United Kingdom
Russell Square

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44 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Our last full day, how much can we see

    September 19 in the United Kingdom

    We have a big day ahead, lots to pack into it. I thank Basil for the new room and he smiles in acknowledgment.
    The Avni Hotel, where we are staying is a 3 star hotel, not far from an underground station. Good value considering the location but probably not a place we would stay at again. One of the daily challenges is opening the body wash and shampoo sachets. We both wear glasses so it is hard to distinguish between the two and it is even harder to tear them open especially with wet hands. Usually we rely on each other to provide an open sachet but even with dry hands it is a problem. The bars of soap, if it is soap, do not lather up so maybe I should have let MDW bring those little bottles of shampoo and body wash she has collected from various motels over the years.
    As we have a big day planned we need a full English or the parts of it we will eat. We order our meal me minus the baked beans and no black pudding or sausage for either of us. Well done eggs and crispy bacon plus a pot of never ending tea. Apparently they will continue to replenish our tea pot for as long as it takes to eat our breakfast. We are in no hurry so this will be good value. The food comes with runny eggs, limp bacon and so called toast that didn’t even get close to a toaster. Back we send it and we continue to drink our tea. The food returns in the style we ordered although the toast was really just warm bread. Our tea pots were refilled, food eaten, bill paid and off to the British Museum. We catch the Underground (Piccadilly Line) to Holborn and walk to the museum. Although we haven’t purchased a SIM card yet for our phones, Google Maps has been doing a damn fine job once I work out which direction it is telling us to go. We walk up the museum stairs and because we have had a couple of pots of tea which is a diuretic and we are seniors, the first place we go to is the toilets. Free ones too. There’s a lot of old stuff there, in the museum, and the Egyptian display is amazing. MDW surprised me by her interest considering she is more of a shopper than tourist. She did spend a long time looking at the various ways dead people are disposed of. As fancy as the caskets were and tempting as burial options, none would meet her 3 day rule. But that’s another story, let’s just say MDW would be concerned that no phone signal would penetrate the thickness of the boxes, nor would any sound get out.
    Before we left the museum, another toilet break, damn tea! After the museum visit we went to a nearby pub on Carnaby Street and shared a plate of fish and chips. Cod, breaded scampi, garden peas and chips. I wasn’t sure what scampi was, I think maybe prawns but ended up getting fish balls. MDW hit the hard stuff and tried an alcoholic ginger beer which I ended up drinking. There was really only one more place to go to, Abbey Road, and get a photo walking across the pedestrian crossing. We walked to Oxford Circus station and asked for directions from the railway guy. “Abbey Road, is that a station?” he asked. I tried to explain the significance of it but he didn’t even know about The Beatles, before his time he said. He did a Google search on his iPad and provided a station name but suggested we could just go upstairs to the pedestrian crossing on Oxford Street and take a photo. Funny guy but it wouldn’t be the same.
    We get off at Maida Vale and start the long trek to Abbey Road. We ask for confirming instruction from a friendly chap sitting outside a restaurant who happily tells us to keep walking, “You can,t miss all the tourists taking photos”.
    We get to Abbey Road, see Abbey Road studios, and can’t help but think how annoyed people driving along the road must be as swarms of tourists keep approaching the crossing forcing the traffic to stop. Many are trying to replicate the famous Abbey Road album cover but it is near impossible to get a clear shot of 4 people crossing at the one time. I quickly cross the road when there are no cars nearby then slowly walk back across giving MDW ample time to take the perfect photo. Job done we both walk across the crossing resulting in cars having to stop. Maybe they should avoid driving on this road.
    We were ready to sit or even lay down, the iPhone said we had walked up or down 26 flights of stairs, and it felt like it too. The railway underground stairs are steep. We get off at Gloucester Road station, into Waitrose for our nightly feast of raspberries and back to our room, our last night in London. We decide to have a quiet night in, I think we have seen more than half the Monopoly board locations this visit. Thoroughly enjoyed everywhere we went in London, tomorrow Ireland where they have issued a warning about Storm Ali. Hopefully our flight will not be cancelled.
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  • Day16

    British Museum

    April 16, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Kultur und Geschichte war heute das Tagesprogramm. Wir besuchten das British Museum. Am Anfang war es cool. So viele interessante Dinge zu sehen und (versuchen) zu lesen. Aber mit der Zeit wurde es etwas langwilig und die Leute gingen mir auf die Nerven. Ein regelrechtes Gedränge und Geschupse. Man konnt nich mehr nahe genug an die Ausstellungsgegenstände stehen und die Infotafel lesen, weil jeder ein Selfie von sich davor machen wollte. Meine Fresse die Menschheit wird immer egoistischer 😤
    (Sorry für den Ausdruck aber es musste gesagt werden).
    Danach waren wir so müde davon, dass es nur noch einen Kaffee gab und wir dann nach Hause gingen 😅
    Alles in allem: interessant aber anstrengend
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  • Day15

    Contiki Departure

    August 11 in the United Kingdom

    Got to london after a delayed flight and a long train ride and taxi ride. Missed the contiki catch up and walking tour.
    Did some laundry and headed to bed.
    I was woken up at 1am by my roommate. His flight was heaps delayed and he lost his bags.
    Now have gotten up early and met with the group and the bus.

