(Note, for some stupid reason I put the bike picture and the title for this post on the last)
After sleeping in a bit we decided to head out for lunch. We arrived at London Bridge on the train and crossed over the bridge towards cannon street. You can also see the warship that the Olympic security forces brought into the Thames. I’m not really sure if it has a purpose other than security theatre. The whole security apparatus for the Olympics seems a little overdone but that would be a large aside.
The place we ended up at for lunch was clearly a hangout for the business lunch crowd. Nearly everyone else was dressed up in suits or business casual so we stood out a little. The food was pretty good but the tea platter was what really made it. It came with a little shot-glass of smarties. Tea is almost uniformly great in England outside of cheap places like Subway.
We then saw the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. Both are just as stunning the second time. Next to Abbey there was a bike rental place so we rented two bikes and attempted to make it to St. James Park. If you know London, you know that the Abbey and that park are not far from each other, but it took forever. Between trying to stay off of main roads and London’s streets being completely nonsensical, we constantly found ourselves going the wrong way. Still, biking through London is actually quite enjoyable, at least off of the main streets, and it made for a lovely afternoon. If you are in London I highly recommend it. A couple of hours is only going to cost you a few pounds.
We then did some shopping. I bought some jeans which are the one clothing item I have been missing over this last month. While I wouldn’t have actually wanted to wear them in the 30+ heat of all the places I went to, I am glad I have some for the damp chill of Great Britain.
And then it was time for afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is great. Delicious scones, a simple but tasty sandwich and a decadent cupcake combined with good tea. You can’t really go wrong with that combination. It almost makes me want to go for the a more authentic experience at the Empress Hotel in Victoria next time I am there, but I don’t think I could convince myself to spend that much.
And then after that I hopped on a double-decker bus, a metro train and then an actual train to Bristol. In Bristol I met up with my road-tripping companions. More about that in my next update.