Apr 13 2011

Cheap day in the UK

I am in the midst of my cheapskate’s day in London!

Started with a Tube ride on the District Line to the Temple exit and than a coffee and pastry at Cafe Nero. We walked by King’s College and Lyceum Theater and than crossed the Thames at the Waterloo bridge terminating at the Royal Theater.

King's College courtyard

This put us on the Queen’s Walk on the south side of the Thames. We took leisurely walk along the river and Southwark until we got to the Tate Modern museum. The view of the London skyline, the bridges and the activity up and down the river is lovely.

Me on the Thames with St Paul's in the background

Confession time: while a lot of the stuff there was interesting, most of it I just didn’t get. We walked through the free exhibits on the 2nd and fourth floor. I really liked some of the sculpure and the late period Monet Water Lillies, but much of it was wasted on me. After about 90 minutes of modernity, I was more than ready for some antiquity.

A Greek statue holding up a huge pile of laundry...art?

I actually like the Pollack...picture it about 3 times this wide...

Another couple of blocks down Southwark brought me to exactly the required tonic, Southwark Cathedral. A church has been on site since 606 AD and the gothic splendor of the church was overwhelming. I will try to post up some pictures of the inside but I was particularly intrigued by the John Harvard chapel, and the memorial to the bard. An organist was practicing a performance piece while we were there which added significantly to the ambience. We also sat in on the very brief hourly prayer service. All in all the contrast to the bustle of London outside was truly lovely.

Southwark Cathedral ( say Sutthock)

A further jaunt down the road brought us to Nicholson’s pub for a proper fish and chips with a smear of mushy peas. It only lacked a newspaper wrap for street corner authenticity.

Fish, chips and mushy peas...

From there a walk past the HMS Belfast and a tour across the Tower Bridge to another tube stop. I only made a brief stop at a really cheesy souvenir shop for a bit of Will and Kate stuff for my daughters.

Circle line over to King’s Cross dropped us at the British Library. Beatles manuscripts, the Magna Carta, the Codex Sinaiaticus and FINALLY free WIFI! Thank you Queen Lizzie for that!

The picture is actually the St Pancras station (now a hotel) but it actually looks like london where as the library exterior just looks like…a library.

Not the British Library, but it is next door and way more architecturally interesting!

So we paid a donation at Southwark, paid for the tube and a bit for coffee and lunch. Not bad for 8 hours of touristing!

Now the quest for some proper Indian food, the Hammersmith back to the hotel and than packing for the trip home!

(editors note: Ended up with Thai instead of Indian but it was still a very nice curry!)

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