Friday, August 12, 2005

A More Relaxed Day

First, let me finish yesterday's recount. After the Tate I went to Chinatown and Soho and walked around there a bit. Then I posted on NegativeMode, and then I went to a pub to relax and wait for PositiveMode and his friend to get back. After that we had a few beers, went to another pub for dinner and a few more beers, and then headed back to the hostel. We were all pretty tired from a busy day. Plus, we're getting old.

I will take this opportunity to correct earlier comment about not all pubs/bars being open late. There is actually a specific law that requires all pubs to close at 11pm. Bars and clubs, however, may stay open as late as 3 am. So, if you're looking for late night partying/drinking, you have to go to a bar or club. As for the difference between a bar and a pub, you can't really describe it, you just know it's a pub and not a bar (use the duck test - if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and smells like a duck. . . .).

Anyway, today was much more relaxing than yesterday. Got up late, around 10 and headed out of the hostel around 11. P-Mode and I headed up to the two main sights I didn't hit on my whirlwind tour yesterday - the British Museum and the British Library.

The British Museum is very good, although there isn't much British about it. The main attractions are definately the Egypt exhibits (mummys and all) and the Greek/Parthenon exhibits. Both very good. The building itself is also very beautiful, especially the newely opened (12/2000) Queen Elizabeth II square in the center. It is actually the largest enclosed square in Europe. Nice for those cold, rainy London days (it is sunny again today).

We stopped at a pub for P-Mode to have a beer (he needs alcohol every 4 hours or so to function properly) and then headed to the British Library. The Library houses what are best described as the most amazing literary collection of historical documents around, including: the Magna Carta, original, hand written works of Beethoven, Mozart, Shakespeare, Lewis Carrol, Leonardo Da Vinci, etc., etc., etc. There is also a Gutenberg Bible and other extrememly old, famous writings. I thought it was very cool to see such important historical documents in person. Neato.

After that I strolled around Hyde Park for a while, checked out Speaker's Corner (not much speaking going on) and promenaded (I have no idea how to properly promenade, but I'm working on it) down Oxford Street to the internet cafe in which I currently find myself located. The rest of the night will be pretty low key, dinner and a few pints and then off to bed.

Tomorrow I take the quite expensive Chunnel to Paris fairly early in the morning. I'm sure it will be an absolutely scintillating train ride. . . .

1 comment:

Circe said...

Birtish Museum is my favorite! Though the Tate and National Gallery were also pretty great. You did it the right way and just did it on your own the first day. I did pretty much the same thing you did in one day..except hike to the top of St. Pauls...wasn't going to happen.
You did miss out on Bath though..my favorite few days of my 6 months there. Took a tour of the region for 17pound 50. Saw Stonehenge, Avebury Rings, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Longbarrow, Marquis of Bath's house with its incredible Churchill museum and safari park, Salisbury Cathedral, and the Cotswolds...best money I spent the entire time. Stonehenge sucks. I was thoroughly disappointed...crowded too. Avebury Rings is better...bigger henge and stones as big as houses in the ring with a processional path to it with dolmens for more than a mile. Plus you get to see what the locals have done as far as creating crop circles along the way.