Ok so it is Wednesday and we have arrived in Birmingham. The bus smelt like city rail but it was a cheap ride. It took about 3.5hours to make it here.
Birmingham is an odd place. We are staying in China Town which is next to the Bull Ring. The Bull Ring is great big newly built shopping mall. Lots of great shops. I bought a dress which means I have to discard an item of clothing.
I am feeling very tired today after our million and one adventures in London. Hauling huge bags is also tiring. I feel quite vulnerable when I am trekking through crowds with my huge backpack.
We are staying in an Ibis which is very clean with super soft beds. I am trying to lap it up before I am about to camp on 9mm thick foam. I am guessing I will have to have a few drinks to sleep.
London was amazing. St Paul’s Cathedral was amazing too. I made it to the Whispering Gallery then got vertigo and head back down. I lit some Penny Candles for my family which bizarely made me very emotional and was really, really overwhelming. Clive and Jane were hiking up to the Golden Gallery at the very top so here I was standing by myself crying. Later I wandered through the Crypt and saw the marker for Henry Moore along with many others but he was placed there in 1986 so I found that interesting how something so old can be so new. Also Clive fell over, it was chuckles all round. He fell slowly backwards over large marble steps.
The Big Bus tour was great to find out some info and get your bearings. We spent from 8:30am to 6:15pm riding it. Our bearings were quite good at the end. We also enjoyed a River Cruise on the Thames.
We seriously need another week or 2 there. We didn’t do Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Tate Britain, Cartoon Museum, Science and Natural History Museum. We managed to go to the British Museum. FABULOUS. We only spent 2 hours there as we were meeting Jane and Michael for a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour.
British Museum…..ignominious! So much stuff, so much to see and read. Seeing all these items from the Romans and Egyptians makes you realise how small some lives can be and how fleeting time is. Clive and I both feel we need to clear out 1-2days to walk it.
The last few days have been such a blur I am muddled what to write and in what order. Monday was the British Museum and the Jack the Ripper Tour. We didn’t get much done as we checked out of lovely Hendon Hall and stayed at the Chelsea Guest House, which was actually in Clapham. It was ok for 2 nights, nice and close to everything and we would ride the bus to Westminster or Trafalgar Square to change over…..I was alright with that!
Before the Jack the Ripper tour we were hoping to visit Whitechapel Gallery. This was closed Mondays so we visited the pub. Afterwards we walked around in the rain for a few house. So much history and an interesting story. The images we were shown were very horrific and there were also dozens of other tours near us too. We also learnt about how people would sleep over ropes and how desperate people would get. There is 7000 pubs in London. We also learnt about a small piece of land near a church that was called whore/prostitute island. This is where Clive will be working. And then there is “Itchy Park”, it was where the homeless would try and sleep against the fences. Since they would fall forward and jump upright again it looked like they were scratching….I am also guessing it might have been nicknamed that from the fleas from the homeless.
London in short is amazing, draining, fun, tiring, overwhelming and old.
We are in Birmingham tonight to see Dylan Moran live. If you don’t know who Dylan Moran is then shame on you! No just google him and Black Books. First we are going to chow down in China Town. Yes we are giving asian food in England a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance.
We depart at 8:30am in the morning for Leeds then getting on a train straight away to arrive in Dent and the Yorkshire Dales until Sunday…which is my birthday. I am not sure if we will have internet or phone reception at Dent but we will have some blog uploads and video ready.