Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Bonus Day in London!

Unfortunately, as you may have guessed by now, due to the inclement weather in Iceland and dangerously high winds, Play airlines cancelled our planned flight home on Saturday. This left us with a couple of options. Do we try to rebook on the next available Play flight for free, or look for another flight and try to get our money refunded? In contrast with our experience with Spirit on a previous international trip, the option of just renting a car and driving home from wherever we were stranded was not on the table. Eventually, we decided to rebook, crossed our fingers, and decided to enjoy our “bonus day” in London.

We checked in at the hotel near the airport, and, after having to change rooms a couple of times, finally were able to get some sleep. Joe got compensated for his “trouble” (of having to sleep in an extra room by himself), with vouchers for the hotel restaurant.

The next morning, we rented another car to make a second pass at London. There were no minibuses available for same day rental, so, instead, Joe and I both rented cars to transport everybody, and I also got to experience left sided driving. Luckily, my learning curve was a little shallower, given I had been navigating and watching Joe drive all week. Once we had everyone, we drove to the nearest Tube stop with parking and made our way into the city.

Once in the city, we decided to divide and conquer. A few of us were going to try to make it to the Premier League football game between Fulham and Nottingham Forest, and others wanted to see more of the classic London tourist sites. The football group stopped at the British Natural History Museum on our way down to Fulham, ducked in, and dodged the mass of humanity to get our pictures of the giant whale skeleton hanging in the atrium. Another distinction we observed in museums is how crowded they are on a Tuesday afternoon vs. a Saturday afternoon.

British Natural History Museum

Unfortunately, we were unable to get tickets for the football match, so, instead, we decided to try to watch the game in a nearby pub. However, when we arrived, the pub was showing rugby, despite being just around the corner from the stadium where the football game was taking place. The proprietor broke the news to us that no one is allowed to show 3:00 PM games on TV in England, because they want to encourage people to go to the matches instead of watching them elsewhere.

Polish radio interview

Meanwhile, as we later found out, Joe, Abbie, and John were having the “best day ever.” They looped around Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and Big Ben again in the daylight and got to meet the queen’s (king’s?) horses close up. They also went to Trafalgar Square and Abbey Road where they were interviewed by the Polish media for a radio piece discussing American opinion of British music. Somehow, Joe got to be the expert American on British music, much to Theo’s chagrin.

Hurlingham Books

After a quick stop at a bookstore bursting at its seams, we looped back towards the Tate Modern to give Adam another chance to see that museum. We took in some modern art, including a urinal signed by the “artist” and an installation of venetian blinds. Meanwhile, a few others went to see Shakespeare’s recreated Globe Theater and had some gelato.

Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Structure with Three Towers, Expanded 23 Times, Split in Three

Southwark Bridge with The Shard in the background

We reconvened with the rest of the group at Platform 9 and 3/4 at King’s Cross station where Abbie’s best day ever ended with a 10% off her cupcake and a bonus one. From King’s Cross, we took the train home, saw a massive hay fire on the M11, and grabbed some McDonald’s for dinner like true Americans before going to bed.

On the train home

No comments:

Post a Comment