A trip to Covent Garden

I took an hour bus ride this morning to Picadilly Circus – a very “exciting” part of London crammed with theaters and expensive stores.  London is a great place to navigate as the streets do not ever change.  I used a map from 10 years ago and was able to find my way around just fine.  Yes, I used a map.  Remember those?

Remember when we used maps?

I passed a bunch of internet cafes and was so glad I did not have to use them.  I spent much money on my 2002 trip using internet cafes to update my cutting edge online journal (aka blog).

I wandered into an “outdoors” store and went downstairs to check out their hiking shoe collection.  The prices were ridiculously low, which surprised me.  I left with a nice pair of hiking sneakers in a size 40, which will hopefully feel a bit tighter when I work the laces a bit.  Next door was a North Face store… very cool, especially since I was carrying a North Face shoulder bag.  In their downstairs, I found some travel coffee thermoses.  I liked one that was red and small, but I couldn’t tell if it held 12 oz.  Its size was listed as 300ml.  I asked the salesperson if he could convert that to ounces for me.  It took a while, but the manager finally did, and it was only 10.5 ounces.  Too small.  I then texted Jim to ask what 12 oz. was in milliliters.  355 ml.

New hiking shoes

I then made my way to Covent Garden, a place I remembered from my trip 10 years ago.  It seemed changed from back then… cleaner… fancier.  I remember when I first stepped into the plaza all those years ago, there was a man playing Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” on his guitar.  I stopped to listen and gave him some money.

There were no musicians in the piazza today, but it was still bustling with activity.  I gave a browse around the market booths, but it was mostly touristy crap, aside from a few folks selling nice leather purses made in Italy.  I didn’t really need a purse, so I fought the urge. Despite the nature of the goods, they still created a colorful backdrop at the market.

Colorful textiles

Colorful textiles

Colorful textiles

I emerged out the back side of the market to discover a large collection of food vendors.  And not just any food vendors – international food vendors with a variety of exotic and delicious fare.

International food vendors

International food vendors

International food vendors

International food vendors

Unfortunately, the majority of the items consisted mostly of meat, cheese and bread.  I really wanted some veggies!  I had to walk around several times to find what I wanted, which ended up being a corn crepe filled with red peppers, red beans and cheese topped with some hot sauce and avocado sauce.  It was seriously delicious.

Delicious international cruisine

On my way back toward Picadilly Circus, I stopped in a store called Kathmandu because they had coffee containers near the door.  What size were they?  350 ml… perfect!  They also had some really great water containers of the same size, so I picked up one of those, too.  I now have the ability to carry hot and cold beverages!  Awesome!

Travel beverage containers

I caught my bus and got home in time for a conference call.  Then I began the arduous engineering task of getting all my stuff into my backpack.


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