September 9, 2008

Me and the shower are enemies. It gives me a minimal jet and water on the bathroom floor. A become its friend, he finds out that one must turn the nozzle too. All showers have their own personality, you have to be a technical genius to understand them. Breakfast is both continental and British, muesli, fruit, juice, coffee, tea, scrambled eggs, bacon, and baked beans! I take a little of each, except the white beans. They remind too much of brown beans, which I detest. A TV set is hanging on a wall, now it shows today's weather forecast which predicts rain in the day. What should we do today?

We walk to Whyteleafe South railway station, where we buy a day travelcard for 7 pounds. The train takes us through the London suburbs to London Bridge in 40 minutes. We switch to the "Jubilee" underground line to Westminster. I hate the underground. Passages here, there, to and fro, lots of humans running somewhere, moving staircases are transporting zombies up and down between something. I always feel lost and confused. The first thing one sees when rising from the underground at Westminster is the "London Eye" on the other side of the Thames. This giant Ferris wheel of the millennium is slowly turning round. A lap takes half an hour. We are not interested in it, instead we walk to Westminster Abbey, where the great physicist Sir Isaac Newton is buried. It would be interesting to see the tomb but not for 12 pounds which is the entrance fee. Then you should have more time to walk around and see the rest of the abbey too.

K, A, and I continue to the Natural History Museum, J deviates to shop. There is no entrance fee into the museum, we have time and take time to exlore it. The first one sees when coming into the monumental building is a huge dinosaur skeleton. The time is well used in an interesting museum with fossils, ecosystems, animal collections and more. More about the museum can be found on their website, which is among the links. Animal collections is something not to be supported but they are, hopefully, all from the ancient times when it was popular for explorers to bring exotic animal species home. Outdoors is a "Wild life park", it's late in the season and not much to see. The restaurant serves large portions, I have a children's portion for lunch.

After the museum, we feel like a beer and go, in light rain, down to Chelsea. We ask a man to recommend a pub, "Chelsea Potter", he suggests: "George Best was there often and drank beer." For those who do not know, George Best was a divine football player in the 1960-70s. He drank too much. The pub is nice, but there is nothing special about it. We've got our beer anyway. Now we are getting hungry and so we continue to a nice restaurant at Sloane Square. My chicken liver salad is not so nice, the liver is a little too red for my taste.

It is rush hour and the subway train is crowded. A and K squeeze themselves in. Leaving me alone on the platform in the urban jungle! It takes two minutes before the next train arrives which is empty. It is good to have my own compartment. We meet J at London Bridge. She has found what she wanted to buy. At St. Martin in the Fields, the church in Trafalgar Square, she "met" Prince Charles with his wife, that is the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Appropriate given that our trip is to Wales.

The London eye
Westminster Abbey
Isaac Newton
Natural History Museum
George Best
St Martin in the Fields
Prince of Wales

The London eye

Matural History museum