I never knew London had canals. Not before I moved here at least. They even have a place called Little Venice, which is the place where Grand Union Canal meets the Regents Canal. It is great for walking, because you can walk along the old towpath (from the time they used horses to pull the boats) all the way to Camden Lock. Somehow I always seem to end up in Camden.
If you like museums, South Kensington is the place. Here you’ll find the Science Museum, the V&A (design) museum and the Natural History Museum very close to each other. And Kensington Gardens, and Royal Albert Hall are just around the corner too.
If you are a National Geographic reader or Discovery Channel fan you would probably love the Natural History Museum. If you are interested in dinosaurs even more, ’cause they have quite a lot of them. Expect a complete zoo of stuffed animals. And on a rainy Sunday (last weekend), expect a whole zoo of people too and get a better understanding of what claustophobic means.
Even though located in a fantastic and beautifully decorated building, it wasn’t really me. I prefer living animals (to watch, mind you) and less people. But this is a world famous museum, and one of London’s topattractions, so go and check it out for yourself, it’s for free.
Free entrance. South Kensington tube station.
(The Big Dinosaur picture is on the photoblog, shaken, not stirred, but in this case I quite like that)
I met up with 2 girls in the Starbucks on Leicester Square, and after some text communication about what we looked like, we found each other. We were going to see Prime. Prime was actually quite fun to watch, a real girls night out film, and if you love films like Love Actually you probably like this one too. Meryl Streep is hilarious, and they luckily chose the not too obvious endning. (a 7.5 for this one)
But this wasn’t the highlight of the evening for me.
I did give the half price booth of TKTS a go again yesterday. I was there on Saturday afternoon around 3pm, and the queue was impressively long. So long that I was in doubt if I wanted to queue at all. But I had my book with me, and the sun was doing it’s best to shine, so I did go for it. I timed it : it took me 20 minutes from the end of the queue to the little window of the ticket service desk. Unfortunately there wasn’t a man with a nice voice this time.
Fall in London is going to be fantastic with Kevin Spacey back on stage in the Old Vic Theatre. Kevin Spacey has just announced The Old Vic’s program, and he is going to play in A Moon for the Misbegotten.
Thames Barrier, London and London skies …
Some things just intrigue me. One of these things was the Thames Barrier, I guess because I like water and everything that has to do with it. And because the design of the barrier somehow reminds me of the Opera House in Sydney, which is a beautiful building. And hey, I am from Holland, we have a history with water barriers.
So today, another beautiful day with the perfect clouds for pictures, I went.
I took a picture of this bus on one of my first days in London, after my move, in the beginning of March. Already there I noticed the face of this Blue Man on the bus. And these blue faces popup on several places in London, in the underground, in cafe’s, in cinemas. Just the fact that their faces are so incredibly blue was enough reason for me to put them on my (long) “must-see” list. And today somehow ended up being the day where I saw them : The Blue Man Group, in The New London Theatre in Covent Garden.
London City Hall
On a day like today, where spring has arrived in London, I don’t need anything else than my book. a sandwich from Marks & Spencer (still waiting for love flowering at the counter for people with under 5 items though), and a bench in a park to sit on.
The sun is delightful, and I am sitting in Trinity Square Gardens, which is a little peaceful park in the middle of South East London, very close to Tower Hill tube station.
From here I can see the Tower of London, a piece of the impressive Tower Bridge, and the reason I went this direction in the first place: the London Cityhall (called the crash helmet by local Londoners).
I’ll read a few pages more and enjoy the sun, and then I will take a walk over the impressive Tower Bridge to have a closer look at the City Hall.
Local Londoners are complaining about the fact that it has been very expensive to build, and that it wasn’t really appropiate to have it build right opposite the Tower of London (modern architecture contra old history). I find it (from an architecture point of view) a very interesting and beautiful building.
It is very nice to explore London this way, not having to rush around as a tourist would do. What I don’t make today, I’ll do some other time. No need to rush.
And also this walking trip was for free. Hop off the tube at Tower Hill walk over the bridge, and walk along the other side of the Thames to London Bridge station where you can hop on the tube again. More pictures to come.
Tomorrow I am going to watch men in rowingboats. The very traditional and world famous Oxford – Cambridge Boat race on the Thames is held tomorrow at 4.35 pm. And that is something I have to see of course, especially when the weather is a nice as it is now.
Yes, the cinemas on Leicester Square are incredibly expensive. But there is a way around that. Just 50 meters from Leicester Square there is The Prince Charles Cinema. This is an independent cinema and they are showing a lot of independent films, but they also show a lot of blockbusters after they have been running in the other cinemas for a few weeks. They are current running films like Harry Potter, King Kong but also pearls like Broken Flowers and Mrs. Henderson Presents. I saw Proof today with Anthony Hopkins, Gwenneth Palthrow and Jake Gyldenhaal (a bit weirdish film – but well acted).
Now let me tell you why you have to support this cinema : ticketprice ?3,= (ca. Euro 4.50) for evenings, and if you are as crazy as me being there in the daytime, tickets are ?1.50. On friday all tickets are ?1,= which is about 1.40 Euro. That’s completely amazing. The chairs are good, and so it the sound. So go visit it if you are ever in London, wanting to see a movie.
(Internet will be installed at home 1.5 weeks from now – until then – answers on emails will be a bit delayed – and postings will be chaotic as I can’t really write well under pressure (= the clock ticking in the internet cafe)).
The Girl In The National Portrait Gallery
Even though I am still not relaxed enough to really enjoy London, I did visit the first item on my to-see list : The National Portrait Gallery.
Now 2 cool things about London to begin with :
many museums are open until 21.00 Thursdays and Fridays
and really a lot of museums have free entry! (how fantastic is that!)
So I felt like seeing something else than my computer for a while, jumped on the Piccadilly Line, jumped off on Leicester Square and walked the 200 meter from there to the NPG.