Saturday, January 08, 2005

Today's Adventures in London

This morning, I signed up for a Network Rail Card. For a mere £20 yearly fee, the card entitles you to 1/3 off of qualifying trips by train. (And some other things, too, but I haven't figured it all out yet.) And, I found out about a Treble Card. No, it's not some type of music card, it's a pass that gets you to London by train, unlimited tube access, and a return trip all in the same day. And it works out to be a great savings.

So, I used my Network Rail Card to purchase a Treble Card. Then I hopped a GNER non-stop train to King's Cross Station. Then I took the tube to the Blackfriar's Station. I visited the Temple Church which was built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. If you're read The DaVinci Code, you may remember that part of the action was set there.

Next, I visited the Museum of London, a very nice, free museum that traces the history of London from 250,000 years ago until today. Among their large collection the things on display is the chair in which Charles Dickens sat when he wrote A Tale of Two Cities.

Since it was getting to be a long time since my breakfast, I decided to conduct a scientific study which I have tentatively titled, "An Investigation into the Similarities and Differences Between the American and British Versions of Globally-Distributed Short-Wait Eating Establishments." The subtitle to this study is, "Lunch at McDonald's." I know, I know...I fly 4,000 miles to eat at McDonald's? For shame. But it was quick, somewhat simple, and cheaper than eating someplace else. I ordered a large Big Mac meal with a Diet Coke. The delightful order-taker informed me that they don't have anything called "Diet Coke" despite my pointing to the logo on the menu. SO I asked for a Fanta. The next person, the cashier, confirmed my order ("One American Meal?" - much to my chagrin) and passed me to a third person. This person asked what I wanted to drink. Having been told they had no Diet Coke, and not really wanting the Fanta I had asked for earlier, I asked for a Coke. Without a word, he put my cup under the dispenser marked "Diet Coke" and filled my cup.

After taking in some historical and cultural sights, I decided to visit Harrod's Department Store. Unfortunately, half of Europe decided to visit as well. So, despite the crowd, I have a nice time walking the many floors and seeing all the lovely things to buy. Although the £19,998 antique clock was very nice, I settled for leaving with an equally nice £2.50 tin of almond biscuits and some batteries for my digital camera.

Following a quick, stand-up supper of a Cornish Pasty and a Fanta, I ducked into the same Internet cafe I visited last week.

The night is young (though it's been dark for about three hours).


Blogger Monkey said...

I told you that you were going to have trouble with all that foreign speak.

Just remember, don't ask the fat man with the wooden spoon if you can have "some more please sir."

- The Monkey

9:29 PM  

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