  • Day29

    Hokusai, British Museum &The Japan House

    May 25, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    I think I'm still in Japan despite arriving in London two days ago. I spent all my time at two exhibitions; the first at the British Museum - Hokusai; Beyond The Great Wave. Lots of wonderful works by the famous woodblock artist Hokusai. I found his paintings just as impressive as the more famous woodblock prints like Red Fuji and The Great Wave which were also present.

    I then wandered off over to the Barbican Centre for an exhibition called The Japan House about Japanese architecture since 1945. Very cool. They had a bunch of exhibition rooms upstairs and downstairs had recreated the famous Moriyama House (2005), designed in Tokyo by Ryue Nishizawa and inhabited by Yasuo Moriyama, an enigmatic urban hermit. You could just wander around in the house which was brilliant and full of strange and wonderful things like the green lit 'garden' complete with 'tree house'.

    I'll probably arrive in the UK eventually but for now my sprit continues to inhabit Japan :-)
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  • Day85

    Day 85: Birthday Celebrations

    May 11, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    An important day today - my wife Shandos's birthday! I'd managed to sneak out a couple of days earlier to a bottle shop where I'd bought her a nice bottle of rose wine and a cute card with a dachshund on it. I gave these to her first thing in the morning, which went down quite well!

    No time to lose though, as we had another busy day planned - all stuff Shandos wanted to do, of course. First up was breakfast with her brother Joel, who had arrived from the Middle East the previous morning. He's been travelling for most of the last 18 months as well, and tends to move around a bit more than us, covering more ground but in less depth. It was good to see him and catch up, as we hadn't seen him since he left Australia in January.

    Breakfast was on the 36th floor of the "walkie-talkie" building, in the Skygarden restaurant. It's a beautiful spot, on the top of a tall building but with a glass ceiling and lots of plants around. Great views, and good food too. And to our surprise, Shandos's parents and Joel picked up the bill as a birthday present - nice!

    Next stop was the National Gallery, where we spent several hours looking at the fantastic art on display. Lots of famous artists including Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Turner, Bosch, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Monet, Pizzarro, Gaugin and many many more besides. Since we didn't have a huge amount of time, we picked through a brochure and went for the highlights tour! Very efficient.

    Up next was the British Museum, where there's an extraordinary collection of objects and artefacts from across the globe. Again, it's somewhere you can't possibly do justice to in a short couple of hours, but again we followed a recommended "short-visit" itinerary. Highlights included the Rosetta Stone, Elgin marbles, Egyptian statues and ruins, samurai armour, ancient chess pieces and several other things. It's somewhere I could've spent ages exploring, but time was pressing and we moved onwards.

    Back on our Boris Bikes (we'd been getting around today on the bike-sharing bicycles scattered around the city, as they're quick, cheap and fairly safe), where we rode all the way up to Angel and our apartment. It was now late afternoon, so we crashed for a little while before heading back out for birthday drinks.

    Lots of people there, including Sean and his girlfriend Suey, Joel and a childhood friend of the Cleavers named Annika, a good friend of mine named Cameron who'd moved to London 6 years ago, and several of Sean and Suey's friends (they had met over here after all). Schnitzel came with us and seemed to the be the highlight of everyone's night! His first time in a noisy pub, which I think was a bit eye-opening for him! Many beers were had, before a late-night Uber home and a midnight stumble into bed. Long day, but a fun day!
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  • Day7

    British Museum

    April 28 in the United Kingdom

    Another museum.. We saw the Rosetta Stone and a lot of other really neat things. And lots and lots of old pottery. Lots. I might be getting a bit museum'd out this week. Or at least my tired feet are.

    We also saw a smaller version of Rodin's Thinking Man. It took me back to a previous trip... where Matt and I went to the Rodin Museum in Paris with our other friend Tammie and her daughter Sierra. We saw the full size version there. We quite enjoyed that museum.Read more

  • Day13

    Royal National Hotel

    May 22, 2015 in the United Kingdom

    Finally made it to the hotel after the flight from Athens. Feeling tired but don't want to waste a second so I am going to go for a walk to check out the surroundings before trying to find something for dinner!

  • Day59

    Royal National Hotel

    July 7, 2015 in the United Kingdom

    Back where it all began and now where it all finishes. Once we arrived back we said our goodbyes to a few that were going straight to the airport or not staying at the same hotel. We arranged to have drinks with the remaining people that night at the London Pub and when it was finally time to say goodbye there was a lot of tears. It was like saying goodbye to a family member, I know we live all over the place in Australia, Canada, United States of America, New Zealand and some in England but I have no doubt that we will see each other again.Read more

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