Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lincoln and Rachel in London: Day 5

Rachel and I on an Escalator; Reflection from window at Tate Modern
As our week in London comes to an end I think Rachel and I are starting to loose steam, but we're still enjoying every minute of our time here--save perhaps our feet. It's also worth noting that -- according to Rachel, at least -- I have been randomly breaking out in a variety of accents, including Scottish, Irish, and a few "unidentifiable muddles".

One of the works that attracted my attention: Untitled 1-5 by Dan Flavin
This morning we headed in a new direction and started the day with a visit to Tate Modern. While I'm typically fond of modern and contemporary art (while Rachel prefers the classics -- it's true opposites attract) there were only two or three pieces I found even moderately compelling and none that I was profoundly attracted to -- as I told Rachel on the way out "tis better have visited and not liked, than to have not visited at all"
Nothing to See Here: Through a construction portal at Tate Modern -- and my general feeling after a visit. 

After descending from  the heights of the Tate we walked along the River Thames, passing Shakespeare's Globe, a modern recreation of the historic theater a few hundred meters from the historic site, and continued until stumbling into the "Gourmet Burger Kitchen" on Clink Street.
Tower Bridge (and a small football [soccer] game in the foreground)

The burger was mediocre -- perfectly edible but nothing like the one we sampled from the Volunteer earlier in the week -- but the street was more interesting: As it turns out the street lent it's name to the popular euphemism "in the clink" after a infamous prison on the street until the late 1700s.

Continuing on the cobblestone street of Clink, we arrived at the modern London Bridge (not the one in Arizona), surfacing for a moment to view our ultimate goal: The Tower Bridge. We continued in that direction stopping in the More London complex to take a few pictures, before ultimately arriving at the London's iconic bridge. We walked across the bridge to cross that off our list (I've now walked the length of the Golden Gate, Mackinac, and Tower bridges), passed the Tower of London and made our way out of the neighborhood.
Tower Bridge
(I should note that at one point we along our walks today we found a warning advising of a "Humped Pelican Crossing" -- neither Rachel nor I had the foggiest clue what that was, but no large fishing birds were seen crossing the road. Further research indicates that that may simply be a pedestrian crossing with speed bumps.

Say what?
Leaving that neighborhood, we moved to Covent Garden where Rachel picked up an assortment of tea for herself and coworkers at Tea Palace, crossing the beautiful shopping area and visiting the London Transport Museum, where 15 GBP per person gives you an overview of the history of London Transport. While I didn't get the impression it was as comprehensive as the New York Transit Museum, it was nevertheless worth the visit.

Leaving the transport museum we had time to return to the hotel and freshen up before heading out to our anniversary dinner (our actual third anniversary is tomorrow, however travel considerations made tonight the more sensible choice. Rachel planned dinner and it was a delicious steak and martini at the bar of Le Point de la Tour (unknown at the time, but the same restaurant that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton were dining at when their motorcade was separated due to the opening of Tower Bridge)

We're now back at the DoubleTree for the evening; tomorrow we shall check out from this hotel and after our last full day in London board Heathrow Express to the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 4 in preparation for a morning return to Cleveland.


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