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Thursday, July 1, 2010

London: people * [places] * things

So many of the places I visited in London deserve their own entry, and will most likely get them.
Some deserve their own entry and won't get one and I can only hope my memory of them lives on anyway.
Places are never just places though are they? They're really just about people and things only you add in smells and sounds and room tone.

On our first day in London we hopped on and off the Big Bus Tour, so we had eyeballed most of the prominent sights in the city by 6pm. We had photographed Big Ben, gawked at Westminster Abbey, meandered around Picadilly Circus, stood on London Bridge, and wondered at the lions in Trafalgar Square.*  It had been a while since we ate at Costa that morning, we tried to find a decent pub. The World Cup was on and we were near London Bridge. The odds were against us, but we prevailed.
We settled on dinner at a pub called Mudlark.  It was situated just far enough from the London Dungeon that we couldn't hear any touristy screams, but near enough that on our way there I got my photo taken with two blood-stained actors wandering the streets. (Score!)

At the pub John tried the fish and chips, and I ate delicious steamed veggies with my fingers while I drank a Fosters.**  I took a photo at the table because I couldn't get over how casually we were drinking in the shadow of a medieval church.
As we were leaving, a football game was picking up between some of the young men drinking their beers on the street outside the pub. Two men rode by on bicycles. Big Ben chimed.

Oh, London.

* Later we would return there and witness a celebration that broke out when England beat Slovenia.
  This involved shirtless men standing in the middle of the fountain in Trafalgar Square waving flags and screaming while people danced and screamed at the base of the fountain and tourists like us circled the scene wondering why soccer is so popular everywhere else in the world.
** Which meant I was hungry again about an hour later. Brilliant.

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