FRIDAY OCT. 7
For the last day in London, we wanted to grab the chance to go see places we hadn’t been to before. Our plan for the day: first to Abbey Road, then Notting Hill.
This is probably the most famous zebra crossing in the world. And that of course is the location where The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover was taken. Tourists would gather right at the crossing, stopping cars frequently.:
… and actually pose crossing it, making numerous takes, cause it’s just hard to find no cars coming, then snapping the right pics at the right time in the right pose:
The other side of the zebra crossing is the famous Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles recorded their albums:
We couldn’t go into the studios, but there was a gift shop adjacent where signs were posted to chronicle the historical significance of the Abbey Road Studios. Sir Edward Elgar opened the Studios in 1931. In 1939, King George VI recorded his now famous “King’s Speech to His Peoples”. Seventy-one years later in 2010…
“Oscar-winning ‘The King’s Speech‘ score recorded. Actor Colin Firth’s speech is re-recorded with the microphone made by EMI for King George VI.”
Looks like we’d come to something truly historic.
After Abbey Road, we headed to Notting Hill. I like the movie Notting Hill (1999), have seen it several times especially now it’s on Netflix, but have never been to that part of London. I’d done some Googling before I left home. Notting Hill is the actual movie location, and the famous 2-mile long Portobello Road Market there is one of the best street markets in London. And it’s open on Fridays and Saturdays only.
It was an overcast and chilly Friday morning, the clouds hung heavy, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. We took the Tube from Abbey Road Studios and got off at Notting Hill Gate Station.
In the movie, Portobello Road is where William Thacker (Hugh Grant) has his Travel Book Shop. He walks past the stalls in the Market to get to his shop.
So here it is. Portobello Road, a colourful street lined with antique and curio shops, and on Fridays and Saturdays, open stalls selling all sorts of interesting items, a bazaar like a movie set.
Here’s William’s Travel Book Shop location, now a gift shop. In the movie, that is where William meets American film star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) the first time. William is totally oblivious to who she is, while a shoplifter recognizes her and has the gut to come right up to ask for her autograph. That’s William’s intro to movie culture. Here’s the location:
Afterwards, William buys orange juice across the street and bumps into Anna again, spilling juice on her dress. Thus, leading her to his house with the blue door nearby to clean up.
The tipping point of the movie happens on both sides of that blue door. Apparently tipped off by William’s hairy roommate Spike (Rhys Ifans), a large crowd of paparazzi wait outside that blue door the morning after Anna stays over, ready to snap anything of the star. Unfortunately it’s William who opens the door in his T-shirt and boxer, and after, Anna in her sleep wear, and last but not least, Spike opens again in his brief only.
Well, here it is, that house with the blue door, 280 Westbourne Park Road:
And of course, the first movie I saw after I’d come home was Notting Hill, again.
That’s a wrap of my five-day London experience, my Thelma and Louise escapade for 2016 with my cousin. Obviously, no… we didn’t drive off a cliff.
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Here’s a recap of my Five Days in London: