Keep Calm and Carry On
London Travel Blog› entry 3 of 16 › view all entries
The day began at 4AM. My clock was completely off its nut and I had no idea what time it was anymore (It was 11PM at home, and I was waking up?) Unable to get to sleep because of a loud party happening down the street, I decided to get up and bathe. It was then that I found out that they turned off the hot water at night. Now fully awake, I stumped down 37 stories to the front of the hostel to have a smoke, where I met a bunch of younger travels doing the same. We hung out for a bit, and then went our separate ways.
Several hours later, I struck out heading southeasterly. I had a destination in mind, but owning to the fact that it would be opened for another couple of hours, it gave me some time to wander and take a leisurely route. I walked down Regent to Pall Mall, which I followed into Trafalgar Square, passing Canada House on the way.
I reached the museum still quite early, and took a stroll around the parks outside. There was Russian memorial to their soldiers and civilians, and a lovely Peace Garden, based around Tibetan Buddhist symbology and dedicated by the Dali Lama:
"We human beings are passing through a crucial time in our development. Conflict and mistrust have plagued the past century, which has brought immeasurable human suffering and environmental destruction.
There's also a piece of the Berlin Wall, with the hopeful yet cryptic entreaty to 'Change Your Life'.
By this time, the Museum was opened and I could go in, once again marveling at the freeness (this trend would end soon enough.) It was the Imperial War Museum, so obviously my nerd bits were tingling and erect.
I took my time heading back, the grabbed a quick shower and headed back out. I was going to meet a couple of my squadies from the BKB (Black Night Brigade) from World War II Online (the video game that ultimately precipitated this trip.) We spent a good couple of hours pounding back Guinness and then stopping by a little Turkish restaurant which was entirely too delicious.
On my way back to the hostel, I ran into the kids who were out front having a smoke the night before. They insisted that I go out with them, and we trundled out into the London night looking for the elusive after hours. We didn't find them, and we missed the last tube back, so we ended up splitting a cab back to Piccadilly Circus, where I went to bed as they stumbled off looking for beer. I had a big day coming up.