A Viewaskew of London
London Travel Blog› entry 2 of 20 › view all entries
I woke up bright and shiny for the first real day of my trip. I had a vague set of plans for the day and got to it.
I started the day with a cup of tea and a terrible breakfast at the hostel, and then hit the road. Across the street from the hostel, they were renovating a building by gutting the interiior and rebuilding everything behind the original facade. I approve.
I'd decided to try a walking tour with NewEurope, specifically the Free London Tour. This is a 3 hour 'preview' tour give by the firm to advertise their other tours. The tour called for meeting at the Hyde Park tube station, and being paranoid of being late I arrived entirely too early. This paid off to my benefit, as not only was the park filled with numerous war memorials I never would have seen otherwse, but also got to see the horse guard go trotting by in advance of the upcoming changing of the guards.
I found that we were back in Traflgar Square, and I knew that something looked different but I couldn't put my finger on it until the guide pointed it out.
The tour came to end an on the steps of a building across from the Palace of Westminister and House of Lords, as the guide recounted the story of Guy Fawkes. There was then the option of going with the guide for a a meal and a drink at a restaurant that offered a small discount to people who had taken the tour. I went along, but didn't have anything to eat, unless you consider Guinness a food group. ;)
I had to dash though, as I had plans for that evening. I'd been planning this trip with a friend and we had gotten tickets to go and see written/director/actor/comedian/podcast mogul Kevin Smith do one of his talking shows at the O2. Being a long time fan of his, I'd been on his boards for ages and had made arrangemnts to meet a number of people from there. The place that had been chosen went by the name The Cutty Sark and was located along the south bank of the Thames in Greenwich.
After a few drinks, we walked over to the O2, which was 2.5Km away. It certainly didn't feel like that far, but I was with good people having good fun and that can make otherwise longish walks seem much less so. We arrived at the venue and it as close enough to show trime that we decided to go in, so the group split up. I'd bought balcony seats, and that was somehow considered a mini-VIP section with a fancy lounge and reasonably priced bar.
The venue was nice, the show was good. The night was long. After the show, I had to leave immediately to catch the last bus to the last train to anywhere near where I was staying. I had one of the other people to travel with the first bit, but after he got off the train I had to rely on the adrenelane generated by my fear of falling asleep on the train and waking up somehwere lost. Highly effective. I reached the hostel and crashed.