Some archeologists believe that Stonehenge - the mysterious arrangement of enormous elongated stones in England - is actually a crude effort by the Druids to build a computing device. ~Dave Barry

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Is it Tuesday already?

I managed to get into London via a different train route, I ended up at London bridge station. I will still se what I want, just in a different order. I can manage that. London Bridge station is not as big as Victoria, but just as busy. I have a feeling that all of London's stations are busy, especially at the end of the day.

The HMS Belfast is a permanently moored WW II warship that has been converted to a museum; part of the Imperial war Museum - Already on my agenda. I have been on many military vessels when they come into Montreal, usually about 30 minutes of a visit with very little information about the systems. The Belfast is different, A self guided tour takes you through almost all of the ship, including the boiler and engine rooms. You get a look at what life was like, the mess (kitchen and dinning rooms, bathrooms, sick bay, the dentist, food storage and the ammunition storage and gun loading system. What I thought would be 30 minutes became over 2 hours. I had to change other plans today, nothing to worry about. I made better plans for another day.

I had a second day with the Big Bus tour, including a river cruise, From the Belfast I walked over Tower Bridge and checked out the exhibits there, I will do the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London together on one day.

The river cruise was a 20 minute trip from the Tower Bridge to the London Eye. The 15 minute wait became 45 minutes. It was not a complete waist, I met some other tourists, an American couple on vacation and an older couple with their grandsons. We chatted about London, Canada and the States. It was pleasant and it made the time pass more quickly.

More of the BIg Bus tour, just a continuation of yesterday's extravaganza.

The Tube is HUGE!! There are so many stations. I hadn't been on the Tube yet and wanted to experience it. I asked directions, I didn't really know where to begin looking on the system map. It was no more difficult that Montreal's Metro.

The millennium Bridge - it doesn't bounce anymore. When the bridge was completed and opened, as people started walking on it, there was a marked bounce and sway in the bridge. . it was open for a weekend, then closed for 18 months to get it fixed. They added dampers to control the sway and bounce. All is well, the bridge leads right to the Tate Modern, I have that on my agenda too.

People have said to me the London is very expensive. I agree, if you're a tourist, because of the exchange rates, London can be very expensive, every £ (pound) has the value of about $2.25. That is a lot of money. I bought a sandwich today, it was £1.75, quite reasonable for something from a train station shop, almost $4.00 CAD, Yikes!

My feeling is that if you live here, it is a very reasonable price. Milk is about £1.40 a liter, comparable to about $1.30 a liter at home...sorta if you convert it is very expensive.
Tourists are on a fixed budget with a limited amount of money to spend 9in their own currency) it can get expensive to visit.

Aside from people grumbling that thety don't have enough money, it seems to be quite reasonable to live here.



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