Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Finally! An update!

Well, this one will be brief because it's late and I'm beat, but suffice to say that the weather is warm, the beer warmer, and the trip is fantastic so far.
We saw the Victoria and Albert Museum, which has more old stuff in it than the entire USA and Greg's garage combined, plus some cool suits of armor. Which reminds me, armor or no, guys in the 16th century were tiny!
We left there to get some lunch at the Elephant and Castle Pub off the Kensington High Street, which was excellent, more details later.
Then we wandered past an entire block of small garages that had been converted into a Jaguar dealership and repair shop, see the pics! Too cool.

Then, to Westminster Abbey, which is not the same as Westminster Cathedral, ask me how I know. What I do know, is that one of them is the seat of modern English Catholicism, and it's beautiful, but it's not the old Abbey. We missed that one, so we'll have to go back.

Instead, we wandered over to the River Thames (no, I didn't have the chance to pronounce it TAYMES to a bunch of Englishmen to cement the ugly American stereotype) and caught a breeze, but then we were off to the throngs of Trafalgar Square and the gallant sea faring hero the Admiral Lord Nelson, who defeated the Spanish Armada.
Have you done anything that cool?

I thought not.

Then, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, although it is totally sans 'fields' these days, it was one of the first churches built after the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was designed by the genius Sir Christopher Wren. Look him up if you want to feel bad about yourself, it's guaranteed to work.

We forged on to Cecil Ct off St. Martin's Blvd and discovered a veritable treasure trove of antique book shops, but it was almost closing time, so we settled for a first edition of Churchill's account of WWII and went on our way to the Lamb and Flag pub on Floral St. This pub is literally in an alleyway, see the pics, but it has a city's worth of charm, and it has been in continuous operation since the reign of Charles II, which, if you didn't know, was a loooong time ago. Over 400 years! How long as the Mule been open you ask? I don't know, it may smell 400 years old, but I doubt it is.

We had a sampling of warm, local hand pulled (meaning that the bartender pulls a lever with enough force to pump the beer, which is quite common here) and then switched to Guinness.

Then, it was back to the hotel for a delightful shower, the first in 27 hours or so, and then to dinner at the Courtfield pub by the Earl's Court station for fish and chips and a night cap.

On the way into the hotel we had a quick chat with the barman and I explained part of the Deepwater Horizon leak problem, but I'm not sure I had much of an effect.

With all that brevity, I'm calling it a night. The picture link on the left will take you to the full album should you wish to check it out.

Tomorrow, the National Gallery, book shops, a different pub for lunch, the British Museum and hopefully Westminster Abbey. Look out Elgin Marbles, here we come!

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