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Londinium: Day 7 “More Museums Day”

Monday, September 9

I guess I’m an every other day kinda writer.

Portobello Market wasn’t all that spectacular, but that could be because it was closing down as we got there. We walked around Notting Hill for a while until we realized we were near the hotel. Had mediocre sushi for dinner, then we walked down towards Hyde Park where they were having some sort of music festival.

We didn’t have tickets (totally sold out), but we sat outside the barriers along with many other cheap Britons and listened to a section of what we now know was the Last Night of the Proms.

The BBC Otchestra played the title song from Star Wars and the Lark Ascending, then the guys from the West End play about the Beatles did their set.

After that, we walked back to the hotel, where Steven and I found the Last Night being broadcast on the television. Apparently it is a big event indeed.

Everybody in the crowd was quite festive and cheerful, and when they played Pomp and Circumstance, the entire crowd bobbed up and down like British Oompa Loompas. They also sang along with Pomp and Circumstance and Rule Britannia — we had no idea those songs had lyrics.

Today was a rainy day*, so our plan was to attempt what museums we hadn’t been to.

First we went by the Science Museum. It was interesting enough, but it wasn’t the British Museum.

Then we went down across the river via the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern. We saw some Picassos and Pollocks, and a bunch of stuff that really made no sense.

By then I was hungry and had the bright idea to eat in the cafe. One plate of fish and chips later, I felt horribly queasy, and back to the hotel we went.

I slept it off (still not hungry) and now it’s 7:45 pm.

Tomorrow we fly out of here, but not until after 2, so we’ll do some last minute walking and poking about.

Not sure about tonight, but I really don’t want to eat anything.


* [Ed. note] On this entry, I completely forgot to write about our to-dos on Sunday. So here we go.

There was talk of rain on Monday, so we decided Sunday would be our last chance to do outside stuff. First, we took a quick Tube ride to Paddington, to see the bear and all that. I went into tourist mode for a second and purchased some Paddington Bears and a book for the kids.

Then back on the Tube to head toward Regent’s Park. We ended up walking down a fair bit of Baker Street, and passed by the home of Sherlock Holmes. There’s a museum there, but the line looked outrageous, so we walked on.

Regent’s Park was the most beautiful park we came upon in London. It was very garden-y and the day was just spectacular — fantastic weather. I indulged myself in flower pictures. They had a rose garden that the Birmingham Botanical Gardens would absolutely kill for.

Afterwards, we began to make our way to Greenwich Park, home of the Royal Observatory and the Prime meridian, or a Prime meridian, rather. The best, or most interesting way, to get there was to take a ferry down the Thames, which was pretty neat. A few clouds and rain swept through on our journey. Thankfully we were covered by a faintly dirty glass roof. Makes for faintly fuzzy pictures.

At Greenwich, we found London’s only hill. We hiked up it to get to the park. At the top, the view was fantastic.

We walked around the Royal Observatory, but at seven quid to get in, walking around it was all we did.

Then more rain began to roll in, so we made our way back west.

We wound our way to St. Martin-in-the-fields, where we had a snack at the Cafe in the Crypt.

After that, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit, and that was Sunday.

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