Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back in the big smoke

We got back into London on Thursday afternoon, and started hitting the sights again on Friday. We decided to try and increase our gallery stamina in preparation for hitting the Louvre next week, and took a walk to the National Gallery. It is absolutely massive, and we spent hours walking through hundreds of amazing pieces of art, by all the big names, and even tried to look like we knew what we were doing...but really we just looked like tired tourists, and after several hours of one artist's impression of a naked baby Jesus after another, we decided we'd call it a day... only to find we'd seen a mere fifth of what the gallery has on offer. So we'll probably be back - good thing entry is free!
Friday night we decided to try a little pub we had read about, called the Jerusalem Tavern. It is apparently renowned for it's interesting and original private brewery beer varieties, and we were not disappointed! What was a little surprising was that the entire interior seated about 10 people all up, and so the road out the front was packed with men in suits standing around drinking... all very bizarre, compared to what we're used to - but very common here, where inside space seems to be always at a premium. Then again, it isn't prohibited to drink on public transport here till the 01st of June, so I guess drinking on the street shouldn't be surprising either. Anyway, the three of us ordered a honey porter, a cream stout and a spiced cinnamon and apple ale and all three of them were so intense and strong in flavour that we had to share them between us, and it took an hour and a half for us to finish one beer each! Super tasty, and a really fun [and cheap!] way to spend an evening 'out'.
Saturday morning after watching the Crusaders beat the canes in the Super 14 semi we headed out to the Borough Markets, one of the biggest and busiest markets in London. It was huge and everything looked so good, and it was absolutely packed full of people. So many stall with tables almost groaning under the weight of stacked up giant wheels of cheese, others with baskets and baskets full of individually made chocolates, stalls with delicious smelling fresh baked breads... and an awesome beer stall that had shelves and shelves full of individual beer bottles, the most varied range of beers I've ever seen in one place... including a 330ml bottle of Tui, pride of place on the top shelf, next to a bottle of Speights... yeah!! We just had to ask, and they were £1.70 each, but I guess they had a long way to come to get here... :)

Wandered back home via the South Bank and crossed Waterloo bridge for some impressive views, though we were struggling to hold the cameras still as the wind was so strong.
Sunday we missioned to the British Museum, which was awesome [and free, our favourite kind]. Some really impressive collections from a huge range of times and places, and you were allowed to take photos of everything, which was a nice bonus.
Yesterday was a bank holiday, and we decided to take a trip to the Science Museum...which, if we had of thought about it ahead of time... was probably not the smartest of moves. It's an awesome interactive museum, with lots of child-friendly exhibits [so perfect for us ;)]...and we went on a rainy public holiday... when all the parents in town wanted to get their children out of the house... it was PACKED full of tiny loud annoying children, so was a more stressful experience than we might have hoped, but was impressive all the same.

Went to a service at St Paul's Cathedral last night, which meant we could have a look around the inside for free rather than paying for a £10 tour, and wow it was super impressive. The dome is just huge, and all the interior walls are painted or carved and the whole place just feels so ornate and large and impressive - definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately you can't take photos inside, but it was awesome all the same.
And that's about all the exciting [or not so exciting] things we've done so far. We've got quite a few things left on the list to get done before heading to Paris next Monday [yah! Paris!], then the French adventures begin!! :-D


Taryn said...

Happy birthday antony!! Well it is here, dunno what the date is where you are.

Phill Hutt said...

Well, thought I'd leave a note just to let you guys know that I am reading this thing. Good work, keep it up. Glad to see you're keeping yourselves busy. Yay beer!