Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
29Trip End Dec 2006
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Everytime I log in, it shows me how many people check my blog. I fear that, since I was gone for a few weeks, many people have gotten out of the habbit of checking it. More's the pity.
For those of you still out there, a few general thoughts about London. I have started falling a bit behind in my journal, so I will give you the highlights when I have them myself.
The Tube is a sign that man truly is a thinking and reasoning species capable of marvelous things. I, who got lost on the Philadelphia train lines, feel quite confident of my ability to Tube just about anywhere in the city. It is easy, clean, and, for the amount that I use it, relatively inexpensive (note: relatively. Every pound you spend, you double it to get what you are spending in dollars, but still...). Did I mention that it was clean?
Museums. London has more museums than Georgia has peaches. I have been to the Museum of London, the British Museum, The National Gallery. Still to come are the Dickens Museum, the Sherlock HOlmes Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, The Imperial War Museum, and the Geoffrey's Museum. OK, so I probably won't get to all of those. Especially considering that most of them take six or seven visits to go through. But the glorious thing about all of them is that they are (for the most part) free. You can just wander in. When I was in the British Museum, I was meandering by myself and I just happened to stumble across the Sutton Hoo artifacts. SUTTON HOO! The Anglo Saxon helmet that is on every published copy of Beowulf known to man. And it was just me and it. Side note: at most of these museums, you can take pictures.
For the book lovers out there, I need say only one word: Foyle's.
Foyle's is a bookstore off of the Tottenham Court Tube station, but not just any bookstore. Imagine your standard, one story Borders, like the one by Deane Hill. Now add to it one half again its floor space and that is roughly the size of one of the FIVE STOREYS in this book store. What a magnificent place. If, at the end of this trip, you don't see me on the plane, you probably have some pretty good guesses as to where I might be....
Another fun, cultural experience we had was, wandering out of Foyle's (or in some cases physically restrained and dragged), we encountered a roasted chestnut seller on a street corner. He was appropriately sooty and his cart smelled like Winter. Being the chestnut deprived Americans that we were, we immidiately supplied this man with more custom than he had probably seen in the last hour. They were a little dry, but it is the thought that counts.
On a slightly sadder note, though my faborite rugby team in the world, the New Zealand All Blacks, are going to be playing Britain's international side, the Lions, at Twickenham stadium in London, I won't be able to go. Tickets, as far as I have been able to find, cost in the triple digits, and the first number usually isn't one. Keep in mind the exchange rate. When I have $400 to spend on a sports ticket, that will be the first I will buy, but 'till then, I shall have to be satisfied with absorbing the match from the nearest pub with a big screen TV. Pay no attention to the random american kiwi in the corner....I am sure that there are cheaper tickets, but I have no idea how to procure them and the internet is sadly lacking on this subject. Oh well.
I end this entry in a hurry, since we are headed out to a Hindu Festival of Light in Trafalgar Square momentarily and Colleen wants her computer back.