Sunday, February 18, 2007

London So Far

Made my way to London late Friday afternoon. Seeing that I will have been travelling for a total of 10 days before I get home to Glasgow I did need to bring a suitcase as opposed to a small carry-on bag. This always causes a problem as most train and tube stations here have stairs, the odd time there will be an escalator - but only for part of the journey. And it's not just a few stairs but many stairs.

I must say, the chivalry of the men here is to be commended. At each point when I began to attempt to drag my heavy suitcase up the towering stairs a wonderful gentleman would see me in my struggle and not even ask if I needed help but would just grab the bottom and help me up. In one instance the man wasn't even going to the same platform but made a detour in his journey to lend his assistance. My faith in mankind has been bolstered.

Saturday was a very full day. It was also a lovely day. Beautiful blue sky & sunshine and not even a slight breeze. We walked to the train station to get into town as we are staying with friends of friends in the suburbs. When we got to Waterloo station it took a while to get oriented. I knew where we needed to go and what tube line to take but it was trying to remember how to read what direction you needed to go.

When we got to Leicester Square our first order of the day was to try and get show tickets. Had we the ability to do it all over again we should have ordered our tickets on-line but we didn't and as a result anything we were interested in seeing was completely sold out. We'll have to try again next trip. Next up was lunch, did I mention how nice it was outside? Grabbed a sandwich and some crisps and just sat outside and soaked up the sunshine.

It's right about now that I admit to Brenda that I'm having a bit of an anxiety attack. I don't know what the deal is but right now there is a sea of people everywhere. This has caught me quite off guard as it's the middle of February. Where have all these people come from? Just trying to walk down the street it's impossible not to get jostled around and have multiple people walk/bump right into you. I need to find somewhere that isn't so packed.

We make our way down to the Thames and walk towards the Tate Modern. This is a much better route not nearly as man people. I can feel my heart rate get back to normal.

We make our way across the wibbly wobbly bridge (or the Millennium Bridge as it's really called) and can see the courtyard in front of the Tate Modern. Again where are all the people coming from. We walk inside the gallery and I feel like I'm in a shopping mall the week before Christmas. Inside the actual exhibits you need to jostle for space to view a piece. It's just crazy.

We only do about 1 and a half floors of the gallery and we've had enough. We make our way to St Paul's Cathedral and manage to hit the middle of a choral evensong. So lucky us, no entry fee plus some fantastic music.

It's after 5 so the area has pretty much shut down, even the Starbucks. But when we get back to Leicester Square it's wall to wall people again. Since seeing Spamalot is no longer an option we get tickets to a movie and grab some dinner before hand.

The movie 'Hot Fuzz' is superb - done by the same guys that did Shaun of the Dead (another fantastic movie). And when it was over we needed to make our way back to Waterloo Station. Another lesson in negotiating crowds of people but we made it back to Richmond safe and sound. It was nice walking back in the peace and quiet. When we rounded the corner of the last block we even saw a fox trotting around checking out the garbage.

My feet hurt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you meant "Shaun of the Dead".... and what are crisps? Chips?