October 20, 2011

October 20, 2011

London, Day 6: Books, Elgin Marbles, and the Eye

(Day 5 can be found here.)

Day 6: Friday, October 7

We started day 7 at the British Library. It took longer than expected to get there because our nearest Tube station, Victoria Station, was evacuated for some reason. Then our bus aborted its route (no reason given) so we had to transfer. A catalogue of errors.

Anyway, we finally made it to the Library and saw various ancient documents, including a Magna Carta, Gutenberg Bible, and original Beatles lyrics written on an envelope. Don’t get me wrong: these were all super-cool. However, living in the same city as the Library of Congress and the National Archive gave it a bit of a “been there, done that” feel. (Sounds terrible, I know.)

Before we caught the bus for the British Museum, I went rogue to check out nearby King’s Cross and find platform 9 ¾. No true Harry Potter fan could do otherwise.

After weaving my way through the commuters to platform level, I walked the length of both 9 and 10 and found nothing. Then I saw the sign:

Yes, why wouldn’t you relocate a platform-related attraction to A RANDOM EXTERIOR BUILDING CORNER?

I exited King’s Cross incorrectly and had no idea where I was, nor how to find either York Way or Euston Road. Pulled out my compass and everything. Really needed a “point me” spell. Luckily, I chose the right direction and found 9 ¾, which (I think you’ll agree) was underwhelming at best.

The British Museum, though, was much better. I can’t think of anything comparable here, though I suppose New York comes closest. Does it, though, have the freaking Elgin Marbles?

The upside of ruling the waves: you get to keep a lot of awesome stuff.

Our group was having a farewell dinner that night, so TheBoy and I dedicated our afternoon to one thing: the London Eye. We were prepared to invest some time in waiting, because it seemed like something not to miss. Luckily, the lines for both ticket purchasing and riding the wheel were quite manageable. Yes, it’s pricey and touristy, but they really know how to keep the lines moving, and the views are great.

At the farewell dinner, our group gave guide Gillian a few gifts and read a poem composed by one of the group members. I had lamb, duck, and fudge cake; TheBoy had soup, pasta, and ice cream. Sorry to see it all end, but I was also missing America.

Tomorrow: Spending the last pence and Heathrow.

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: