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more of london

2004-02-23 - 11:58 a.m.

Day 2: Monday.

We woke up and promptly lazed about, drinking wonderful British tea. Tea sold in England is different from tea sold in the US; it's stronger in England, and therefore less bitter. Seriously. If you ever get the opportunity, drink some Twinings Earl Grey purchased in the UK and then drink some purchased in the US. The bags in the US have about half as much tea in them, and even the loose tea is not quite as good.

We finally got off our asses and decided to go see the Tower of London. But by the time we arrived, the Tower was set to close in 1 hour, and we decided we didn't want to pay 12 quid to only see the Tower for an hour. So we put it on our future list and promptly went to the gift shop. Hey, if you can't see, shop, right? I saw and swiftly began to covet a beautiful woolen wrap which matched my Scottish scarf exactly. I decided, at 50 quid, I would need to sleep on it, so we did not leave with the beautiful woolen coziness. We did leave with a bottle of mead and two books on British royalty through the ages; one with pictures and one with information.

We had a while before we were set to meet our friend, so we walked around. A lot. We walked across the Tower Bridge and over to an old battleship. It was closed. By this time I was starting to get really cold, and deeply regretted not purchasing the warm woolen wrap, which would have insulated me against the wind. For refuge, we ducked into a coffee shop. If you ever go to London, stop at a Cafe Nero. It is really quite excellent--smooth coffee and yummy pain au chocolat. We pored through our trusty guidebook, decided to go see Southwark Cathedral (mainly because it was the only attraction in walking distance still open) and left. Without R's camera.

Southwark Cathedral was pretty. We had just enough time to get up to the Shakespeare monument, and then the reverend (?) came out and announced that the evensong service was about to start, and we were welcome to join in. Feeling faintly fradulent, R and I went up the the choir stalls, grabbed a couple prayer books, and joined in with the service. It was just the four of us--me and R, the reverend and his assistant. It was very peaceful and heartfelt.


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