Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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London visit -- Day 3

This is long and possibly boring, but I'm writing it up for my own benefit, so here is What I Did Today.

It was just as well we did the long walk to the Thames Barrier yesterday because the weather changed overnight and when we set off after breakfast, it was clouding over. The weather felt a bit warmer too, but not much.

This time we walked down to the river and then took the Thames path in the other direction, meaning to end up at Tate Britain. This view of the Thames was taken by some posh apartments St Georges, or something like that. I didn't think much of the design of the posh apartments, to be honest, it might have been OK in a hot climate, but it didn't look right against a grey London sky. And this was the view they would get from their balconies!

Thames and Battersea Power Station

The river must be clean now, despite its murky appearance because there were plenty of cormorants drying their wings at the water's edge. Also plenty of gulls, of course and gulls will eat anything, but as far as I know, cormorants only eat fish.

As we were walking along the Thames path, we'd seen a little yellow tourist boat heading towards the Houses of Parliament. It looked to be very low in the water and after it had turned round to make its way back whence it came, it seemed to be making heavy weather of the trip upstream. So much so that we were joking about it needing rescuing. We then had to leave the riverbank for a little way because the path came to and end, but when we found the river again, there was the boat behaving in an alarming way and heading straight for the shore. "It's going to run aground," G said as it kept on coming.

And then the reason for its poor performance on water was revealed as it carried on straight up the beach and revealed itself to be an amphibious vehicle. We last saw it heading off into the London traffic where I bet people who noticed it would be wondering about the funny shaped bus and speculating as to why it had a lifebelt hanging on the back!

From there it was only a little way to Tate Britain, where we gazed at Pre-Raphaelites etc.

By now my feet were hurting. The shoes weren't actually rubbing, but they are new and my feet were being squeezed. (Yes, I know that wearing new shoes, not yet fully broken in, for a sightseeing holiday was a mistake, but the comfy pair are no longer fit to be seen and anyway, their soles are almost worn through, so they would still hurt my feet, but in a different way!.) So we headed back to Euston and bought a snack and tea and coffee and thence to the place we were staying to revive my feet. Now wearing my old trainer-type shoes, which are really too lightweight for winter, but are very comfortable, we walked to the British Museum and saw lots of stuff: Elgin Marbles, Assyrian human-headed winged bulls, Greek and Roman statues, Chinese statues, Japanese porcelain, Native American items, the usual. I'm never sure whether photography is allowed, but so many people were snapping away that I sneaked a photo of this dog which I rather liked.

Statue of a dog, British Musem

They also had on display a few of the items from the Staffordshire Hoard. They still have no idea who buried the items or when, but they seemed to be the precious bits stripped off swords and scabbards, also a few gold crosses and pieces of what might be a helmet. Absolutely beautiful workmanship and I hope they make more of the items available at some point when they've been cleaned.

And then, when we came out of the British Museum, it was snowing! We wandered in the snow as London was quickly transformed into something out of a Christmas card and found a decent burger place to eat. After that, a bit more wandering about (by this time the snow had turned to rain and the picturesque snow had turned to slush) then a cup of tea and coffee and finally back to Passfield Hall.
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