Guards! (Monday) Went to see the changing of the Guards at the Palace, got there 30 min early and it was already 2 deep around the fence. By the time it kicked off they were 6 deep and all over the place elsewhere. The show as a bit of an anticlimax, but the whole thing was a waste of time with the people in front (and back) holding cameras over their head to try for that good shot. Only by leaning over and being tall did I get any shots or see much.
Wandered along the serpentine and had some fun hand feeding the squirrels, they are too cute to be little rats and these ones have been trained by the tourists to come when you bend low with hand out.
Then off to the Museum of London, a good free museum with lots of stuff that is worthwhile, including a 1660’s leather fire bucket. The trouble is that now seems to be the time where school groups o to these sort of things and I was swamped by a horde of smallish kids and frazzled teachers.
Holmes (Tuesday) Went to the Sherlock Holmes museum, not very good and cost 6GBP, a few rooms with a Victorian “bric-a-brack” with some vague links to the stories. They missed many of the touches that would have made it much better, ie the VR in bullet holes over the fireplace. The shop attached to the museum was only just smaller. In all a place to miss.
Lunch with Sue in the Scarsdale pub, nice pub and a good conversation wiled away a few hours as the weather turned nasty with showers and clouds (12 deg.) , looks like winter is here. I feel a little burned out on being away and think I picked just enough time to be away as my feet are sore from walking about town. But then again if I had more money to blow and time to stop for a few days I’d be happy to go on if it wasn’t so cold.
The Last Day (Wednesday) Took a black London cab to Paddington station to leave my bags there. I like these big cabs easy to get into with all your bags etc. Then off to the bigger London museum in the Docklands, A good museum with walk through displays ,mainly about “London the port” worth the run out here to see.
Heading back into town and seeing what I can before picking up bags etc
Did a stroll to see the “London Stone” and through the national gallery, very nice but full of more adult school groups, all very serious and earnest teachers.
So I headed off and go the train out to Heathrow and now with bags and self booked in having dinner.
Back in Sydney 06:45 on 23rd or Saturday
Thoughts for the last day
Worn out – shorts 2 (the bike seat rubs a bit), Underwear 3 (ditto), jeans 1, belt 1, socks 2, Shoes 2 ½ (walked and ridden) to knees 2 (mostly) feet (ditto), money mostly (LOL)
Good times (too many to count)
Pictures (3000+) not all good (many of tags of previous pic)
Places seen, too many to recount fully
Times locals say “you’ve seen more of Britain/England/Scotland than I have” 100+
Memories 113 days worth
Souvenirs, lots, some of you will get some, some not, cash, my carry space, imagination and the getting them home unbroken etc limited them.
Riding in the UK
Much more bike friendly than Oz, the big bike paths are worth the ride mostly but sometimes are more into the ride than getting somewhere, ie a path down into a nice village , up and down a steep hill where the road runs along the hill line. Or a loop path with only one train station on it.
You see much more from the back of a bike than car or train
Invest in good maps, see the Sustrans site for them or try Tourist info places.
Buy a compass, it helps with a map
You don’t have to cover the 50 miles a day the bike sites say is a good run. Stop and see the sights, that is why we travel, not just to cover ground.
Oh and remember that at the bottom of the hills is often a gravel, so slow down and be safe.