Today was a beautifully clear day, but deceptive because it was actually very cold. I did not dress for all the outdoor activities I had planned. Anna and I walked from our apartment down to the Waterloo Bridge to meet up with a friend of hers. We all walked from there to South Bank and the Borough Market. The view from Waterloo Bridge was amazing. Big Ben and the London Eye on one side, and St Pauls and the Gherkin (the one shaped like an egg) on the other. South Bank was neat to walk along the water. I found sand sculptures on the way, and other artistic sites like the National Theater.
We arrived at Borough Market at lunchtime and probably the height of the crowds. But I fell in love with it immediately anyway. Each stand was different. There were cheeses, meats, breads, fruits and vegetables, chocolates, fish, and various spots to pick up lunch! I went to Brindisa for their chorizo, pepper, and rocket sandwich. I read that it was good, and it was. Though now I have to go back and have the toasted cheese, the salted beef, paella, and oysters!
From there we walked to the White Cube gallery. It is a famous contemporary art gallery. They are famous because they are the first to give single shows to the YBA’s, the Young British Artists like Damien Hirst. The show there was by artist Antony Gormley. His work looks like different shaped boxes all stacked up in different ways. The piece made specifically for the gallery is a giant one in a huge room, but what makes it unique is it is interactive. The blocks are hollow and you start at one end and walk through the different interconnecting boxes. The weird part is that they are at varying sizes and varying visibility. Some you have to crouch down, one area you have to crawl (I skipped that section). Some rooms had light and certain areas were pitch black. It was quite a unique experience!
After that we went across the street to a coffee shop. The street we were on is called Bermondsey, and use to be a big textile area. The Fashion and Textile Museum is on the same road. I had a great hot chocolate and warmed up before taking off again. We walked back to the Tate Modern and spent a few hours in the gallery. I’m not a big modern and contemporary art person, but there were certain pieces I really liked. The museum itself is impressive. It is housed in the former Bankside Power Station, and is right next to the reproduction of the Globe Theater. While in the museum we ran into Mia, Kate and Brittany (all DC school friends), and we all headed home together. On the way we stopped in at The Lamb, a pub famous for being frequented by Charles Dickens and Sylvia Plath! We ended up in a cozy corner playing Scrabble for a couple hours.
I did have a full day, but still had planned to do more! I suppose it is good to leave more for another day.