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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs tagged London

Thursday, October 04, 2012

London, England - 2012

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 04/10/2012 02:32:03

Perhaps surprisingly London was another city that almost didn't make it on the EuroJoel 2012 schedule. Yet again I demonstrated how bad I am at judging European cities - I had the time of my life in London and wish I could have stayed longer (this seems to be becoming a theme).

It is increasingly apparent that the best part of taking a holiday can be meeting new and interesting people, especially when you are going to their home city later on in your journey (so they can show you around) I had Nikki's assistance (and amazing welcome basket) in Edinburgh; Matthew's interesting cuisine suggestions for France; and in London I met up with Paola from my earlier Haggis Adventure Tour. Hopefully everyone doesn't call for reciprocation of these favours - as I don't really know shit about Melbourne. I guess I could show them Seafarers and take them to the almost-finished Melbourne Eye - that'd work for an afternoon.

I arrived pretty late on my first day in London, but still managed to get around a little and see some of the sights by night. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben's clock and the London Eye all looked pretty cool by the moonlight - but day two contained most of the cool London sightseeing.

While this is technically a Horsey Sorehoof as a front hoof is off the ground - I'm more of a fan of the classics

I love the story of the Rosetta Stone - the key to unlocking Egyptian Hieroglyphs - and it may not be over yet with Egypt requesting the return of the rock. Thankfully it is still in London as seeing the Rosetta Stone was the top items that initially drew me to England. I made my way to the British Museum to catch a gander at the trilingual rock - it was as cool to see as I expected and I made my way to the gift shop to purchase a small version for my desk at work. While here I noticed a few prints of Hokusai's The Great Wave for sale. I asked the helpful salesdude why this was so - and he informed me that The Great Wave was also at the British Museum but not on display (for reasons of preservation). He suggested an appointment could be made to see it but unfortunately after a half-hour hunting down the right person I was told appointments need to be made between noon and 1 pm on a Wednesday to see that piece of art (it was 3 pm on a Wednesday by the time I got there). A little disappointed that my lack of organisation caused me to miss out on seeing this cool print - I have vowed to remember this for the next time I am in London (on a Wednesday and between noon and 1 pm). I also checked out some more Post-Impressionism works in the National Gallery on my way back and spent some time enjoying a walk through the streets.

I'm going to translate the Rosetta Stone decree into Popple language so that it may live on through eternity

After my successful yet brief sightseeing efforts, I caught up with Paola and went on a fantastic evening walk to catch some really cool sights with their lights on. We pretty much covered the rest of the monuments I had wanted to see: Parliament House and Big Ben, London Eye, London Bridge (lame), Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. Actually, the Tower Bridge is not something I had wanted to see - as I had never heard of it - but now I am a bit of a fanboi. It's a bridge with freakin towers in the middle of it - and all purty like a Christmas tree. I'm happy I got to see these sights after the sun went down - and I actually took a few photos that I am not ashamed to look upon.

I always feel like eating a pie when I see this photo - I assume there is a sauce bottle that has London's Parliament House on the logo

The Tower Bridge is to bridges as first generation is to Skins casts (i.e. the only one that is worth looking at)

My final full day in London was mostly filled with a "best of" tour I had booked, taking me to Windsor Castle, the Roman Baths at Bath and then Stonehenge. I was mostly interested in Stonehenge - but included the others as they were all in the same general direction. Windsor Castle was really cool, and more interesting than I was expecting. There was a pretty ornate doll's house which was kind of cool - but it was the state apartments that blew me away by their grandeur. The King's Dressing Room was much larger than my room back home (and this is then supplemented by the King's Wardrobe, Bedroom and Sitting Rooms) - I might have to look into the process of becoming a King.

Yet another perk of being a King / Queen - you get your own personal Horsey Sorehoof

The second stop on the day tour was the Roman Baths in Bath. I guess it was interesting and good to see - but I don't think anyone booked this tour specifically for stop number two. It's just a historical public bath. Sure, the unique plumbing technology of the day was impressive - but I felt the whole sight was a little ho-hum. This may also be from the bad taste left in my mouth when I sampled some of the warm mineral water that gets pumped next door. Luckily there was a chocolate shop nearby to console me (and wash out my mouth).

I discovered that yelling commands does not achieve much other than some stern looks

Back on the coach and on to the third stop of the tour - Stonehenge. This is the sight that I was waiting for - and it didn't disappoint. To be honest - there's not much to Stonehenge, all you are really doing is looking at some rocks and they don't even let you go within the circle of the stones - but I loved it anyway. We arrived at a great time with the sun just starting to get low in the sky. Another monument I've grown up wanting to visit (and annoyed that I probably never would) under the belt we travelled back to London where I had a delicious dinner of ham, cheese and bread before going to sleep in preparation of the early morning flight for my friend's wedding.

Where the dewdrops cry; And the cats meow; I will take you there; I will show you how

This is the 22nd in the EuroJoel - 2012 series
City 1 - Lisbon, Portugal - 2012City 2 - Porto, Portugal - 2012City 3 - Madrid and Toledo, Spain - 2012City 4 - Valencia, Spain - 2012City 5 - Barcelona, Spain - 2012City 6 - Naples, Italy - 2012City 7 - Rome and Vatican City, Italy - 2012City 8 - Florence and Pisa, Italy - 2012City 9 - Milan and Bologna, Italy - 2012City 10 - Venice, Italy - 2012City 11 - Prague, Czech Republic - 2012City 12 - Dresden, Germany - 2012City 13 - Berlin, Germany - 2012City 14 - Legoland, Denmark, 2012City 15 - Edinburgh, Scotland - 2012City 16 - Nice and Monte Carlo, France - 2012City 17 - Lyon, France - 2012City 18 - Dijon, France - 2012City 19 - Provins, France - 2012City 20 - Paris, France - 2012City 21 - Ireland - 2012City 22 - London, England - 2012City 23 - Killarney - Ireland, 2012City 24 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - 2012City 25 - Brussels and Bruges, Belgium - 2012City 26 - Warsaw, Poland - 2012City 27 - Krakow, Poland - 2012City 28 - Vienna, Austria - 2012City 29 - Budapest, Hungary - 2012City 30 - Bucharest, Romania - 2012City 31 - Nile Cruise, Egypt - 2012City 32 - Cairo, Egypt - 2012

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