Unsurprisingly, Pike Place is part of the “Greatest Markets” list according to Lonely Planet. It really is awesome though. I was really pumped to see the Public Market sign, and we totally saw the guys throwing fish. Also: biggest shrimp and lobster tails I have EVER SEEN. It was amazing. Seafood and produce so fresh it looked like it couldn’t possibly be real. I didn’t explore the area as much as I would really have liked too, partly because that’s not really my beloved’s kind of thing and partly because it would take more than 2 days (I honestly was surprised to go down a set of stairs and find a whole new layer of market underneath where I’d just been walking).
Great buskers, good food, and just an awesome atmosphere in general. If I lived in Seattle, Pike Place would be a regular haunt for me.
The English Lake District as a whole appears on the list twice, one under the dreamiest fairytale destinations category (because it’s Beatrix Potter country), and the other under most spectacular natural destinations. I have to say, it is not the most spectacular natural destination I have ever been to. I could probably come up with 10 that were miles ahead. Still, it’s on the list so that’s another 2 items, but I honestly can’t say I’d recommend it. It’s lovely but kind of touristy, and if you’ve been to the Rockies, or the west coast of Canada, or basically anywhere in Norway or Glencoe in Scotland, or even the badlands of Alberta, you’re not missing much by comparison. I also realize that I was likely completely spoiled by the order of my travels and what I’d seen by the time I got there. Again: I had a great time, but I’d sooner go back to the area to visit York or Scarborough than the lakes themselves. Great day trip if you live there though I suppose.
This falls in the Britain’s most-visited sites category. Went for a cruise around the lake with my aunt & uncle when I was in the Lake District for a couple of days. The commentary wasn’t great, but the boat trip was nice, if not thrilling. I had great weather though, so that was a plus. The best was when we cruised past a hotel on the lakeshore where you can buy a £1600 picnic hamper.
This came under the category of “Spine-tingling commutes.” I walked from Wren’s monument to the Great Fire over London Bridge, then along the Thames past City Hall, over the Tower Bridge and then back to the monument and tube station. It was pretty cool, especially since I was there with a bunch of actual commuters at 6pm on a Monday. I was passed by loads of runners, plenty of people in business attire (both with and without appropriate walking shoes), someone shooting what I think may have been a music video, someone else recording a tour of London, and other random tourists like me.
I have to say, if I lived in London I’d walk to work as much as possible. I love their underground system, but during rush hour you do feel like an actual sardine in a tin. The sidewalks around the touristy areas, on the other hand, are wide and spacious. The views are great too, despite my obvious suck at producing panoramicly-stitched photos.
This is part of the list of “Best British Regional Food” and the only one on said list that I managed to complete on my most recent trip. Although I didn’t take a picture of it, the dinner I had at Skinny Malinky’s Café was two round slices of my beloved haggis atop cubed turnip and a potato mash with whisky cream (although to be honest, I couldn’t taste the whisky). The non-mashed turnips were a bit unusual, but still very good. Nothing takes away from the haggis though; I could eat that stuff almost every day.
Scotland is on the book’s list of 10 friendliest countries to visit. I can vouch for this because I’ve been there a few times and even the people who aren’t my family are generally warm, friendly, and happy to help visitors. Glaswegians in particular don’t tend to take themselves too seriously (see Wellington, Duke of), which I appreciate.
This is a place you could spend days in before you see it all, but I was only there for about an hour. Still, it was pretty impressive. I always enjoy a museum that is a piece of art in itself, and the Kelvingrove doesn’t disappoint. The first thing you see when you walk in the street entrance is a beautiful big organ that they use for weekly recitals.
It also doesn’t hurt that the building sits on the grounds of the University of Glasgow in a gorgeous park. It’s definitely an experience worth repeating.
Drove out here with my auntie and uncle because it’s not terribly far from where they live. It really is a work of genius: instead of a 6-lock system where 2 canals meet, they now have this wheel that rotates and takes boats up about 3 or 4 storeys in a matter of minutes. We even had a cup of tea as the wheel swung out right overtop of us.
I was only in here about half an hour before they closed for the day, but it is an amazing building in its own right and I’ll be back as soon as I can make it. The Great Court is gorgeous, and I did get to see the Rosetta Stone. I think it’s one of those places that’s crammed with so much information that you just can’t rush, so it’ll probably take me a few visits to get everything in. Considering I only saw 1 room in half an hour, I think I actually did ok.
We were staying in Stavanger overnight anyway, so I asked my cousin if we could take a quick drive to see the swords. They weren’t as big as I thought they would be, maybe 20 feet high, but they were still cool to look at. My cousin gave me photo tips on how to use the setting sun flare to my advantage.
I don’t know if it would be on my own personal ‘ultimate things to see’ list, but still worth a look since I happened to be there and am unlikely to ever be there again.