Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Travellers' tales

I'm still afflicted with Lurgy.

Bloody London germs, with their sneaky infectious ways. In general, I am careful about avoiding people who are obviously know, covered in boils and scabs and oozing pustules.  Also about washing my hands before I eat anything, and not licking the handrails on the Underground escalators, but you can't be too careful, it seems.

It seems to be passing off a bit, but I had a high temperature for a couple of days (and nights) and a headache which has only just eased off. I feel wiped out, tired, weepy, listless and grumpy. I must be a joy to be around.

As I am feeling less pathetic than I have been since the weekend, here are some pictures of London. Mostly taken from high up in the London Eye, which was most impressive. It's a fantastic bit of engineering.

There were no creepy blokes clinging to the outside asking us if we wanted to go faster, which was disappointing.  I'd have thought they'd have at least spun the car around a few times to make us scream. 

I was intrigued by this sign:

I like to wonder how many times they had visitors plummeting past the security guards before they thought "We really must put a sign on those doors."

It is especially pleasing that DO NOT is underlined for added emphasis.  Is that in case you aren't sure why they are telling you not to lean on the doors as you slowly rise hundreds of feet above the river?  And, I note,  the sign is only in English.  Is that because other nationalities are less likely to lean on the door? Or do the London Eye health and safety team simply not care about non-English speakers? 

We must know.

Anyhoo, we were bloody high up.  Look:

That's Waterloo station, from a million feet up.

Houses of Parliament.  If you look carefully you can see the police raiding MPs' offices for evidence to pass to the CPS.

We also went to the Aquarium, which I enjoyed far more than I expected to.  I even managed to do the Shark Walk.  No, not a dance where you wriggle on the floor and bite the furniture.  It was a suspended platform with a glass floor that you walk across, above this:

It's a bit blurry because NO FLASH.  But that's a shark in there.  Yep, a shark.  There were several others too.  And I walked over their heads.  Ha!

I was very taken with the Ray Pool, too.  Look:

They* were playing tranquil music, and we stood and watched the fish in there for ages. 

Some of them stuck their noses up out of the water, which was interesting to see. People leant in and petted them, despite the many signs saying "Do not pet the fish."  I didn't. 

It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

The Natural History Museum was a zoo, ironically. 

We sped through the minerals gallery and looked unsuccessfully for the giant tree thingy, but eventually the hordes of proles with squealing howler monkey offspring drove us back out into the rain.  Bastards. 

I tell you what though, I couldn't live there.  London is great to visit but the traffic!  The crowds!  The sheer balls-ache of trying to get anywhere if you aren't near a Tube station.  Gah.  Sod that. 

I'd rather be here, where even though you get stuck behind tractors and run off the road by combine harvesters and delayed by herds of cows, you can at least get from A to B without having to reverse the entire length of a street because there isn't room for two cars to pass**.

*The Aquarium people, not the fish.  I'd have paid extra to watch the fish playing ambient chillout music. 

**Although to be fair sometimes you have to reverse all the way back down a little windy lane to let a big oil tanker truck get past. 


Dan. said...

Well, you certainly seem to be making the most of our wonderful capital.

Check out the London Dungeon. That rocks.

And in regards to the handrails on the tube. Apparently they did tests on them and the one main germ they found is commonly in human faeces.

Folks really should learn to wash their hands better.

And on that bombshell, I shall leave you.

@eloh said...

I don't know how you walked across sharks. If I had been with you the glass would have broken and pictures of us being eaten would be all the rage on YouTube.

livesbythewoods said...

Dan, it was great having the time to enjoy the touristy stuff, rather than having to rush past it to get to the train.

And ewww. I keep my antibacterial gel in my rucksack for exactly that reason.

Eloh, it was not easy! And I was expecting much the same thing to happen to me, but clearly I was lucky that day.