8 hours in London. Mission: (1) get from Heathrow into the city, (2) check out the Tate Modern, (3) get fish and chips and a pint, and (4) wander around and get semi-lost. For to your future reference, the best way to get from the airport into the city is the Heathrow Connect, not the Heathrow Express, which costs twice as much and takes 10 minutes (that’s $56 for a 15 minute trip—but who’s counting!).
So, they drive on the left side in London. THE LEFT SIDE. This does not sound like nearly the tourist-life-threatening clusterfuck that it in fact is. Consider that London is a medieval tangle of roads of varying narrowness, many of which are one-way and many of which are motor-vehicle-prohibited, and also that some of which have these friendly “LOOK RIGHT” indicators, and realize that after one or two of those pints, where these indicators are missing your road-crossing instincts are all bass-ackwards and your life is in peril.
So! the Tate Modern. I got told to not take pictures after this one (Next: Museums In Paris Allow Photography, Which is Super-Annoying), but the TM houses several completely primo and ass-kicking Francis Bacons (one of which had a cute girl planted on the floor in front of it making a pretty good sketch (the girl)(of the Bacon)) and a completely brain-popping room with 6 Gerhard Richter squeegee paintings. Also the requisite Picassos, Miros, etc., and the Jackson Pollock that pretty well marks his transition from Miro-esque abstraction to his mature drippiness.
A tres-artsy pedestrian bridge leads from the TM back across the Thames.
Success w/r/t the fish and chips. Also plus a Timothy Taylor Landlord, which would be my beer recommendation if you ever find yourself in a London pub.
Here’s the London pub in which I found myself. I was unable to judge the Disnification (or, perhaps, ‘Fridays-ification’?) level of this particular establishment, but ‘moderate’ is a fair guess. I’m still not sure what the proper ordering/paying/tipping procedure is for GB, but half-assing it worked for a half-day excursion.
Of course all of Europe is cycling-friendly, but did you know that in London they have Bicycle Ambulances?
If they keep building bridges maybe eventually the whole of the Thames will be paved over. Anywho. London: a nice place to visit, and not as expensive as you’d have thought, but still pretty darned expensive, yeah? (Next up: Paris.)