I was few times in London but always on business without time for sightseeing so decided to change it.
After few hours trip landed at London Gatwick airport. Some say that’s worst one of five but was not so bad. Why there? Because I could and I was on Stansted, Luton and Heathrow already (plan to use City one next time). Short trip to the city and hello Victoria station — long time no see…
Bought Oyster card to use public transport in easiest way and took a metro train to hotel. Nothing fancy — just cheap (65£ per night) hotel without any extras (but with working free WiFi).
Unpacked only needed things and went to city centre. Victoria monument, Buckingham Palace, the Mall etc. More or less followed the most popular trip from the “Trip Advisor” application.
Went to Thames, crossed with one bridge, looked at London Eye (and decided to skip it) and then Big Ben and Westminster Abbey were next. I considered returning to the Abbey next day but later decided against it.
Grabbed some food and went to sleep early as it was 3rd day when I woke up around 5:00.
Thursday… Skipped Westminster Abbey and went by foot to the British Museum. Met Mark Brown on a way and we had good time looking at all those things which British Empire had stolen from all around the world. We didn’t managed to find Britain sections.
After lunch I went to the Forbidden Planet store. And sunk there for quite long time. Then got back to buy two more books. This place was amazing…
They had stuff related to movies, games, tv series - figurines, key chains, t-shirts, toys, rings/jewellery, helmets, weapons and other… Some from limited editions. But when I wondered “is that’s all?” I went to the basement. And sank.
Comics, books, movies, tv series, manga, anime, photo albums and more. Books about movies, books which movies were based on (and vice versa). “Darth Vader’s princess” and “Darth Vader and his son” were there (9£ each), “Simon’s cat” books which my daughter would love (so I bought one), lot of SF and fantasy books in nice editions (Asimov for example).
“Big book of butts” looked funny. Next one was “Big book of legs” next to “pin-up girls” and other photo/erotic ones.
Nice place to go to but I warn you - you can leave a lot of cash there and have problem packing…
Lack of Britain sections in museum made me go to their website to check floor plan. And back to the building to see few more exhibitions. When I finally found what was searching for they told us to leave :-(
But no need to be sad I thought cause I was going to meet long time no see friends at a pub not so far away. Went there, ordered some “organic lager” and sat down to wait for them. Few minutes later I had a chat with some guys around 60 years old about some random stuff. Good part were their recommendations which beer to try next. As you probably guess it was not lager but rather ale or something more English.
YaaL and Pornel arrived and we had nice chat about life, work etc. Time passed too fast :-( But it was good to meet after so many years.
This had to be no museums day. First I went to visit Canonical’s office as I have never been there…
Finding building was quite easy, then discussion with security took a bit more before they finally realised that I am on a visitors list already. Got tour of the office, looked at wall full of Ubuntu Touch interface mockups, discussed few of them with someone, made some coffee and left the building.
Next step was Tete Modern Art gallery. I spent few hours there watching all those sculptures, paintings and installations which were counted as art in previous century. Did not even tried to understand those…
Due to cold I got during previous days I went back to the hotel. But why stay there when there are so many places to visit and so little time?
So I decided to make use of longer opening hours at the British Museum and went there. This time managed to see Britain sections and European Medieval times ones. It was good evening.
As this was my last day in London I decided to not go far from the hotel. Checked out, left luggage and went on foot to the Science Museum.
Lovely place. Went quickly though Space exhibition (cause most of it I saw at Cape Canaveral already) but other ones were worth seeing. Age of Steam with all those engines and descriptions, vehicles like bikes (starting with “safety bicycle” by Rover), motorcycles, cars (including JET 1 powered by gas turbine) but also planes (with replica of Wright brothers one) and helicopters.
There was also special exhibition about Alan Turing and his work.
I enjoyed the “Materials” exhibition — especially body model with some artificial addons and long list next to it informing which materials can be used for which implants and other inserted parts.
After visit I went for food, took luggage from hotel and then the Underground to King’s Cross train station and went to Cambridge. But this will be next post.