Day two was reminiscent of childhood and Harry Potter. We spent the day exploring the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood and The British Library. Both areas surrounding the museums were beautiful and I was glad to explore places that not many tourists were in.
I started my day with a delicious but mostly American breakfast. I filled myself with eggs, a pancake and pork sausage. Our adventures started around 10 am with a long journey on the tube towards Bethnal Green.
Upon leaving the underground we were met with unique buildings and windy weather. The area surrounding the Museum of Childhood was filled with old architecture and a lot of construction. Sometimes I forget that even tourist cities need to update their buildings.
The museum was filled with various toys and clothing representing childhood from different time periods. Some of my personal favorites dealt with the toys that showed images and moved. I particularly liked the toys that were cameras and mimicked movies. Here I found displays of a viewfinder, video games and mini cameras.
I also found displays showing different styles of children’s clothing as well as what people wore to go out for an evening. Another personal favorite was seeing the Furby! on display as I currently have one but I also had an older version of a Furby!. It is easily one of my favorite things because of the sounds it makes.
Being in the museum was very nostalgic and it was fun looking at other pieces of childhood that I may not have experienced. There was also a primary school on a field trip so I got to experience the museum with a bunch of small children running around. It might sound a tad crazy but I loved watching them interact with the exhibits and each other. It almost made me want to be a young child again, almost.
We were dismissed for a few hours to find lunch and explore the area. I decided to go to King’s Cross station where 9 3/4 platform is located. Other than accidentally getting into the train station and not being able to get out, the trip was smooth.
We waited in line to get a picture and despite not being obsessed with Harry Potter it was a magical experience to have. (I was sorted into the Slytherin house only a few days prior so I was able to sport my house scarf in the photo as well.)
After my group took our pictures and explored the gift shop, we wandered towards the British Library to find some food. Across the street was the Euston Flyer, which is where we decided to go for lunch. It was very similar to the two pubs I ate at yesterday. One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is that at some restaurants you order at the bar and pay there opposed to paying at the table. I’m personally a fan of this because you don’t have to wait forever to pay for your meal.
I ordered a burger because I was all fish and chipsed out from my two meals yesterday. Although I think it would be fun to only eat fish and chips and rank them from best to worst.
At 2:55 we walked towards the British Museum for our 3:00 pm entrance time for the Harry Potter exhibit. This was fun to look at and read about. It took the classes that students take at Hogwarts and gave real history about the subjects. It also gave new information about Harry Potter and it’s development that I didn’t know. I saw illustrations of various characters and got to read early versions of the screenplays and novels.
After finishing the exhibit I made my way upstairs to see what else there was. It wasn’t much because the building’s main purpose is a library and those areas are closed off. However, I did stumble upon an exhibit about sound recording which was pretty interesting. It went through how it was developed and the museum put out headphones for people to listen to various sounds they had in their collection.
After this quick visit, a group of us took a taxi to Camden Market. It’s a small area filled with souvenir shops and small market shops. It reminded me of the little shops in Chinatown in New York City. I was able to find some small trinkets to bring home with me but by the time we were finished in the area, we were all really hungry. It was time for the lengthy tube ride back to High Kensington Street during rush hour commute.
I learned today that you should avoid the tube at all cost during these times. The train cars are packed and unless you’re lucky enough to have a seat, you will be holding on to a railing and your arm will get tired.
For dinner, we ate at a place right by our hotel called Bills. It was really good and I was still very nervous to eat fish and chips for fear I wouldn’t eat all of it so I got a cod burger. It was delicious. I also decided to treat myself with a sparkling cocktail and a warm brownie for desert. All very good choices made.
Another thing that I’ve learned in London. You have to ask for your check because unlike America, the restaurants aren’t overly concerned about turning tables over. They don’t mind you sitting around with your friends just chatting.
I ended the night in the lounge area of my hotel with a group of people trying to figure out things to do in our free time and when to do them. Overall, it was a pretty relaxing evening, which is nice because I will be on my feet all day tomorrow exploring Oxford!