Archive for the category labeled 'London'

South London Pacific

June 25th, 2007

For my last night in London, we visited South London Pacific, a gorgeous tiki bar on Kennington Road. Notaw had been by it on the bus many times, but never actually went in before. They have an excellent drink menu, and full on tiki decor. From what I hear, it’s also much cheaper than Trader Vic’s and Mahiki. If you’re planning to go, be sure to check in advance that they’re open. Friday and Saturday nights seem to be public, but they often rent it out for private parties during the week. And I found £5 in the street nearby when I was there, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Home at last

June 25th, 2007

Made it back to Phoenix late Sunday with a minimum of hassle. Mostly recovered from the travel at this point. Starting to sift thru all the pictures I didn’t get posted yet. Galleries will continue to pop up for the next week or so as I get them together. Meanwhile, here are a couple shots of the Tate Britain…with UNICORNS!

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London Pizza

June 23rd, 2007

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Had pizza on Thursday. “American spicy” style. Sort of a New York style, with fairly hot pepperoni. A hint of California Pizza Kitchen in this one’s DNA. Overall quite good.

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Ice Cream!

June 23rd, 2007

Well, I only got a coke from him. No ice cream music=no sale!

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Building the new Britain in Knight Rider Street

June 21st, 2007

Lots of construction here. You can’t swing an eel without hitting a crane in central London. Click the crane picture to see what they’re building in Knightrider Street:

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Wednesday Dispatch

June 20th, 2007

Some solo tourista adventuring today. I’ve mastered navigation here as well as I’m likely to, and Notaw had some workstuff to deal with in the morning, so I went down to some of the tourist hotspots. Fish and chips at the Tower of London, war protesters at Parliament Square, and boating down the Thames (or Old Chap River as they call it here). Not being much of a swimmer, I’ve never been on a boat before. Nice thing about the Thames is that if your boat sinks, it doesn’t matter if you can swim or not because the undercurrent will pull you under either way. Cheerie-o! Met up with Notaw at the Tate Modern. Too late for the Dali and Film exhibition, but it’ll be there for a few more days yet. Took many many photos, more than I’ll get to sift through tonight. I’ll try to at least get a highlight assortment up though. Meanwhile, a few fun facts:

The Tower of London is easily as tourist packed as the Grand Canyon

They charge 10 pounds to go inside Westminster Abbey

There are three or four war protesters yelling at cars outside of Parliament

Abe Lincoln rates a statue in Parliament Square!
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The Tate Modern isn’t as nice as you might expect
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And there’s only two things you really need in a restaurant:
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Monday – forced march and empty head

June 18th, 2007

trafalgarmap-small.jpgToday was art show, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, crowds, walk, bus, walk-walk-walk-walk-Apple store-bus-walk-walk-warehouse-artstuff-walk-misspelled bagel-walk-bus-tube-tube-shop-bus-collapse in a whimpering heap. I’ve prepared a map of the photographic part. Items of note:

  • 1. Where we got off the bus
  • 2. Notaw’s art show
  • 3. Path past statue of Frederick, Duke of York
  • 4. Back to Notaw’s art show…still artsy
  • 5. Trafalger Square, massive Admiral Nelson, smaller Charles I, throngs of people
  • 6. Lunch at an Italian place where they put on airs for the tourists
  • 7. Downing St., throngs of schoolchildren in silly hats, heavy security

    Photos to come when I get to them. Just to whet your appetite, here’s today’s theme:

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    THE GLORIOUS DEAD!!!!

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Arrival and first day

June 17th, 2007

Arrived safely in London on Saturday, although a bit crazed. The flight itself was uneventful. Saw a bit of the Irish coast, pretty beaches. Clouds over most everything else. Thought to myself that the Irish Coast was looking like a better pick. Of course many beaches look better from 30,000 feet than they do from 6 feet, so I don’t know.

When we got within spitting distance of London (1:30 PM local time), the pilot announced that we’d do a circle while waiting for a runway. Got a nice view, finally down low enough that clouds weren’t a problem. Saw a bridge, a ferris wheel (county fair this week?), lots of buildings and fields and stuff. Then we landed, and the real fun began. There was no room at the terminal, so they parked the plane out in the boonies and drove a ramp up to it. A steep, leaky (it was raining), wet ramp. At the bottom there was a bus. Standing room only ride to the terminal, then the long walk to Immigration and a line as bad as any DMV office I’ve ever been to. By 3PM, I was out of Immigration and on my way to baggage claim. Hung out for awhile, no bags. About 3:30 they announced that the baggage would be delayed a bit due to a shortage of “baggage tugs.” They continued making announcements about other problems every few minutes, and it was about 4:15 before I had suitcase in hand for Customs. Oddly enough, Customs was the easiest part of the whole terminal experience.

The next hurdle was transportation. I decided to go with a coach (something between a bus and a Super Shuttle), and then meet Notaw at the train station. The alternatives involved taking the Underground with several transfers, and after pretty much 24 hours awake (with only an hour or so of semi-napping on the plane) I was in no shape to navigate that. But to take a coach, I had to find the central bus station. Only took me about 45 minutes to get there, and another 45 minutes spent waiting for the coach. Then an hour or so in hellish traffic to get to Victoria. Easy!

Digression time: if you’ve every played a slot machine in Vegas, you’re ready to play the English equivalent: pay phones. The stickers on them make outlandish claims about 60p for 20 minutes. They lie. I made a call at the aiport to report my arrival. Put in 60p, dial, and after 30 seconds it starts blinking “out of time” messages. Keep feeding it money to get more time. An almost constant stream of coins. And just like Vegas, when you run out of money the fun is over. If you plan to ever need a phone here, you better bring a few rolls of coins.

Anyway, I made it to Victoria sometime after 6, met up with Notaw, and took a series of tubes and busses to his place. Got settled in, had a beer. Amazingly, I was recovered enough to venture out again for some drinking with his friends later Saturday night. Or maybe I was in a weakened mental state and just stupid, I don’t know. Walk-bus-train-train-train-walk to bar #1 in north London. The kind of bar that stops serving at 11. Beer and Walk-walk to bar #2. Beer-beer. And back to Brixton. Buuuuuuuuuuus-walk. Sleep-sleep-sleep.

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