London Travel Blog› entry 4 of 27 › view all entries
As I wasn't terribly happy with the Ashlee House, the hostel where I had been staying (it was rather noisy and the rooms were very crowded), so I moved to the Generator, a couple of blocks away. The Generator is the hostel that my guidebook recommended, but I didn't initially follow its advice - I thought I knew better. I guess I need to put more faith in my guidebook.
After packing my gear, moving it, and unpacking, I headed back into London for another day of adventure. I started off by visiting the National museum, where I got to see 'The Arnolfini Wedding', a painting by my favorite artist, Jan Van Eyck. That was a treat. While I was viewing it, I explained to a Jewish couple standing beside me what the passion of the Christ was. I saw a bunch of other stuff in there, but I didn't take much notice of anything else.
It was then drawing close to lunchtime, so I looked around for somewhere to eat. I knew I found the right place when I saw a tiny sandwich shop with Brits queued all the way down the street. So I joined the queue, learned what a 'bap' is, and enjoyed a fabulous sandwich with free lentil soup. It was then time for a free concert at St. Martin in the Fields, a church right on Trafalger Square, so I dropped in and listened to some nice piano music.
After the concert, I took a nice, long stroll along the Thames, passing the London Eye, many street performers, Big Ben, Parliament (the Griswald family will forever be in my mind when I think of Big Ben), and Westminster.
I then called up Jenn Folkner, my girlfriend, only to have my phone card run out on me after just a couple of minutes. Big oops on my part. So I ran down the street to buy another phone card, only to be told that British phone booths eat up 25 pence per minute anytime you dial a 800 number. No wonder my phone card ran out so quickly. After a while, I finally figured out that I could dial from my hostel and not get charged the phone booth toll, so I called Jenn back. Please note: Jenn has no mobile phone, and she can't easily accept calls at her home, so she has to go to a phone booth and wait for me to call. After my phone card ran out of minutes and abruptly cut us off, Jenn waited about 20 minutes until I was able to call her back. Jenn, thank you for bearing with me in my telephone confusion, and thank you for waiting for me to call you back. I owe you one.
So we did get to talk, despite my poor planning. After we talked, I took a shower, then went and picked Colleen up from the airport. Colleen is a college buddy of mine, and we'll be travelling for a couple of weeks around Great Britain. Colleen made it to London without incident, and I showed up at the airport just after she finished getting through customs. After a long ride back to London, we hit the sack, as it was close to midnight.