OK - so I think the beer is the trick for a good sleep. Did NOT have a beer last night and while I did go to sleep no problem, I woke up and was awake for hours. Needless to say - we are not getting up and about too early, but no problem. We have all day to do what we want to do.
And the good news - I've already had my beer tonight so should be a good sleep!!!
We headed out with a couple of plans today. Wanted to check out Paddington Station. Oh my gosh. When you exit the underground at Paddington, it is a tiny little exit, but then we went around the corner to the station and WOW - the place is HUGE. Hard to believe that it is one of many train stations in the city. And how did all those lines and tracks get designed and well - it is just amazing. We did find Paddington Bear at the train station. So cute and of course there is a little gift shop there, but we did not buy anything.
Then we were off to King's Cross - another underground/train station. We went there for several reasons. The first was to go to the British Library. This is a HUGE resource Library. And we went into one of the exhibits and saw some amazings documents. Original manuscripts by Bethoven, songs written on the back of envelopes by The Beatles and many , many other fine documments. Amazing as some of theme were centuries old.
Next up was the London University of Arts - Central St. Martins - another location of the fashion school. Paula had told us that this location was very neat to see so we went to have a look. Apparently we were supposed to get a pass to get into the building, but we tagged along past the security guard with a group. I was the last through and he asked me if I was with the group. I said YES. OK -so it was pretty obvious that I was a tourist - I was older, they were all dressed alike. But he let us through. Then I felt bad and thought we might be tracked down and thrown out!!!!
We had a quick visit to the design studios and then off to the library. Amazing place - I have never seen so many books in the 700 part of the library in my life. Lots of books on embroidery, knitting, texitiles - well I could have stayed all day. I think M was a bit nervous because of how we got in so we didn't stay too long. But not before I found a quilting book from 1983 by Helen Rose (published in Canada) all about string quilting. Hey ladies - none of what we are doing is original. NONE of it. Some pretty cool stuff in this book - I did sneak a picture or two. Oh and there was no BACK way out - we had to go through a gate to get out of the building and of course - we had no card so the security guy had to open the gate for us. Ooops.
Next on the list was lunch. At our usual spot - PRET A MANGER. :) There were some interesting things to see in the area. There was a viewing platform so we went up and had a good look at the University. This location is in a building that used to be called The Granary. It is old and new at the same time. Very neat inside.
We just had to go to King's Crossing train station. And why??? Because we had to see Platform 9 3/4. And there it was!!!! So cool to see, but there was a HUGE line to get your picture taken and the picture takers were SLOW. There was no way we were goingt o wait since we are fans, but not HUGE fans of Harry Potter. We zipped into the shop Platform 9 3/4 and there was every form of sourvenir thing you could think of, but we didn't buy anything. And the shop was PACKED. You could NOT move in it. It was crazy!!!!!
By this time we were getting a bit tired so we headed back to the hotel. We did just fine on the underground. I think a couple more days and we would be pretty comfortable getting around. OK - so I am fibbing.
I had a mission that I wanted to accomplish. But it was going to be mission impossible without a GPS. I wanted to say that I had found at least ONE geocache here. But without the GPS - we were at the mercy of the clues/maps and messages for the caches. I had done some research and came up with four possibilities. Two of which I had already looked for and had no luck. We went back to one and still no luck. OK - let's leave that. We then walked into a BIG park - Holland Park for those that know. I knew the cache was near the center of the park, near the Koyoto Gardens and on a gate. OH CRUD - there are a LOT of fences and gates in the park.
We got to an intersection and M suggested we go this way. OK - since I had no better clue to give. We started looking at EVERY gate post. And within ten minutes M found it!!!!!!! OH MY GOD - we were so excited. It was like looking for a needle in a hay stack. We had no phone, no GPS - just some basic guidelines from the internet. And she found it!!!!!! We were pretty excited to say the least. Who cares about any others - the goal was to get ONE.
By this time - our feet are pretty much dead. We found a nice Italian restaurant for dinner and then back to the hotel to crash for the evening.
I am trying to post my pictures on Facebook, but no luck yet.
Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!