Monday, September 7, 2009

Being a Tourist, Part II

I found it extremely hard to walk away from the stairs leading to the monument in front of the Palace. No, it’s not that I became emotionally involved with the beauty around me; it’s just that my ass has adapted its shape to that of the stairs, and standing up was a rather inconvenient process.

So, a few major attractions in Central London are within walking distance from one another. From Trafalgar Square it’s an easy 15 minutes walk to the Palace; the Big Ben is another 10-15 minutes walk, and 10 Downing Street is somewhere between the Big Ben and Trafalgar Square. Those three attractions are lined up in some sort of a triangle.

Weather has been quite kind; as a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure it hasn’t rained since I got here. It’s cloudy though, and the sun rarely shows up.

So I followed Google Maps’ instructions how to get to the Big Ben (for all of you BlackBerry owners out there – if you are travelling, make sure you download a copy of Google Maps for BlackBerry. This is one fine piece of software, immensely better than RIM’s BlackBerry Maps).


Quite the clock, and it receives the amount of attention proportionally to its size; dozens of people are photo shooting this clock at any one time, including the more-sophisticated tourists that have their friends take a photo of themselves “pushing” the clock.

After gazing at the clock for approximately two minutes, I turned left and proceeded to 10 Downing Street, to see where Gordon Brown lives / works. A left turn that I was supposed to take (according to the map) appeared to have been closed, so I decided that Gordon Brown isn’t that important to me after all and proceeded to Trafalgar Square.

Stopped to eat at a local pub. I was looking for something relatively healthy, no grease. They had some risotto there, with goat’s cheese and chicken. That seemed to be the healthiest item in the menu. It wasn’t very expensive and I thought to myself that they will have to work very hard in order to ruin a risotto that bad, if it has goat’s cheese on it (I’m a sucker for goat’s cheese).

Well guess what, they appear to have outthought me and what I ended up getting was a very mediocre risotto with a slice of extremely dry, obviously just a minute ago frozen, chicken breast. I then instantly sent a message to my friend Jonathan to inform him of my dire situation, which made him laugh. After all, I really am an idiot, ordering risotto in a pub and expecting it to be good.

My feet appeared to have healed and I decided to walk back to the hotel. It’s basically keeping straight on one road until I hit the hotel, about a mile away. Now, this is London in rush hour. Holy Moses (or Jesus, or whatever; pick your favourite deity), the amount of noise! Unbelievable. However as you get closer to Bloomsbury, the noise slowly disappears and an altogether nicer environment takes its place.

Sitting at Cafe Nerro at the moment; will upload these two posts from the hotel room and I think I’ll take my guitar to the nearby garden and play for a bit, to unwind after this long and joyful day.


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