the day i payed attention to graffiti

day eight in london

This morning started off with our usual trip to Caffè Nero for an iced coffee and lemon poppy seed muffin. Each morning I hope that my coffee will be better (sweeter) but it never is…  After our coffee stop at the coffee shop ( ;) ) we headed to Shortridge for a street art tour.

IT WAS THE COOLEST EVER. Our tour guide, Karim, showed us all kinds of street art/ graffiti across the city and explained to us some of the stories behind why certain artists did certain things, etc. and it was so stinking cool. The whole time we were trying to figure out if any of the artwork was his, or if he was a part of a “crew” (a group of people that paint together) or if he was just a guy that knew a lot about the art. So after three hours of playing detectives and asking all sorts of questions, he finally showed us one of his pieces. It was neat that he decided to show us because usually on tours like ours, they don’t announce that they are artists, let alone show the tour group their work, but he did and the puzzle pieces started falling together.

After the tour, we headed to Borough Market for lunch. It was this maze of food vendors that set up each day in this market place to serve THE best food. Of course when I saw the fresh watermelon juice, I had to get some, and then I also got this delicious olive and cheese bread. It reminded me of the breads that we used to get in the bakeries in Australia for lunch. After that, Dorion, Ralph, Derrick, Holly and I headed to a pub to hang out before our site visit of the day. They all got drinks and I tried my hardest to not fall asleep.

We headed over to The Shard, which is owned by the State of Qatar. The Shard is a gorgeous, relatively new building in London, with lots of money. Pure white walls, marble desks, the receptionists were tall and drop dead gorgeous and were all in the exact same dress. I was dying for a picture of the lobby because, like Big Light, I wanted to work in a building like this, but as soon as we got out our phones, the security guards ran over and demanded that we put them away. You got it dude. The Shard is home to Al Jazeera, our site visit for the day. Al Jazeera is one of the largest news organizations in the world and is owned by the Qatar government. We met with Richard Gizbert, news correspondent and show host, and he shared with us his opinions of American’s, how he thinks we are all German’s and how we respect authority too much. It was a very interesting conversation to say the least.

After that, we RAN to the London Eye to try and make our appointment. We missed it, but they let us on a little bit late. I guess that’s a perk of traveling with a large group. The London Eye was a huge Ferris wheel with capsules that you stand in and you can see over the entire city. We had our own pod to ourselves, which made for a fun time. We were able to watch the sunset on the ride and it was GORGEOUS. Unlike anything I’ve seen before.

After the London Eye, we moseyed over to the Udder Belly again for dinner and drinks, until it got too cold and we headed back. I was missing Mexican food, so I went for the nachos. lol. When people tell you not to get Mexican food in the U.K., listen to them. I feel bad for those poor Brits if that’s what they think good Mexican food is. We might have gotten lost on the way home, but we made it back safe and sound and now we’re writing our site visit thank you notes, doing a load of laundry and hopping in bed.

Annie Bradshaw