London and its Surroundings

London Travel Blog

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Really old pub in Pinner
After visiting more of the small town and countryside of England, it was off to London to stay with other friends (and spend my days at the National Archives in Kew.  No, I do not look at plants, I look at old pieces of paper.  Which is practically next to all the plants).  Luckily I finished all of my research and still had a few days to spare in London, which meant I could spend time visiting what is actually fun to see in England.

One of my friends lives in Pinner, which is *all* the way out in Zone five – past Wembley even!  However, Pinner is a cute old town in the center, with lots of old buildings.
The view of the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral from the Tate Modern
  Like a church and two pubs.  At least, that’s what it looked like to me.  Nearby is a lot of scenic countryside, much of which was William Penn’s way back in the day.  William Penn as in, the guy to whom all of the land in the “New World” was granted which became Pennsylvania.  In other words, home!  That was kinda cool, except that there is no William Penn house or museum or whatnot to see for history’s sake.

In London proper, though, I managed to spend some time at a lot of the free museums.  One of the really nice aspects of the great capitals is that they have free museums – which is almost never the case in the smaller capitals of Europe.  My friend and I visited the Tate Modern, though we did not see too much of it.  There is a temporary exhibit on Global Cities – that is actually pretty interesting, comparing ten major cities in the world and their populations, population growth, city growth, and other related issues.  However, we did not think it was really “artsy” or belonged in an art museum, even the Tate Modern.  Still, it was worth seeing, especially as the exhibit makes a lot of the statistics more visual and realistic, as compared to being numbers read on a piece of paper.

We also went to the National Gallery so that my friend could show me the almost life-size picture of the scary horse.  It is rather odd, particularly as the background is a golden yellow and there is no ground on which the horse stands.  I also spent some time at the National Portrait Gallery, which has some interactive computers to learn more about people and see additional portraits.

The museum I probably spent the most time visiting was the British Museum, with all of the mummies, other items from antiquity, and all over the world.  I am truly amazed at how many people allow their children to touch items, when they are marked “DO NOT TOUCH” or even without a sign such as that.  These are artefacts – why do they think it is acceptable to touch a 2000 year old piece of stone?!  Truly unbelievable.  Stand next to a beautiful piece of art or historical artefact and take a photograph, but don’t touch it!
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Really old pub in Pinner
Really old pub in Pinner
The view of the Millennium Bridge …
The view of the Millennium Bridge…
photo by: ulysses