Queenie, Natural History and back to Cuffley

Trip Start May 30, 2008
Trip End Nov 02, 2008

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tubed it into London from Brighton, exhausted from much partying, and decided to head to the National History Museum, via Buckingham Palace. When I got to Buck Pal, however, it was absolutely packed with people. Asked one of the lovely policemen what the hell was going on - apparently it was dear old Queen Elizabeth's birthday and she'd be appearing with the family shortly, to wave briefly. After checking the time and realising it would be at least 2 hours before her Majesty appeared, I said 'screw that' and headed to the Natural History Musuem.

Can't say it was that exciting, to be honest. The dinos were cool and the retro-stylings of the human body exhibition was funny, but I thought the Science Museum totally kicked it's ass. Do I really need to see a life size model of a horse in a cabinet? No, I really don't.

Back in Cuffley yesterday, for a stroll around some gardens which had been opened up for public viewing in a nearby villiage. Mid-summer murders scenes again - people drinking pimms and eating cream teas amoung beautiful summer flowers, with brass bands playing in the background. Had a nice Sunday lunch with the family at Mazza and Steve's then crashed out pretty early (still experiencing Brighton fatigue).

Trained it into London town again today, to go to Portobello Markets. It was a little quiet (think it hots up more on the weekends) but I managed to score some bargains (shoes, a dress, a ring made of a piece of lego). It felt a bit more like English weather today too - not too cold but cloudy and grey. After mooching about the markets (noting that numerous second hand shops have pics of Kate Moss and Siena Miller outside them as certified proof of their coolness), the sun finally came out.

Grabbed some lunch and a beer on the Portobello Green lawn and listened to this guy playing a really strange instrument. Looked like a cross between a drum, a tabla and a cooking pot. It sounded really cool though, a perfect soundtrack to my lunch time chill out sess. I had to find out what it was so when he got up I asked him about it. Apparently it's called a hang, an instrument from Switzerland, and there's only a few thousand made in the world. He'd just come back from Bern, where he had it tuned, and said he'd brought a spare 1000 in the slightest hope that they would sell him another one while he was there. Unfortunately not, so he's on the waiting list which is 2 years long!

Walked back to Nottinghill Gate, and, as I didn't really have much else to do, jumped on a random double decker bus. Ended up in Knightsbridge, where, although I was on a main road, I immediately got lost. Have discovered, though, that if you're lost somewhere in London and a bus full of Americans tourists with flashing cameras stops in the nearby vicinity, you're generally somewhere famous. Turns out I was standing outside the front of Harrods. With my bearings regained, I walked down to South Kensington and am now awaiting a phone call to go out with another one of Ben's mates, Jules. Hoping to do a tour of Greenwich tomorrow, then sort my stuff out on Wednesday for the big trip to Scotland on Thursday.
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lind on

your adventures
sounds like you are finding your way around pretty good. Hope you bonded to the buses. When Luke and I went to Big Ben by tube in 2001, we emerged from Westminster Tube climbing up the steps from the dark, dank, underground blinking into the light. An Aussie Westbus (somehow) passed by. That freaked us out! Next we caught a golden double decker (it was Queenie's golden jubilee year, so some buses were sprayed in gold). We went to Hyde Park via Oxford Street up top in the golden double decker. xxxx

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