coffee shops in Italy (and Croatia for that matter), you get sitting in a pub at lunchtime in England.
– Pub food is surprisingly good.
– Everything is disgustingly overpriced.
– Lots of doughy things, but a pasty is tasty.
– Camden Markets are a trip: vendors selling cheap eats yelling for your attention and tons of fun, generally negotiable, shopping in the markets and down the road.
– Walking along the grassy expanse atop the White Cliffs of Dover is a beautiful, peaceful (at least in the off season) experience.
– People are very polite and quiet on the tube, even during rush hour. The amount of discomfort this caused me made me realize just how much of a New Yorker I’ve become.
– Jamie Oliver owns that country. He is inescapable.
– London, Brighton and I’m sure plenty of other towns have tons of fantastic (albeit many overpriced) thrift shops.
– Lots of visually stimulating candy shops.
– Oxford Street around the holidays is quite possibly more overwhelming than Times Square.
– Big parks and the Thames make for a nice walking city.
– Hot alcoholic drinks are everywhere through the holiday season. They are sugary, comforting and slightly addictive.
– Changing of the guards is largely an overcrowded yawn. The royal band plays for a while which boosts the excitement, but it’s mostly you taking pictures of iphones taking pictures of iphones taking pictures.
– Brighton is sweet! Small seaside town with kitschy pier, alternative bent and plenty of quaintness to boot.