Sunday, August 28, 2011

Natural History Museum (Part 2)

When I talked about the Natural History Museum, I mentioned that I wouldn't talk about everything you can find in there nor show everything you can see in there, namely the blue whale room, because it would make for an extremely long post. Which is why I decided to split it in two, and so here is the second part of the NHM installment!

The blue whale room is amazing - at least to me. It features most of my favorite animals (this favorite animal thing is a bit preadolescent-ish but oh well, I do love deer and whales) and is arranged beautifully: the blue whale and other sea mammals are hanging from the ceiling, and here and there you can see a moose, a bison, and many more wonderful animals. 

For more information, check my previous post. Hopefully these photos will make you want to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Portobello Market

Summer in Madrid is hard to deal with, especially these last few weeks, so here I am home trying to avoid the heat, and while I'm here, I've decided to do another blog post before 2016 arrives. Today I'll be talking about the Portobello Market, which you can find on Portobello Road (obviously), next to the Notting Hill Gate tube station.

In order to get there you just have to follow the crowd, walk by the Book & Comic Exchange store and keep walking through some streets that have very CUTE houses that must cost a pound per square centimeter per month (basically because it's Notting Hill we're talking about).

And then you'll get to this deserted street (yes) (especially on the weekends). But it's worth it.

The most interesting thing about this street are its antiquity stores and stalls, which go from the beginning to the end of the road, and of which I am a fan (something you might have noticed if you've been reading this blog for a while).

These stalls are there from very early in the morning until about 4 in the afternoon, so I'd recommend you go early in order to make the most of it.
Of course, not all of it are antiquities. You can also find a toy store, cafés, clothing stores, bakeries, and even a store and bar selling Spanish products (Garcia & Sons), which was nice in my case since I was able to find really good Spanish tuna.

If you keep walking straight (if you come from Notthing Hill Gate station) you'll see on your left at some point a wide street where there are more stalls.

As you can see there are lots of things to do on the area and all kinds of stores. If you decide to spend the day there, in order to rest and/or have a sandwich you can go to a small park you'll find on one of the streets to the right (I'm giving you the best directions on how to get there, eh?) where in summer you'll find some beautiful tulips (even though I'm not the biggest flower fan, they do look really nice!).

And then, if you want to keep walking or go shopping (since that's why many people come to London), you can go back to the station and keep walking the other way until you get to High Kensington, a nice but expensive neighborhood that's nice to look at and at the end of which is the Holland Park, which I'll talk about in the future (as well as High Kensington Street).

Friday, August 5, 2011


Hello friends! Long time no "see". I can't stop listening to Songs: Ohia. Their album Magnolia Electric Co. is awesome... You should definitely check it out.

Today and after a thousand months I'm going to talk about a slightly cheese toy store. Well it's just cheesy in a few areas, and I mean, everybody has different tastes, so I don't even know why I said anything in the first place. It's a nice store and it has nice toys.

HoneyJam is a store that opened in 2006 in Portobello Street. It is located just in front of the Café Garcia (you can see its reflection on the above picture), where you can go have some churros if you miss Spain. Because, you know, I have churros everyday while I'm here... 

Anyway, what I like about this store is that it focuses on vintage toys instead of all the new technologic toys you can find everywhere nowadays - the store itself looks old, with its wooden floor and shelves full of toys that remind me of my childhood (although I have to admit that I like After Noah better...).

Maybe something I don't like that much about this store is the obvious difference between the boy and the girl sections: on one you will find pirates and the like, and on the other most of the toys will be pink and purple. 

But as I've said many times, we all like different things so maybe you won't mind that, and so maybe you'll find there the most awesome (pink and purple) gifts. 

In any case there is more HoneyJam than the girl section so browse for a bit and you'll probably find nice and small items (including the beautiful wrapping papers) that could make for good presents.

And if you get bored, you can always go out and check Portobello Road, a street full of stands, which I'll talk about next time. Now I'm going to play some guitar.