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Brass Junkie

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 17 June 2011 | Views [500]

St James's Park

St James's Park

Another day of rain!  In London!  How... typical.  It is amazing how depressing the city feels when the weather is not good; most of the tourists seem to vanish.  I'm fortunate that I got the days of sunshine that I did because in this weather, knowing that the Underground is going to be crowded and slippery I felt like doing nothing.  I woke up to another late start this morning to go to the Horse Guard Palace in Whitehall– and yes, yet another Changing of the Guard.  This one was a lot more calm but still involved over 20 horses and still a pretty large crowd of tourists.

I walked around St. James's Park but then it started raining hard so I headed to Trafalgar Square to the National Portrait Gallery, which has some amazing historical paintings.  It was a lot less chaotic than the British Museum since it wasn't as crowded and people weren't running around trying to get their photos taken in front of the portraits.

It was still raining when I left the museum and I could not find a cafe that was not overcrowded, so I went to the Charing Cross station to get a Cornwall pasty (large!) before I went to St. Martins-in-the-Fields and down into the crypt to do a brass rubbing.  Basically you select a bronze plate of the picture of your choosing, and then they will tape a piece of paper on top and all you have to do is take a big waxy crayon and rub it over the paper.  Granted there is some technique you're supposed to follow as you rub but pretty much the indentations in the bronze plate will draw the picture for you.  I chose George and the Dragon but my copper-colored crayon unfortunately didn't show up that well against the black paper.  It was a nice, calm, relaxing activity though.  I mean, how can it not be?  You're in a crypt under a church at a little wooden table coloring with a crayon on a rainy day.  Yeah, the place was definitely not swarming with tourists.  Afterwards I found a bar/restaurant/cafe right near my hotel called the Patisserie and ate an early dinner before returning to my hotel.

So that concludes my trip to London.  I'm turning in especially early tonight so I can be well-rested for tomorrow.  I can't believe it's been almost a week already since I flew to London.  I felt like I had so much time at the beginning of the week and now it's over.  I'm a little sad but more excited about the next leg of my journey.  Tomorrow I fly out to Reykjavik where I will stay for the next 10 days.  I'm pretty excited for a change of pace.  London was good but very crowded so I am looking forward to getting out into the great outdoors in Iceland: hiking, snorkeling, glaciers, volcanoes, rafting, etc. away from giant tourist masses.  Just some nice, quiet time.  I'll be getting in too late to be able to do any real exploring tomorrow, but hopefully by Sunday I can be out and about.  So the next blog entry will be coming from Hotel Reykjavik, Iceland.

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