I woke up and saw how bright it was outside and was sure I had overslept, but didn’t remember the alarm going off. But no, official sunrise time in Edinburgh was 4:53 this morning; I’d woke up about 4:30 and it was already really light. I tried to go back to sleep but never really did. Finally got up when Dan’s alarm went off at 6:15. We had to be out of the flat by 7:30 to catch an 8am train.

So today was another travel day, not much to write about. Here are some pictures of the flat in Edinburgh which I took right before we left.

The shower was in  a separate room – practically a closet really, with the smallest sink we’d ever seen. Good water pressure though.
Teeny tiny kitchen but pretty functional. The clothes washer is in the corner lower cabinet on the right. When the spin cycle was on the whole apartment would shake it seemed like. And it would get very loud because the cabinet door would rattle. Eventually I figured out to take the trashcan out of the other side and let it hold the cabinet door open and that made it much more quiet!

The train ride was long – almost 5 hours – but very relaxing. Dan had booked early and got very good rates on first class, so we had breakfast on the train, and as much coffee, tea, juice or water as we wanted. He did some work and I read my Churchill book.

We got off at Kings Cross then took “the tube” and a bus to the flat we’re staying at.

Me on the bus.

The flat we’re in is OK. The host actually lives here, it’s a full unit downstairs and a smaller unit upstairs; she stays in whatever one is not being rented. Since we wanted the full apartment, she’s upstairs. There are several things about it we don’t like – least of which is the tremendous amount of furniture she has in such a small space. To each his own I guess. We won’t be spending too much time here.

We are not in the center of everything, but the rate was good and we are close to public transportation. We bought the London Pass with the travel option, which will get us into museums and other attractions and includes most trains, buses and subways.

We got to the flat about 2pm and headed out about 3pm. The closest neighborhood worth seeing as a tourist it seemed was the South Bank, as in of the Thames River, so we moved in that direction. It was a few blocks to a train station, then we got off at Waterloo.

Hungerford pedestrian bridge just off of Waterloo.
Still the Hungerford.

The Tate Modern museum happens to be in the South Bank area, it was on the London Pass, so we thought – why not? Maybe this will be the one that changes our minds about modern art!

It wasn’t.

We stayed only about 20 minutes. The museum was free to all anyway; our pass gave us the audio tour for free which was otherwise 4 pounds. Dan took a few pictures, I just included the one below because it was the most “really?” one.


There was a balcony in the theater that gave us a decent view of St. Paul’s Cathedral across the Thames.
After the Tate, we went to the next thing our pass provided in the neighborhood, a tour of the National Theater. We had no idea what it was but I really enjoyed it (and Dan only a little). The National Theater was started under the guidance of Laurence Olivier over 50 years ago. They have been in their current location since 1976, which has 3 different auditoriums, seating around 1100, 800 and 250 respectively, each designed very differently to be suitable for different kinds of productions. The tour is about the different auditoriums, their features, what kinds of productions are best suited for them, and how the repertoire theater works. The unique design of the stages allow for sets that are easy to move and each theater can stage more than one productions in a single week, different from most theaters in the West End and Broadway which can only do one show at a time.
At any rate, since we’re seeing two shows this week – both in the West End – it was appropriate that we randomly ended up here this afternoon. We got coffee and split a sandwich after – we’d had some fruit, cheese and crackers when we got to the apartment and so that was kind of lunch  – then walked into South Bank away from the touristy areas.
This was the Imperial War Museum. It’s closed through July but it had a nice park around it and that was open.

We took a bus back to our neighborhood, which is very close to another called Lavender Hill, and explored that a bit. Lots of different ethnic restaurants we made mental notes about for future use. Like Amsterdam, London doesn’t seem to have its own cuisine – beyond fish and chips – so they import it from everywhere else. In just a few blocks we saw Tapas (Spanish), Italian, French, Lebanese, Chinese, Thai, Indian of course, Greek and Persian. We decided we weren’t really all that hungry after the sandwich at the theater so just went to the grocery store to pick up breakfast items for our stay. And ice cream.

And that was pretty much our day. Having some ice cream and going to bed early!




No Comments

  1. Meher May 20, 2014 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Welcome to London!!! I see you wandered into the Tate modern – eeks! I wanted to hear your reaction to the separate hot and cold bathroom sink faucets common to the land! Please do say something about them!

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