Saturday, January 26, 2013

Travelogue: London – Not Seeing London

Well, It was a lovely day… But that was the morning. The clouds started to build around lunch time. Then the rain came; a drizzly, drippy, cold and sloppy mess! On an afternoon like that, there is nothing for it but to curl-up with a few friends and a roaring fire; a place to be catered to among friends.
That is why, around mid-afternoon, I made my way to Waterloo, and onto a train headed for Surrey. You may ask what the target of my travels was, but long-time readers will know that there is only one place I could possibly have in mind: The Pub!

Not just any pub, THE PUB; The King's Arms! But I am getting ahead of myself.

My colleague and I walked around central London for a while, getting a look at the area of Central London around The Eye, Parliament, and that general area for a while, and then she went off in the direction of St. James Park and Buckingham Palace. She had said that she wanted to spend the afternoon "walking around downtown." I spent the rest of the morning and the early afternoon walking around and looking for pictures I hadn't yet taken. I pretty-much walked along the Thames from Parliament to Tower Bridge and back – my camera gear at the ready – and stopped frequently to look at whether the view was worth shooting.

I stopped a few times to take pictures of vacationers – one was a newlywed couple from Miami who had come over on their honeymoon. But mostly, I kept myself plugged into my iPod, listening to a mix of my favorite podcasts and music.

The first drops hit me around three and, as luck would have it, I was on the Waterloo Bridge considering the view from behind the Queen Elizabeth hall. My photographic musings were curtailed because of the rain and I decided to duck into the nearest Underground stop to consider my next move. Where should  I go next?

As the nearest stop was Waterloo, I thought that a trip to the pub sounded like an excellent idea. The rain had let-off by the time I reached Thames Ditton and the walk from the station to the pub was pleasant enough. The pub itself has changed very little in the time I have been living back in the states. It is still, a lovely pub and they still pull a proper pint! On a whim, I called my friends from when I lived here – only one was around, so I invited Kevin over for a pint. We had a great time, reconnecting and enjoying a pint.

The rain had resumed in earnest by the time we had had a couple, so I called a car, asked him to take me to the Surbiton Station (by way of my old neighborhood) and made my way home to the hotel. All-in-all, I have no idea how I could have spent a lovelier day off in London! Well, I guess a bit more warmth and a bit less rain would have worked, but – hey! It was still a lovely day!

I stopped at the chippie in the high road on the way home for a Cod And Chips (heavy on the Salt and Vinegar!) so I am sitting here, reviewing my shots on my tablet this evening, enjoying one last beer and think it will probably be an early night!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you've had a lovely day as well! 

Don Bergquist - 26 January 2013 - Maida Vale, London, United Kingdom 

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