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A Pilgrim’s Tale

End of day 3…

Wait, I guess I should begin at the end of Day 2, since I left at the beginning of said day… I didn’t do the B’ham Palace and Westminster deal. I had done both before and the weather was decidely not fun. Instead, I went on a tour of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Was definitely the way to go. Still saw a 10th of what was there and couldn’t hope to say a lot about what I did see. Where the British Museum is massive and filled with massive objects, the V&A seemed to be filled with comparative but interesting bric-a-brac. I would still not know where to begin if I visited again.

Ater that, the sun did indeed come out! It was astonishing! I went on something of a ramble around London, eventually ending up near Tower Bridge and the Tower. Also took a Charles Dickens’ walk. Incredibly informative. Makes me feel guilty about never having entirely read any of his stuff. I’ve always enjoyed movies derived from his work – that makes me sound incredibly unintellectual. I shall have to resolve to remedy this at some point.

That evening I went to Photo London – an exhibition that very surprisingly coincided with my visit to the city. Wow! It was an incredibly cross-section of photographic art. Some I liked, some I didn’t, but that’s the way it is with art. My feet were wearing out or I’d have stayed longer.

Today, I got up first thing and headed to Victoria Train Station. I went on an “Explorer Day” tour with London Walks. A half-way nice day. Sunny with clouds passing by some of the day and stiff cool breezes. The guide was surprised, the tour STARTED with 63 people (I say started because we literally lost some along the way – oops). I was amazed at how he kept it all together (even without the poor misguided souls we lost). We went first to Leeds Castle. Beautiful grounds and very picturesque, but when you get inside, it’s very 1930’s and not even Hollywood 1930’s, sort of shabby by today’s standards. Interestingly, the last owner was an American heiress who married a British Lord.

Afterwards, back on the train and down to Canterbury. Marvelous city – could have easily spent days there. Reminded me somewhat of the smaller old cities I saw in Scotland. Touristy edge, but still obvious that people work and live there. Canterbury Cathedral was breathtaking. Only had 45 minutes in the actual Cathedral, the rest of the time spent touring the city. Would like to go back and spend more time one day. Get a better feel for the city and the cathedral.

Slept on the train ride back almost the whole way – desperately needed it. Didn’t stop me, though. Back in the city, I grabbed lunch/dinner and ate outside of St. Paul’s, waiting for a ghost tour at 7:30pm. It was more ghost and ghouls than just ghosts, but lots of fun. Also learned more about the history of the old city versus modern metropolitan London.

Went back for a few night shots of St. Paul’s before my batteries died. I went through two sets today. I may have under-estimated how many I needed. If so, I’ll regret as the exchange rate and purchasing batteries here is not fun. I did well last trip. Oh well!

Am sitting at a net cafe in Piccadilly Circus now. I will probably amble about just a bit more. I feel old just saying it, but I’ll probably soon call it a night. All the walking takes its toll. No plans to be up early tomorrow. I think my plans are for a canal ride from “Little Venice” to Camden Town. Poke around the market for awhile and then head over to Highgate, where there’s a massive Victorian cemetery. Hope to catch the Tempest tomorrow evening at Shakespeare’s Globe. Last chance for the Tempest. If I miss it tomorrow, will see Pericles Monday or Tuesday. Sunday is supposed to be a bright sunny day, so hopefully will make it tomorrow.

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