Saturday, April 16, 2011

The 264th good about Lagos: accompanying my husband on a business trip, part two

We had just returned from Amsterdam when Brent learned that he would be needed in London on business the next week and would need to leave early because of travel restrictions for the elections over the weekend (more on that on my next post).  Since his trip was going to be extended over a weekend, and since we had BA points waiting to be used, we repacked our bags just a few days after getting back to Lagos and headed off to probably my very favorite city to visit -- London!

I fell in love with London when I first spent 6 months there as a university student on a study abroad semester.  I never tire of spending time there and don't mind at all going about on my own.  But on Brent's free Saturday, we enjoyed a day trip out to Windsor together.  He had never been there to visit the castle.  It's everything a person expects in a castle, and also has some really splendid State rooms and so much history.  Add that to a beautiful day, and it was a great outing.

 I love that most London museums are free and so I don't worry about stopping in to a museum I've visited many, many times before.  I enjoy going back to see works of art that are like old friends.  There are so many museums that I never have time to go to them all.   Art museums are my favorite, but I always try to find something new or that I haven't gone to in a long time.  I had probably gone to the Imperial War Museum 33 years ago when I was a student in London, but it wasn't the same place now.  It is a very interesting museum, with a lobby filled with aircraft, tanks and all kinds of war equipment.  It has great exhibits on the Holocaust, spies and espionage, war art, as well as Britain in the World Wars.  I was here till closing one day and hope to go back to see more.
 On Sunday Brent and I went up to the British Library to a very interesting exhibit on the English Language through history, and then to a unique exhibit at the Wellcome Collection on Dirt.  I tell you, it really was fascinating.  But because we were in the area, I had to stop at King's Cross Station and pretend I was going off on the train to Hogwarts.  There was a lot of construction going on in the station, and I was looking around station nine and the guard there looked at me and asked "Harry Potter?  Go right down the hall there by platform 8."  We just beat out a large group of people also wanting photo ops, so I'm glad I wasn't the only "mature" person wanting a picture there.
 One day I went along on one of the guided London Walks, which are a very good way to get a closer look at a neighborhood.  We were all amused when the guide pointed out this sign above a pub.  I had noticed the name on the pub, "The Three Kings," and expected the picture on the pub sign to be like the nativity scene 3 Wise Men.  But the 3 Kings here were King Henry VIII, King Kong, and Elvis.  The English do like their royalty.
 London was starting to buzz with royal wedding excitement and there were wedding souveniers available everywhere.  (I did resist purchasing any.)  Also everywhere are lovely London city parks and the tulips were blooming.  Beautiful springtime!

 I enjoyed two free lunchtime music concerts as well as a peaceful choral evensong service at St. Martin's in the Field.  When visiting London I always go to St. Pauls and walk across the Millenium Bridge to the Tate Modern.  It was a perfect spring day.
 Our last evening in London, we walked along the Thames walk near our hotel and watched the sun set behind Hammersmith bridge.  What a wonderful city!

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