Tuesday, September 22, 2009
An American Paleoartist in London: Day 5
I discovered my first beef with the Underground today: Construction! All the time, everywhere! And at the most inconvenient places/times! Victoria station itself was not closed today, but the train ticket booths were, because some idiot decided it was a good time to do roof work. We asked a fellow herding rampaging crowds how long the booths would be closed, and he said a half-hour, tops. Wonderful! We went upstairs to enjoy pizza and a calazone at...some pizza place. And it took a little more than thirty minutes. Perfect! I can hear you Brits chuckling right now. We went downstairs, and of course, it wasn't open. We asked another fellow, as the first one had gone away. This new person said he had no idea how long the station would be closed. Well, this won't be so bad. See, we bought our tickets to Cambridge at Victoria station yesterday, but since it left out of King's Cross, I'll bet we can just buy tickets at any station for any other station. Let's go to King's Cross! Oh wait, we can't. There's a problem at Oxford Circus, exactly halfway between Victoria and King's Cross. Wonderful. I should've seen this coming: the entire Jubilee line was down for like three days when we first got here.
At least this morning was fun. We took the Underground to Trefalger Square and saw the statues and waterfalls (awesome!), then wandered down to Westminster Abby, which was mind-blowingly beautiful! Oh, the architecture! The statues! The Latin inscriptions! We were both kind of disappointed that ol' Chuck D. doesn't have a more prominant tablet--Dr. Livingston (I presume) had one that was about twice as nice. I really couldn't get over how wonderful the building is, especially from the outside. All this gothic stonework sitting in the middle of the city. I loved it! Then we walked across the bridge to see Parliment and Big Ben. I got lots of good pictures of both. Parliment is ridiculously huge. After that, we got into the Victoria station mess, which took forever. We gave up and walked past Buckingham Palace, through Green Park, and back to the apartment. Tonight we're going to Paddington station to buy our train tickets to Bristol (hopefully they're open and/or functioning).