Saturday, 18 August 2007

Day 6 - Through London

Just "through", not "to".

By the grace of its imperial majesty, the British railway system, it is impossible (slash highly impractical) to go by train from Oxford to Cambridge without passing through London first.

Knowing this in advance, I thought it a nice excuse for visiting London again for a few hours and seeing a couple of the things I missed last time.

Said and done, I alighted at London Paddington on quite a gray day and with not many hours of sleep in my sack. My plan was to walk to King's Cross from Hyde Park, thus visiting the famous Kensington Gardens on the way. How easy it looked on the map!

That's when I (re)discovered that London is huge. And very easy to get lost in. Which I did.

I walked my feet off around tens of very similar residential streets, looking for the way to the park, once appearing back where I started. I arrived in Kensington Gardens dead tired, so I just fell both on the grass and inmediately asleep. Same as I did on my first day in London, some months ago.

I awoke under a gentle sunshine, which accompanied me for a while. Saw the Albert Memorial and Hall (how many holes to fill it?), went to Hyde Park, and attempted to get the Tube. That's when I rediscovered how insanely expensive London public transport is. £4 for a single trip!! WTF!!!

So I ditched the Tube, went back to plan A and walked all the way to K's X. It was nice, walking the streets of the bustling city, seeing all those things that tell you you're in London. The red double-deckers, the hordes of rocketing taxis covered in advertising, the crazy hairdos, the cutting-edge touch-screen PDA phones in everybody's hand, the guys standing on the street holding a big sign for a theatre or club...

I walked all of Piccadilly, crossed the Circus and into the SOHO, past the British Museum into Camden and finally to LKX. Where I couldn't help it and took my photo with the "platform 9 3/4" trolley (at last!).

Thus I integrated my previous visit into this one and so stitched London into the whole trip. Sweet.

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