Once the tour was over I headed out to see the places not covered by the tour. Granted there really wasn’t much as we covered quite a bit!! I was accompanied by another single traveler and together we headed toward the eye o f London. We walked along the river Thames and viewed the Eye of London from across the street. It is really MUCH more impressive at night!! I only had the chance to see it in a nighttime view 4 years ago when I had a 16 hour lay-over in in London and opted to speed walk the city at night instead of just hanging about the airport. So the pictures of the nighttime shots are from 4 years ago just after new year- not during the current trip of August 2014.
The Eye of London is currently Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel and each passenger capsule (which holds up to 25 people) represents one of the London Boroughs- 35 in total! From the Eye of London we swung inward toward Piccadilly Circus, one of the best known areas for shopping, shopping and more shopping!!! It honestly reminds me of Times Square in N.Y.C. since the streets are oddly angled in the center and there is a HUGE TV screen with adverts, etc constantly going.
Anyway, since I’m not a shopping fan I really didn’t have much business there… I just went there so I could see it during the daytime:) Anyway, at this point it was quite on in the day and both myself and my companion were hungry. So we set off to Brick Lane, which I had heard from several locals that it was THE PLACE to go for Curry. Getting there was quite interesting however… We opted to hop an underground train which was no problem at all… However once we got out on to our exit we had a humorous time finding the street! We walked out of the station and headed aimlessly down the road in the direction that the map “suggested” to go down. I spotted a street called Brick Street and thought, hey, that must be it!
So down we walked… and walked… and walked… and walked…… The sceneries changed, the scents in the air changed and we thought for sure we HAD to be in the area!! However, apparently we ended up in a Moroccan area and after several attempts to find someone who spoke English we discovered that Brick STREET was where we were and Brick LANE was where we were supposed to be… So back to the train station we went and lo and behold, had we taken a left out of the station instead of a right, we would have been on the correct street in all of 2 seconds flat! It really was a good thing I had a patient person walking with me, otherwise the detour could have turned sour!!
Once on the correct path, Brick Lane stretched for what seemed like forever with endless Indian food restaurants on both sides of the “Lane” and each place had a huge banner that hung out front claiming they were voted the BEST Indian food from TripAdvisor in 20XX or the BEST value from TripAdvisor in 20XX and to boot each place also had a man standing in the doorway trying to lure each person in their place! To be honest it was all just a little overwhelming and though we were hungry trying to choose a place sent my head in a tailspin! We did eventually settle on a place that seemed to offer the best deal but honestly I wasn’t impressed at all. The place was fairly packed with people who sounded British so I thought for sure that it should have been a good place. But then again because we were ordering off the “tourist” menu and not off-roading from their full menu, maybe the quality wasn’t as good… who knows… Anyway Brick Lane to me personally was a bust. Nothing that special and just over the top with restaurants!!
Once done with lunch it was beer time, so we headed back to the hostel for a little break, then to get a drink!