Wednesday, August 28, 2013

London 2013 Part 3

Day 5

On Sunday, I visited Kew Gardens. I had to get another Oyster card to travel to Zone 3 and then I was off.
Kew, or the Royal Botannical Gardens are really pretty, and so much more so in the Spring, when all the flowers are actually blooming instead of the mostly grassy spots that I met. I should also mention that the map of the grounds makes absolutely no sense and contradict the signs posted at the junctions, which are equally confusing and stupid.

That being said, you could see a lot of the pretty just after the entrance. There was a vegetable garden and tropical greenhouse...

There was an aquatic section which had eels, jellyfishes and seahorses...

There was a rose garden and a lily house...

... A Japanese Gateway with a Pagoda...

... An Alpine House and A Princess of Wales Conservatory with venus flytraps...

... A rock garden...

... and loads of pretty flowers.

The grounds and lakes were also quite picturesque. I can't remember the names of all the areas these were taken from.

I was hungry after all that and walked around Kew for a bit. I stopped in The Botanist which had a waitress who rolled her eyes when I walked in and asked for a table for one (how am I supposed to know that the only establishment I walked in in London that had a 'find a seat and we'll come by you' policy worked that way? STEUPS). Like a trini, I bore the bad service and sat. After 10 minutes and not one of the wait staff stopping by to see what I would like to order, I walked out. I ate the power bar I kept for emergencies and tried to navigate out of Kew, which has no maps or signs pointing to the nearest underground station posted like the main city. I didn't have a map because it was out of range - my street maps only showed zones 1 and 2. To say I was frustrated when I left there is an understatement.

Later that night I walked around Paddington looking for food and stopped at the Angus Steakhouse on Praed Street. I don't buy steak in restaurants because I don't like the taste, but I took the chance on my waiter's recommendation and ordered the 7 oz. fillet with fries which was delicious!

Day 6
I have no pictures to show from this day. I mean I took a few, but none really reflect what I saw. I first went to the London Dungeons with my 10:00 a.m. ticket that I bought online. It was so early for most of the tourist crowds that I got in with minimal waiting.
The Dungeons is really a tour, with some little rides (I did not expect to get wet) that are supposed to give you some idea of the conditions people went through trying to escape or getting hanged. There was a bit on Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd as well. I loved every moment of this. It was dark and smelled of rats (there were live ones in cages) and dust and pictures were not allowed. I was really impressed by the amount of detail gone into making this an interesting experience and the long-ass speeches that all the actors delivered flawlessly.

I then visited Buckingham Palace for my 2:15 a.m. time slot. Again, no pictures were allowed so I got a chance to see something else without a camera lens. The only issue with that it that I have terrible short-term memory, and I am already forgetting all the pretty. I did get my ticket stub stamped so I could return within the year at no charge (woi!).

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