Friday, July 3, 2009

London continues to rock!

My first full day of playing tourist in London was perhaps my best day in Europe this summer. It started with a quick trip to a key Harry Potter locale, then off to the British Museum for more than just dead Egyptians and old stones, then to Covent Garden for silly shopping and sillier street performers. I finally got to see Avenue Q, which was as good as I had hoped (see my next post), and a good Indonesian/Malaysian dinner with the Beatles playing in the background.

I have a few travel rules: walk as much as possible, spend money on food rather than tourist companies, and always eat Indonesian if it is available (since it is rarely available).

Many thoughts about London today:
  1. It is clearly the most dynamic, bustling European city I have ever visited, and certainly seems more alive now than it was twenty-plus years ago.
  2. My survival strategy for crossing the road is to "keep my head in a swivel" like a good football player, even though the instructions on the road are most handy (look left, look right).
  3. I did observe several guys in the morning who must have partied just a bit much the night before--a black eye, other evidences of fights. Perhaps related to the amazing crowds outside of each pub.
  4. The British Museum was pretty spectacular, not just the Rosetta Stone and other antiquities, but the incredibly diverse crowds from around the world and a cool exhibition of Medals of Dishonour.
  5. A day of directions. Rather than getting scammed by Italians in Berlin and Paris, I was asked by different sets of women (British and Scandanavian?) for directions. And they were not that far from their destinations so it was easy.

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