Old London Town

Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
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Trip End Jun 30, 2008


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

He says:

Thankfully Gaynor was at home when I arrived back in Leicester so there wasn't any major crisis. After an interesting dinner we were meant to be meeting up with a friend of Gaynor's in town at 9.30. However, with the map and directions in Gaynor's hands we didn't arrive at the designated place until 10:30, just in time to see them disapear down the street in the back of a taxi after giving up on us...  Beccy had earlier mentioned the pub where they were going and so, after going around in a few more circles, we finally caught up with her at close to 11:30... After all that we had a good night (even though I was driving... Gotta love the 0.08 blood alcohol limit). Becky was 3 sheets to the wind by the time we got there so we organised to catch up again the next day for lunch.

So the next day, as well as doing numerous loads of washing and packing, we met up with Becky for lunch and spent the rest of the day saying good bye to Gaynor's extended family who had all been very good to us over the previous week.  After our final goodbyes we left Leicester for London the next morning and after, regretfully, handing our hire car back we checked into our lodgings for the week.  Our hostel is dodgy but really great, we have a loft room to ourselves, which is very cool, but does mean that I have to sleep on one side of the bed or I would be hitting my head every time I sat up.  The location is also pretty good just west of the city and there are plenty of cops around...  Take this as you will...  Not bad for 230 pounds for the week.

Having checked in we set off on our first afternoon of sightseeing.  That afternoon we managed to see the biggest sites, we went on the London Eye, which was...  well...  A giant ferris wheel.  The views were good but due to the london drizzle none of our photos came out all that well.  We then walked over Westminster bridge, on the way picking up Gaynor an overpriced, but in Gaynor's eyes, Pretty, souvenir, saw the houses of parliament and big ben, which Gaynor talked about as though it was a pokie (inside joke, congratulations for those that laughed at that point).  Gaynor blames Rob and Tony apparently...  After that we managed to see Buckingham palace, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Horse Guards among many others and after our poor old feet could take it no longer we grabbed some dinner from Tesco's and retired to our room.

After having got most of the touritsy shots done, the next day it was time to get cultural, so we were off early to the British Museum. Much like the Met, despite spending the best part of a day there we hardly scratchd the surface and, as expected, it was really impressive. I can't decide whether I prefer the Met or the British Museum as they are both quite different... It seemed to me that the British, being the earlier empire, had gone through and taken everything that they could carry, while the Americans, being American, had gone through 100 year later and taken everything else that they could buy or haul back... So the British have heaps of smaller, more intricate items, while the Americans have larger and more imposing things (like enitire Egyptian tombs for example). By mid afternoon we were well and truly museumed out so it was off to Lords... We arrived, by chance, just in time to join a tour (good luck for me, not so great luck for Gaynor) and so I got to reenact Warnies antics on the balcony, take a clandestine photo of the Ashes, get shown around the members pavilion, explore the media centre, perform the key test on the wicket, watch a game of real tennis (weirdos) and watch Trescothick being interviewed. All very exciting (despite the tour guide being old and boring). After Lords it was off to Abbey Rd before walking through Notting Hill (had to give Gaynor something after Lords), which was all very pretty... That night we had our first moment of Australian cringe when we went out to dinner at a great Greek place where, we subsequently found out, th previous night 4 drunken Aussies from the local Walkabout had smashed the front window and assaulted the owner... I wonder how easy it is to become a Canadian citizen?????

Yesterday morning we were off to St Pauls, which was very impressive and had (in my opinion) far better views of London then from the top than the eye, despite the 500 odd stairs we had to climb. After St Pauls it was off to the Tower of London, via a detour through the CBD, where we did all the usual things... Gaynor saw the Crown Jewels (very bling), I saw the torture room and we both watched the inspection of the guard... After spending over $60 to get in, I was rather shocked to see donation boxes everywhere, including, of all places, right after the crown jewels. In my opinion, if they are so hard up for cash it's time to start pawning of the family jewelry... After the Tower we caught the ferry up the Thames to the Tate Modern, great building, shame about the content...  And walked across the Millennium bridge, winding up at St Pauls where we had started the day. That night we managed to meet up with Hunty a friend of Gaynor's for a pub dinner and after one too many pints it was off to bed.
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