London, Day 8 – Rest and Relaxation

October 13, 2012 – Saturday

I woke up early this morning and took a walk around the hotel’s neighborhood. I went down Euston, around the British Library, along Camden High Street, and eventually made it all the way to Camden Town tube station before turning around. On the way back, I looped around Euston railway station and wondered if it might be a better option than King’s Cross for taking the Tube. Later on we gave it a try, and for the rest of our time in London, we used Euston as our go-to Tube station. It seemed to be less crowded and a better walk to and from the hotel.

Statue of Richard Cobden
Statue of Richard Cobden

At the beginning of Camden High Street I saw a statue of a man named Richard Cobden. Although I had no idea who Mr. Cobden was, I was still awestruck by the age of the statue, 144 years old at the time I saw it. The street itself was a pleasant walk and reminded me of Mission Street in my own neighborhood in SF, with all sorts of shops and eateries bunched up together. There was a vibe in the air, sort of like how it is when you’re at a show and everyone’s waiting for it to start. I think I got a feel of what it might be like to be a Londoner starting off my Saturday morning.

Back at the hotel, JC was now up so we enjoyed a breakfast of supermarket food purchased the night before. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a microwave in our room and I ate the Scotch egg cold. I liked it, but it probably would have been even better if it was warm.

The rest of the afternoon was spent resting and relaxing. After being on our feet so much the past few days, we needed it. I used the time to research and reserve a rental car for Scotland, as well as airfare to New York City, our destination after the UK.

In the evening, we had a relatively fancy dinner with steak, wine, and dessert at the hotel restaurant before making our way to Westminster again so that we could see nighttime versions of the famous sites. It was freezing cold but we couldn’t pass up on taking a few photos:

The Cenotaph
The Cenotaph, looks just like the one in HK
The London Eye
The Eye, viewed from Whitehall
The London Eye
The Eye, viewed from Westminster Bridge
Big Ben at Night
Big Ben at night

We crossed Westminster Bridge and headed for Waterloo station to check out this Bourne Ultimatum filming location for ourselves. Maybe it was at night and not as crowded, but I couldn’t recognize anything. We did use the 30p toilet and I bought a computer magazine from WHSmith, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Across the street from Waterloo station was another Sainsbury’s (our new favorite supermarket?). After having paid so much for alcohol from the hotel bar, I figured I’d save some money and buy an entire bottle instead. They had Laphroaig 10 for 33 pounds, so that’s what I got. One curiosity I noticed is that the “regular” size of Scotch in the UK is 70cl, or 700ml. In the US, the regular size is 750ml. I guess what they say about everything being bigger in America applies to Scotch, too.

We took the 59 back to the hotel and I spent the rest of the evening reading my new magazine and sipping my new Scotch, a nice way to end a regular day in London.

Next: London, Day 9 – Too Smart for the Lift