Friday, January 27, 2012

16 Dec 2011 - from Edinburgh back to London

Waverly station
Despite what most said about the dank weather in Edinburgh, it was 2 wonderfully dry and mild days  and our last day in Edinburgh was no different. We checked out of Travelodge Central very early,  in case bad weather and unforeseen traveling circumstances should derail our trip south to London. Thankfully, it was all systems go and we even managed to have a little breakfast at Edinburgh train station.

Mascot,Mr G, goes back to London with us
We took the 8.30am East Coast train with prebooked table seats at coach D, seats 13,15,16. Our southbound trip was made by advanced booking online. Both ways, I managed to get us  table seats with a view of the sea. For that, I congratulated myself on my foresight.

We pulled into London Kings Cross at 1pm and intended to get H a 7 day travelcard for 13.80. This would cut down the hassle of buying a card every day and give us savings of a couple of pounds. Unfortunately,  either the London Underground has scrapped this scheme or something, because such travelcards were not available to kids. In the end, we had to purchase a day pass for her like before.

Albert Memorial,one of my least favorite
We unloaded our luggage, filled to the brim with souvenirs from Edinburgh, at the apartment and proceeded to Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial which were very near our apartment. It was a mammoth, gaudy memorial, painted in ugly gold that 'took our breathe away', marring the beautiful Kensington Gardens. Many tourists did not think so and cameras snapped away happily at the towering structure that declared Queen Victoria's love to her dead consort.

Put up by one of those crazy Imperial College Physics nerd
We walked down via Exhibition Rd to South Kensington Station as Pat traced the path where he walked to Imperial College. Works and gaffs of fun loving Physics students , probably from Imperial, were everywhere with spoof notices such as "looking for boson, contact Higgs at Cern" found near the college premises and tickled H pink.

Big Ben
At Westminster, we snapped pictures of Big Ben at the Parliament, as did the scores of tourists. The bobbies stood watch nearby and most of the tourists used either Big Ben or the Bobbies as backdrop for their 'been-there' photos. We caught  the evensong at Westminster Abbey, a ritualistic but touching choral services with readings from the OT and NT. Little Westminster choir boys sang while the visitors prayed or meditated. It was a rather interesting experience for us, especially when we had never stepped into an Anglican Church before.

Now 6pm, the evening had turned freezing, more so than Edinburgh ! Satisfied with the many photos of Parliament and the Abbey, we made our way back to our apartment at Gloucester Rd, but not after we had 'raided' Waitrose of dinner stuff.

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