Well then. Started the day with a 15 minute train ride to Greenwich. The fact
that it took 45 was mildly annoying. As was the weather, which for most of the
day consisted of precipitation. Anyhoo…
Walked up the hill at Greenwich to the Observatory, checked my watch and stood
in the east and west segments of the world.
Caught the very fast ferry into the Tower of London. I guess I probably should
have purchased a ticket online, because the outdoor queue (in the rain) was
shit. Plus people were buying tickets in the fashion Lenny purchased a pretzel
from the Pretzel Wagon (look it up).
Once inside, I headed over to the line up for the Crown Jewels. Despite the
fact that the queue outside the vault (in the rain) took an hour to clear, the
Jewels were rather brilliant and worth the effort. Had a wander around the rest
of the Tower, but by this stage my enthusiasm was fading fast (due to the
rain), so I couldn’t be bothered lining up for some of the other buildings,
which also featured long non-moving queues in the rain.
Because I am a fan of money, I hiked up to Bank of England and their museum.
Good show, but the most interesting thing was their reasoning of sticking with
paper notes, which essentially boiled down to “because we said so.” Another
annoying thing about English currency is that the notes are too big to fit in
my standard Australian wallet. At least they’ve gone metric…
Next stop was St Paul’s Cathedral. Having seen some fairly hefty churches on
the European continent, they’ve all got nothing on this place. Wowsers.
A quick tube ride later, and I was at the British Museum.
Now I’m a fan of visiting museums, and I’m a nerd for documentaries on the
teev. But this place has ruined all other museums for me forever.
100 out of 10. What a place! Where in an Australian museum there might be a tin
of baked beans from the 1960s, the British Museum has a rather hefty range of
Egyptian mummys. I cannot believe that some of things they have on show are the
genuine article… if you ignored the signs, you could seriously lay hands on
some of these treasures.
By the time I got to the upper levels of the Asian exhibits, my brain was
pretty spent. If you looked closely at everything, and read every description,
you could seriously be there for weeks.
Tubed it over to Harrods to check out the food and wine hall, which makes the
David Jones attempt in Melbourne look like a D grade kids team. Impressive.
Walked back to Piccadilly Circus, stumbled across a bookstore called
Waterstones, whose range made Autobooks (the leading London motoring bookshop)
look a bit average. Resisted the urge to put myself massively into debt, but if
I’m still cashed up on Monday, lookout!