Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 4: A Rainy Day

It was a cloudy day in London Town. I had a nice breakfast of bacon & eggs, I must remind myself to always eat the masher first, if it's allowed to get cold it just tastes like congealed fat. I asked for a cappuccino thinking I'd get a dinky little cup and it was a huge cup with a pretty chocolate design.

I sat in the back with my back to the wall so I could watch everyone walk in, it's the most secure way to make sure no one snatches anything from you or sneaks up on you.

From breakfast to catching the trains, it all seemed good. I found the right train and managed to get out the right station. Then the directions stop. All I had to go on was to walk to Shakespeare's Globe theater. But apart from one sign with an arrow telling me which exit to take to go to the Globe, there were no other direction.

So I asked a couple of construction workers, I don't care, I'm just asking directions. He pointed out a street and told me to look for St Paul's Cathedral. No problem, it's Sunday and the bells were peeling! I followed the sound.

The little drizzle was now beginning to spit hard. I headed into a little alley with my back to the wall so it was only a turn of my head to see if anyone was coming. I needed to check google maps, but it was being difficult and it couldn't find the Globe either. Then I realized that I was the one standing in an alley!

I had come out and saw a woman on the sidewalk about to pass me. 

Me: "Excuse me."
The woman stopped, turned and looked at me.
Me: "Do you know where the Globe Theater is at?"
She looked at me and shot back immediately "No I don't." And quickly walked off. I was walking in that direction so, I continued. She started running away from me!

I was a bit shocked, I wasn't doing anything threatening, I didn't touch her nor ask for money but she felt threatened by me. Oh well, it takes all kinds.

I stopped again and checked the maps and found that I had gone the wrong way. So I doubled back and as I was walking I smelled something divine, fresh baked goods. So I stopped and picked out a maple turnover and a big pretzel with melted cheese. But the cashier had never heard of The Globe!

I found the Millennial Bridge and spotted the Globe, looks just like how I imagined it. I would have been in greater awe if it were not a replica from 1994. Oh well, it's better than nothing.

Then since it was still raining and didn't look like it would stop and my tour took longer than I expected. I never made the changing of the guards. Instead I went to Harrods.

Beautiful building, but I wasn't impressed, I'm from Chicago, we had Marshall Fields, it's about the same and I just don't have the fascination with department stores that other people have. I thought, I'll have lunch at Harrods. But all I saw was the Cap'cino or some posh way of spelling cappuccino and they were serving Italian. I thought, you'll be in Italy in two weeks, don't spend your money now!

I ending up on the other side of the building, I thought Harrods had a food section. I competent forgot about Princess Diana's engagement ring. Oh well, rings aren't my thing.

But google maps said that the Royal Albert Hall was just walking distance away. It was a distance alright! By the time I reached Exhibition Road and turned, the crush of a Sunday crowd was quickly dissipated by the driving rain. But I kept working because I had not other reason not too. 

My glasses were useless, foggy up and drenched with rain. But I was stubborn, after already walking some time, how could I allow myself to miss a few more steps to reach my destination?

 The rain picked up and things got wet fast and cold. When I got to Albert hall, I was like a drowned cat hoisted by her neck.  I was so happy to finally find the bathrooms were like a single room and I tried my best to clean myself up a bit. The big mirror showed a crazy disheveled mess. No wonder the lady ran away from me!

The tour was too long for me to partake, but behind the cafe were seats up against the wall and I noticed there was free wifi. So I sat and checked my emails, while I ate my pasteries, dried out and enjoy a sweep respite of texting.

Next I went to Wimbledon, the hallowed grounds of champions. If you are a tennis fan, you must visit and take the tour. Our guide was Nick a very proper British gentleman, complete with Mac and tie. He also swung around his neck a Wimbledon umbrella.

He took us to court 1 and center court, as to be expected. But he also took us into the media center and into the players press room and various other locations that the general public would not have to chance to see. 

Afterwards, it was time to return & pack my bags for my early morning flight. But not before I stopped at an English pub and ordered my fish n chips, which I love anyways.

No one told me I was supposed to walk up to the bartender and place my order and pay. Then they bring your food out, you eat and leave. It was a bit odd for me. But I think the bartender was a bit surprised how fast I ate. I've got to learn to eat slower. Do you see how big the fish is? I placed my glasses as perspective. I ate it all because it was good!

The other day, lunching with my cousin was a 2hour lunch, they linger and talk. Oh well, I am a solo traveler.

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