Monday, July 4, 2011

A British orientation

Jet-lagged and awestruck, we still tackled London's public transportation as soon as we arrived. We even met some nice gentlemen from Wales in the "queue" waiting to purchase our tube passes. We began talking with them after laughing at a 90-year-old woman got out of line from right behind us and announced to us all, "Bollocks, I don't need to be waiting in this line." Sure enough, she already had her card and just needed to get through the turnstile. Big British Moment #1 -- first real-life use of the word "Bollocks"

Big British Moment #2: Our hotel clerk asked us, "What are you, Australian?"

Our first stop of the day was to check out the Victoria & Albert Museum. The cast iron -- very cool. The stained glass -- even cooler. The details of the carvings and castings -- unbelievable. The co-ed bathroom -- very odd. But we wrung out some of the jet-lag by relaxing in the garden by the wading pool and watching the people splash around and checking out the incredibly ornate building.

The building facing the garden at the Victoria & Albert museum.

Ryan took this close-up of one of the columns on the building exterior.
After returning to the hotel for a brief nap, we got our second wind and headed out to the London Eye -- the giant Ferris wheel. Elizabeth and I tried to practice photo techniques we read about on the plane ride over using one of the text books from her class. We published some of our best shots in an album. Then it was off to find grub ...

Big British Moment #3: I spilled my first part of a pint in the UK.

Yes, my clumsiness does cross continents. After finally figuring out how to order food at a pub (you do that from the bar just like the beer) I tipped over my pint glass. Fortunately, only about 1/3 of it was left by then.

(This post was written by Ryan. Although I am equally clumsy, I managed to keep all of my beer in the glass. This time).


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  2. Yeah for London! My favorite city in the world. I spent a semester there in college and fell in love immediately. I hope you guys have a good time. If you want some travel tips for your three extra weeks there, let me know. I could write a book. Here's a tip already: You're there while the state rooms at Buckingham Palace are open. Go! It's great. My favorite thing from when we were there in 2009.

  3. Good for you guys. I hope you have a blast. Elizabeth, don't read too much.

    The Victoria and Albert Museum is a few blocks south of where I stayed last year. If you're in that neighborhood again, there's a great spot for lunch in Hyde Park called The Serpentine Bar & Kitchen. It serves healthy, interesting food and good beer. But the hook is the setting: It's on the shore of a lake, and you can sit outside in these super comfy lawn chairs and just watch the world go by.

    Also, if you have time, the Portobello Road Market is the bee's knees.

  4. @Scott: I will definitely check in with you once I lose the blog-hogging baggage (more affectionately known as my husband).
    @bmal: we're staying near Hyde Park by Paddington Station, so we'll definitely take your advice on the pub! Ryan was wavering on Portobello Road, but your endorsement sealed it for him. We're headed there Saturday.