Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oct 9: London

Monday October 9th it was even harder to get out of bed. The time change was no longer an issue but I seemed to be falling farther and farther behind on sleep. The day was cloudy but warm, and cleared up to party sunny by the afternoon. First on the schedule that day was to return the rental car, and then we took the tube to Hyde Park. Hyde Park is rather large, very green and grassy, trees in some areas, open in some areas. It's nice, but it's not really terribly exciting.

DP says that all the swans are property of the Queen!

When we first arrived (on the 6th) I was immediately struck by the abundance of phone booths in London. Phone booths seem to be nearly extinct in the US these days (there's the occasional pay phone on the wall of a store or something, but a BOOTH... not seen one of them for long time). And in London, they are EVERYWHERE. You can get them on keychains and stuff too, so they're obviously quite a symbol of the city. This one seemed like the right opportunity to get the incredibly dorky DP and KP in a phone booth photo. Does that just scream "tourist"?!?!

We walked about a zillion more miles and ended up at Harrods, which is an enormous (and enormously overpriced) department store that Mom wanted to see. It's pretty posh, with a doorman, "luxury washrooms" etc. I can't imagine why anyone would actually shop there. I suppose if you had so much money you didn't know what to do with it, then maybe it would be feasible. They have everything there, from designer dresses to refrigerators. It was crazy.

There was a whole holiday section, like a big sparkly Christmas orgy. I had to take a picture, of course.

The escalator was a marvel in itself. The photo doesn't do it justice but it was Egyptian themed and quite highly decorated.

A whole room full of [expensive] chocolate!

This was the meat and cheese room... had things like octopus and lots of interesting looking fish.

When we finished ogling the products at Harrods, we headed down the street to the Natural History Museum. They had all sorts of cool exhibits, but what sticks with me the most is how appalingly bad the taxidermy was! You know, there are always displays of mammals and birds, and I've seen some darn good taxidermy before (for example, the African large mammals at the American Museum of Natural History in NY) and these were so bad they were almost funny. A good taxidermist can make a piece look alive. These were lifeless. Not impressed with that. But anyway...some pics (of things other than bad taxidermy).

Cool animatronic T-rex!


There was this fascinating yet in a way grotesque display of hummingbirds. Apparently this was one person's private collection from the Victorian era, when collecting and displaying dead exotic things was quite fashionable. I couldn't help but gawk at it.

Next stop: the bus tour.

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