I’ve been here about seven weeks, and have now had my first visitor. Allegra arrived on Wednesday for a couple of days in town before we headed to Spain.
She arrived on the red-eye Wednesday morning and was able to nap while I went to class. We met up at campus, then went over to wander around Covent Garden. It’s a really cute market, with a mixture of chain stores, little restaurants and craft booths. After a pub lunch we walked up to the British Museum, where we saw the Rosetta Stone and the mummy of Cleopatra. It’s a gorgeous building with a lot of interesting old world “acquisitions” (my favorite British euphemism for stuff they stole during their conquests).
Although it was a bit misty we walked down to look at Buckingham Palace, then stopped at a nearby pub before heading back over to Brick Lane for some yummy curry.
Thursday I didn’t have class, so we had the whole day to explore the city. A quick trip through Spitalfields, then down to Tower Bridge and over to the south side of London. We got down into Southwark (pronounced suthuck) and cut over to Borough Market, which I’m excited to now know that it is open on Thursdays. There was a lot of excellent-looking produce (which I’ve been missing a lot here), so I plan to go back this week and do a little shopping.
Continuing along the south side we walked past a few places I’ll likely go visit for real eventually, including the Globe theater and the Clink museum (the latter is where we get the term “the clink” to describe prison). We settled on a visit to Tate Modern, which had a very cool Pop Art exhibition featuring Worhol and Koons work. I had no idea that Koons, in addition to those adorable metal balloon animals, did a lot of very blue imagery, including some quite vivid pornographic stills. Huh.
The fun wasn’t over yet! We walked back to the north end of the river, via the Millennium Bridge. Harry Potter fans will remember it from the most recent movie. We worked our way up to Lincoln Inn Fields and visited the Sir John Soane museum. It’s especially creepy at 3:30 on a cloudy day. But I recommend it.