Monday, November 03, 2003

London Day #1

Border control is absolutely minimal. No written customs stuff (I asked and was told you self-declare by choosing green or red path...!). Very slight immigration form - most interested (verbal questions) in where/with who we will stay. The show is just wide open compared to US of A.
Heathrow Express to Paddington (lovely cast iron forms at the station, but oh so dirty with diesel smoke). Then the Circle Line tube to Victoria. Tube is NOT set up for large wheeled luggage - lots of stairs. Bad for aging backs.
Whoever had the contract for the bricks in London must be a squillionaire. So many, ranging very old to quite new, used everywhere. Repeated patterns in the Tubes - columns and scalloped recesses - all load bearing bricks. Gazillions of 'em.
Staying in Belgrave Road, walked down to the Thames (tide out...), and found the (old) Tate. JWM Turner/Venice exhibit - great paintings. T was really an early impressionist - his skies are amazing.
No 'street' views in the minor streets: all this area is built up 4-7 stories with Georgian-style terraces. Map and a good bump of direction is essential...
Room is tiny, hot. Can't expect much for 55 quid per night but can do better than this. Even on the same street. Lots of budget 'hotels'.

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