I hadn’t brought my bike on the trip, it just seemed like too much to deal with, and, although I’d seen some cyclo-tourists and there had in fact been a big event ride going on while we were in Iceland, I hadn’t missed riding. We hadn’t been total couch potatoes, I probably did more walking than I usually do, but by the time we got to London I was feeling like I could use a little more physical activity. Although, even if I’d had it, I’m not sure I would have ridden a bike in the city.
oops! I’d set the alarm but somehow didn’t turn it on. I still woke with enough time to get out for a bit before our Aunt was scheduled to arrive for the day’s outing. I thought I’d heard rain, but of course forgot that until I got out the door, and didn’t feel like going back in for my jacket since it wasn’t pouring. I did get a little damp but not soaked and of course it let up by the time I was finishing my run-ish sort of activity.
Yes. Sans a bike, I … ran. In a loose definition of the word, and OK there was some walking in there too, but yeah. I made it to the top of Primrose Hill, which was much quieter than it had been on the previous day’s dry evening. I noticed an E along with the Blake quote. That’s random … oh… wait. directions? Ah yes,there’s W, and N and S. They were not quite where I’d guess them, but I didn’t have a compass to double-check so I just had to take their word for it. I continued down the hill and a bit into Regent’s Park then went back along the Canal Path and Regent’s Drive.
Our Aunt was delayed by the queue at the polls – the country was voting on the referendum about leaving the EU. Once she arrived we visited a bit and then headed out for the day. The weather had gone to unsettled and quite muggy.
We walked over to the Underground station, and had a run through of the transport for the excursion WCN and I would be taking on Saturday. We went to Waterloo station, where we would be catching the train. wow allthepeoples The masses were a little overwhelming, but our Aunt predicted it would be quieter on the weekend.
From Waterloo we went back to Trafalgar Square, this was to show us how to get to where we have to catch the bus for Harry Potter. Logistical details for the future taken care of, we then proceeded with the day’s activities.
First order of business was on of the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing buses for a general overview/lay-of-the-land. The guide I’m sure had lots of great information, but it was delivered in one continuous stream all jammed together that was hard to follow. With the convoluted London Streets we’d see things that seemed like oh it’s just over there but no, we’ll be going by it later. and omigarsh the traffic…
We went around Trafalgar Square and Pall Mall – I picked out of the streamofinformation that there’s a gold thingy on the establishments where the Queen shops – after passing by Hyde Park the bus broke down. Yes, we are traffic. But it did give us a front row seat for when some royal carriages went by. Another bus was sent, and we continued around past Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben look kids! and the House of Parliament, and over Westminster Bridge.
We got off by the London Eye for food. There’s a Pret (A Manger) – one of the many prepared food stores. We’re not the only ones to have the idea it’s time to eat something, and the unsettled weather has concentrated the peoples. I have a Moment about just how many people there are, but manage to not scream or run away.
After we eat and go back to the bus stop, there’s another bus there that is broken down. hmn. Bad Bus Day. We wait for another yellow… a few reds come but no yellow… The ticket agent keeps saying there is one on the way, but… traffic, and shrugs.
Eventually we go with Plan B. Public transport to the British Museum – which hadn’t been on anyone’s “list” in particular, but our aunt insisted. We walk over the bridge through more allthepeople. There’s a guy playing the bagpipes. We take the bus, it’s on of the red double deckers. Woot, check that off the list.
I have a nice selected greatest hits of the Museum, then check out an art store. I exchange a bit of money, which I probably didn’t need to do, since everywhere seems to take cards, but it seems odd to not have any local cash. It doesn’t seem like as much as I thought it would be, but then again, I’m on vacation in a foreign country so it’s not “real” money anyway…
I got a little snack at a market, and was thinking it was time to head back to the flat, but at that point it seemed like commute time and that maybe public transport would be crowded. Fortunately I had a map and realized I could walk back. And it wasn’t raining. Too much. I got to see a bit more of Regent’s Park, and although it wasn’t particularly ice cream weather, I went to Marine Ices and had a yummy gelato.
There was still a man on bridge campaigning for RemaIN – that is, not leaving the EU. We chatted a bit, I asked how he thought it would go. He said it was hard to say. He was not so concerned about how London would vote, but wasn’t sure about the rest of the country.
June 23, 2016
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