Wednesday, August 03, 2005

London Glasgow Travelogue: Day 3

I got stuck for a half-hour on the underground District Line yesterday. Not fun. But that freed me from the responsibility to go anywhere particularly far away, or particularly historic today. I had been thinking of the British Library or the British Museum - both nice responsible choices. But the Library is on the Circle line which doesn't run right now and the Museum is two changes away.

So I went shopping.

Oxford Street is fabulous. London clothes are fabulous - at least what they're selling this season. Skirts just like my favorites from High School. Tunics. I could have spent a ton more money, but my suitcase only holds so much. And pounds are dear.

I took the bus - the big double-decker ones like the one that got blown up. But if you didn't take the underground or the tube, then what? Be relegated to taxis or walking? At least on a bus, if you get stuck, you can get off. And big red busses are thicker than flies in London - the odds of not getting blown up must be good. Yesterday we just sat in the underground and waited on the track. Boring. Luckily it was an aboveground part - sitting in a tunnel for a half hour would have been worse. The big busses are actually pretty cool.

So -- more London observations. This city has a ton of newspapers. We have two - which are kind of one since they share the same printing press etc. back in Seattle. Here there are morning papers and evening papers and sensational papers and international papers and USA papers and liberal and conservative papers. What a wonderful plethora of news! Maybe it's because they have so much public transport, and what are you going to do on public transportation except read? Especially on the underground, which has no useful sightseeing.

Also, London is very busy. There are almost no "To Let" signs, most people seem to be employed, and the economy seems to be just fine. The picture below shows a number of building cranes just across teh Thames from the Tower of London. Old and new, mixing.

The bus drove by Hyde Park (if you know London, I took the number 10 - but don't tell me that the number 10 also goes to the Library, I don't want to know that). I mentioned that when I went walking early yesterday, Hyde Park was empty. I have pictures of it with no one in it, or almost no one. Of flocks of geese nibbling the grass by empty arm chairs. But this afternoon around 5:00, it was full. Frisbee. Rugby. Meditation. Running. Walking. Dancing. Very full, and jubilant.

I've decided London is worth coming back to. I'm sort of sorry I have to leave tomorrow morning.

Oh - one last London thought. They believe Nescafe is coffee. They serve it in hotels and restaurants. They're wrong.


At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'fraid the no. 10 does go to the Library (before terminating at Kings Cross). I think you may have a point about public transport and newspapers.

I'm sure Nescafe is a hangover from war rationing!
Enjoy your trip.


Post a Comment

<< Home