I’m rather torn on leaving London. It’s a diverse and vibrant city packed with arts and music and food. It’s an international city in every sense of the word. On the other hand, it’s also jammed full of people. Given my discomfort when things get too peopley, I’m kind of glad to be traveling out of the density. Granted, we are going to hit a few places that aren’t much less closely packed.
The ironworks are incredible! For every plain fence fronting a garden, there are two beautifully wrought gates
The week-long visit was wonderful, in my opinion. The people were quite nice, and we saw so many things that I’d only dreamed of seeing and did things I’d never thought I’d be able to do! Visiting the ravens at the Tower of London, visiting one, if not the, pre-eminent museum in the world, walking through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, seeing (from afar) Buckingham Palace. We did so much! I am rather disappointed that we didn’t make it to Highgate Cemetary, though.
If that weren’t enough, we’d planned in a few off-the-beaten-path stops such as the Novelty Automation Museum, the excursion to find Hodge the Cat’s statue, the time spent watching a glassblower at work, and the visit (by river boat!) to Batteresea to see the power station from the Pink Floyd album cover Animals. Those were icing on a very large cake.
Sculptures in a small square next to Battersea Power Station
And then there were the serendipitous things we tumbled across; the Banksy-inspired street art by Tanksey in Southwark, Chinatown’s gates and lion, and the memorial to Prince Albert across from Royal Albert Hall. (I was not prepared for that one. I stood in awe for a few moments when I first saw it)
Were I to note any negatives about our time there (besides the heat the first few days) it would be the hotel. The gentleman at check-in was blase and dismissive, the young lady later that day and next morning was borderline surly, and noone bothered to mention that the keycard slot turned on the light/power for the room. (to be fair, though, that sort of system sounds to be pretty usual here in the UK) The bathroom tap was trickling or a fire hose, it took me until yesterday to figure out how to access channels above eight on the tv, and it was only this morning after my last shower before we left that I got an inkling on how the shower controls might work, although I can’t test my theory now, of course. I will, however, give kudos to the housekeeping staff. We didn’t see them until we were going down to check out this morning, but they cleaned and remade our room daily to perfection.
A Yeoman Warder giving the Raven talk next to the raven enclosures. Not the Ravenmaster, but that’s ok.
Between the people, food, and sights, it was an incredible experienc. I hope we can find some way of coming back someday.
So off to Salisbury and the old stones.
Observations from day six: ‘Mews’ are converted carriage houses.
You can say ‘fuck’ on tv.