Not Wimbledon and then Wimbledon
Trip Start Jun 20, 2009
21Trip End Aug 01, 2009
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When we heard Michael Jackson died, we were in a bar called "The Court" off of Tottenham Court Road. A guy in the bar apparently apprehended our group and told them the news. I saw on the television on some channel called "Sky News" that TMZ was reporting that Michael Jackson was dead. I have to be completely honest: I like some MJ songs, but I was never a big fan. Still, it was stunning, especially when not of the greatest mental acuity, that Michael Jackson could be dead, especially right before his enormous comeback tour, with 50 shows right here in London
On Friday, a group of us went to Wimbledon. We left around 1pm and arrived about 45 minutes later by tube. If you're at all familiar with Wimbledon, you know how it turned out.
When we arrived, we found a queue (line) thousands and thousands of people long on the field outside the premises. We were informed by a helpful woman that the earliest we would get in was 6pm, after which of course there would be relatively little tennis to be seen. Needless to say, we didn't hang around. Instead, we decided to return tomorrow.
Instead, we went to Harrods. If you've never heard of it, Harrods is a massive department store in Knightsbridge, London. It's also massively expensive.There are handbags that sell for £2000 there. A 'traditional' Fish & Chips in their food court (more like 'food hall') goes for about £30 (that's about $50). Anyways, when the five or so of my group tried to get in, we were immediately stopped. 'No groups' is apparently their policy. We regrouped and tried to get in a different door
We didn't want the day to be a total waste, so we went to the British Museum for an hour. I saw the Rosetta Stone and the marble statues from the original Parthenon that Greece now wants back. The museum is amazing, and one hour wasn't nearly enough.
To go to Wimbledon,we had to wake up at 4am on Saturday. We got up and took a cab at 5:00m and joined up with a Colorado State guy who happened to also be going and waiting on the same street for a cab. We arrived around 5:30 and got official queue cards for Day 6 of Wimbledon, 'Middle Saturday.' I was number 3,256 in line. We waited in line for about five hours, sitting and talking to the Australian man in front of us. I bought a copy of the Daily Mail, which had a free Wimbledon DVD in it but was otherwise garbage
We got in at about 10:30, an hour after gates opened. We bought ground passes for £20 and went to Court 18, one of the 'show courts' to see David Ferrer from Spain (seed #16) play Radek Stephanek from the Czech Republic (#23). They were extremely evenly matched, and the game lasted around four hours. Stephanek finally won, 3 sets to 2, 6 games to 4. We then took a break to eat some delicious, official Wimbledon strawberries and cream. After that,we headed over to Court 3 and caught Gilles Simone of France (#8) play Victor Hanescu of Romania (#31). The match was much shorter, with Simone winning a decisive 3 sets to 0. It was amazing tennis.
After that, we left, since we were exhausted. We caught the tube back.
Today promises to be much quieter. It started raining for the first time since we arrived, very unusual in London. The #1 tourist destination for me is going to be the laundry room.