Sunday, December 09, 2012

2012 Holiday To London-NYC-Niagara - Day Nine

Six o'clock start. Breakfast included a Slovak salad with meat - like a delicious coleslaw. Few photos before leaving for the station. Arrived just before 7:15 and only had 10 minutes to print the tickets, there was quite a queue but three machines available, and then had to reach platform 3. Did it with about four minutes to spare - phew! Really, not enough time spent with good friends in Peterborough.

Arrived at Kings Cross St Pancras at 8:30. Seemed like a very fast train ride. Back to the hotel before nine. The missus headed off to the Courtauld Gallery and then the Tate Modern whilst The Boy and I visited the Natural History Museum. We spent four and a half hours there and much of the time it was pouring with rain outside. Good day to be inside. After about two hours of lugging my bag around I noticed that there was a cloakroom but it was too late to bother with by then. The Boy loved the interactive displays which were well constructed to capture the attention of kids. We even went to the Investigate Room and were the only ones there. Especially impressive were the dinosaurs, mammals, giant sequoia, birds, volcanoes and Kobe earthquake displays. Well worth the visit.

Monument was our next stop - all 311 steps to the top. Great view but cold and windy. What an amazing structure. Had to meet the missus at 4pm at St Paul's Cathedral but I headed in the direction of the Tower of London by mistake. Realised my mistake and also realised how far apart the buildings were - a long way. Didn't seem that far on the bus. Got there in time, on foot, and the bells were chiming the hour when the missus came into view. As we approached the front door the guy in front of us was told that, "It's three second past four and St Paul's is closed." Bugger. Ventured back to the hotel.

The Boy wanted a steak and ale pie and I was keen on a lunchtime, 12-5, special. First pub told me that the cook had gone out and wouldn't be back until after 5pm therefore my order would be invalid. It didn't matter that I explained how stupid it was that I was unable to order a meal before 5pm and have it served after 5pm but at the special price. The staff member just didn't get it. Dropped our stuff off and went round the corner to the Fitzrovia - tried the same tactic and was informed that the deal finished at five. "Yes, it's bang on five," I said. But the guy's system was telling him that it was one minute past five and it wasn't possible to even place the order. What is it with this country and being unbending towards rules? Watched the news whilst having dinner. Plebgate and floods were the top stories. Expecting gusts of up to 60mph tomorrow.

Later in the evening the missus and I did some souvenir shopping at Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square before having coffee and hot chocolate, both of poor quality, at Caffe Nero. Visited a few department stores before returning to the hotel.

Photo Album Vol I
Photo Album Vol II
Photo Album Vol III
Photo Album Vol IV (Final)

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