Grace and disgrace

Trip Start May 25, 2007
Trip End Oct 29, 2007

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Saturday, June 16, 2007

After a late start, as I was still feeling last night, I got to the famed British Museum.  Free (woohoo!) and very large it seemed like a good way to pass the day until I got my wits back.  The place is really impressive with artifacts from every corner of the globe.  After a while though I caught myself skimming through much of the areas because I was tired and my back ached (mostly a product of the anti-diarrhea pills i took - ugh).  The ancient civilization areas were obviously my favorite, even though the place was packed which surprised me even for a free museum.

Walking north toward the National Library I happened upon Russell Square and a group of Korean dancers performing in the park.  I'll try to post a video for you to see, but if it doesn't work trust me that they were exquisite, even in the pouring rain.  The 30 minutes I watched them was the most entertained I'd been in a while.

As it was near closing time when I got there I had only about 30 minutes in the National Library, but it was worth it.  Getting to see the original books and documents that you read about so often was more impressive than you might think.  For many of the books they had a VR interactive copy that you could 'flip' through and read or learn more about.  A great addition to an already interesting collection.

I realized that I hadn't yet seen Piccadilly Circus, so there I headed.  After being to Times Square in NYC this place was all tourists with nothing to see.  Very disappointing after all the hype.

A few words about the London Underground.  The tube makes getting around London almost too easy.  Sure the stations are big and labyrinthine but it is impossible to get lost and can get you anywhere in the city in a few minutes.  Even though you don't get to see the city, like on the buses, it makes getting around a breeze.

When I had got back to the hostel I had 3 new roommates:  Two friendly Argentines and one Brazilian woman who, after 30 hours of traveling to get to London, found out that Air Italia had lost her luggage.  I felt so bad for her especially since there was nothing I could do to help.  It's shameful that she travelled all this way only to end up with the clothes on her back.  Even with the sophisticated tracking systems at the airports it sucks that this can still happen.  I hope things worked out for her.

Tomorrow it's off to Iceland.  I wonder if it'll live up to the hype?
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