Day 3: Sunday, November 1
Thanks to our canny defeat of jet lag, Steven and I woke up at a decent hour. We had time for breakfast in our teeny studio. We discovered that the toothpaste provided was Bobo-sized!
After a leisurely morning in our pad, we met Simon and Warren at Trafalgar square at 11am. Our first solo experience taking the tube was awesome. Everything is so well laid out. The destinations are documented clearly on the walls at each stop. And when we needed to exit the station, there were signs pointing us to all 6 or 7 exits, detailing which streets they led to.
Sadly, Trafalgar Square was partitioned off because the rugby world cup had been projected on a screen there the night before. They were still taking down all the chairs. We took a few pics before Simon and Warren arrived anyway.
For most of the rest of the day, our good friend Simon led us all around London to gawk at stuff, starting with the Westminster Bridge by the House of Parliament, the London Eye (we just looked, we didn’t ride it), and BFI Southbank. At the BFI, we rode the singing elevator up to the bar and balcony just to look around.
Of course, as we looked around, we stumbled upon numerous Doctor Who filming locations. They’re all over the place!
Then we walked back over Westminster bridge and took some pics of Big Ben’s tower. (Yes, I know Big Ben is the bell, not the clock. I don’t really care, and neither do Londoners as far as I can tell. It’s only the travel pedants who push up their glasses as they correct you.)
We had talked about taking a boat back to Simon’s neighborhood, but we decided against it because it was quite foggy. We wouldn’t have been able to see much from the river. Instead, we hopped a train to Simon’s neighborhood, and went to his “local” for a meal. (Yay for Oyster cards working on National Rail lines!) My roast beef was kinda tough, but Steven’s stuffed eggplant and Yorkshire pudding was good. As was the Pino Noir. We all shared a bottle. It was a swell way to rest our bones after all the wandering.
Then we headed for Simon’s lovely abode, but we stopped at a shoppe on the way. Simon bought some After Eight ice cream for an after-lunch treat. Went retired back to his place for ice cream and coffee/tea.
The main reason we needed to repair to Simon’s is that podcasting waits for no vacation. Steven and Warren had to record Radio Free Skaro episode #500 at 3pm that day. It was early for Chris, back in Edmonton, and nearly getting dark for us by the time they were all done. Time zones are funny that way. It’s always odd sitting in a room listening to one person’s end of a podcast. Simon and I sat quietly on the couch and listened to Steven natter on.
After recording was over, we watched archive television while Steven edited and posted the podcast. Simon has a magnificent collection of random British TV odds and ends. It was a fascinating afternoon!
Warren and Simon came back downtown with us for supper, and on the way, we all stopped at Sainsbury’s for supplies. Simon showed us where to find eggs, thank goodness! As I said in the last post, I knew I needed to look in the non-refrigerated section. Simon managed to spot them on the very bottom shelf of a middle aisle. They were almost completely hidden, so I didn’t feel too bad for missing them. Then Steven and I kindly let Simon and Warren leave their grocery bags in our room while we popped out for supper.
We had vegetarian Indian buffet at Chutney’s, another one of the many Indian choices within spitting distance of our hotel. The food was good, but I thought the saag aloo wasn’t quite as good as what we’d had the night before. We had masala tea again, until it started to hurt my stomach.* I also had another falooda kulfi. This one had noodles in it! I keep meaning to check the Indian restaurants here in Edmonton. I loved that drink and want to have it again!
After dinner, we walked over to the Crown and Anchor (which I guess was “our local”) for a couple drinks. I tried whiskey ginger with both ginger ale and ginger beer. The latter was Quite Gingerey and became my favorite thing to drink in London. Here (and in Madison), I’m lucky if a bar has decent ginger ale at all. In London I almost always had the choice of ginger ale or beer. So good!
After basking in the glow of our lovely first full day in London (and the glow of some tasty drinks in a great little pub!), Simon and Warren got their bags and headed back to Simon’s. (That’s where Warren crashed the first few days of the trip.)
Steven and I went to sleep shortly thereafter. We needed to conserve our energy for more great London adventures!
*This is the point at which I determined it hadn’t been the gluten that hurt me on the flight, but the tea I drank with it. Every time I had tea in the UK (except the tea at James’ place), it was painful. Kind of a bummer, but there’s coffee everywhere, so it wasn’t a huge hardship. I don’t even like tea that much, I just wanted to feel “British”!