Results tagged “Laundry” from UK and Japan 2010

Had another crappy nights sleep.  Was too hot (even with aircon on full) and stressing over my dumb body and then the building started humming.. loud enough for at least one other person on the floor to complain about it.  No idea what it was.

So got up fairly late.

Had breakfast at the local Scottish Restaurant (for £5 for the two of us instead of £30 the hotel would have charged).

Then hopped on a tube train then a regular train out to Charlton to walk up to the Thames Flood Barrier (past a half marathon in progress which closed off the road we walked up).  The flood barrier stuff was pretty cool.  Interesting to see how they built it and how it works.  Had a toasted sandwich in the cafe there for lunch.


Security cameras at Charing Cross station
Security cameras at Charing Cross station

Rows of houses outside Waterloo station
Rows of houses outside Waterloo station

Marathon runners on Woolwich Road, Charlton
Marathon runners on Woolwich Road, Charlton

Thames Flood Barrier 
Thames Flood Barrier 

Thames Flood Barrier 
Thames Flood Barrier 

Thames Flood Barrier
Thames Flood Barrier

Model of the flood control system
Model of the flood control system

Stu ponders the denting caused by stress-testing the scale model
Stu ponders the denting caused by stress-testing the scale model

Scale model of the flood control system used for testing the design
Scale model of the flood control system used for testing the design

Thames Flood Barrier
Thames Flood Barrier

Thames Flood Barrier
Thames Flood Barrier

Thames Flood Barrier
Thames Flood Barrier

Thames Flood Barrier
Thames Flood Barrier

Instead of walking back to the station and training it two stops, we decided to walk for a while back along the Thames.  You can actually walk all the way along it, but we cut across the Greenwich peninsula (and cut across the end of the half marathon, and even saw the exact same girl wearing an Elmo on her back that we saw the first time two hours ago!).  


Thames Path National Trail tunnel
Thames Path National Trail tunnel

This wall showed the length and height of the Thames as it comes down from its headwaters
This wall showed the length and height of the Thames as it comes down from its headwaters

Thames heights near Runnymede
Thames heights near Runnymede

Looking towards London and the North Greenwich Arena
Looking towards London and the North Greenwich Arena

Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park
Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

Elmo girl!
Elmo girl!

Buzz Lightyear was also running
Buzz Lightyear was also running

So headed into the park at Greenwich and up to the observatory.  Joined the hordes trying to get their photo taken on the prime meridian.  Also had a look at the old telescope buildings.  And got filled with rage at people taking photos of the telescopes when it says all over the place that photography is forbidden :(:(  Epic grunt.  Should have taken some myself :/  The GPS doesn't actually line up with this, as the meridian for GPS is actually about 102m east of the prime meridian.  Go figure.  Headed back to the station and found another marked location of the prime meridian, with (hurrah) no tourists! Win! :)


Sundial in Greenwich Park
Sundial in Greenwich Park

Greenwich Observatory
Greenwich Observatory

National Maritime Museum
National Maritime Museum

North Greenwich Arena
North Greenwich Arena

Greenwich Observatory
Greenwich Observatory

Shepherd 24-hour Gate Clock and Public Standards of Length
Shepherd 24-hour Gate Clock and Public Standards of Length

Greenwich Observatory
Greenwich Observatory

Greenwich Observatory
Greenwich Observatory

Stu on the Prime Meridian
Stu on the Prime Meridian

Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian

Greenwich Observatory
Greenwich Observatory

Prime Meridian on Park Vista just north of the gardens
Prime Meridian on Park Vista just north of the gardens

Prime Meridian on Park Vista just north of the gardens
Prime Meridian on Park Vista just north of the gardens

Prime Meridian on Park Vista just north of the gardens
Prime Meridian on Park Vista just north of the gardens

Trained it back to the hotel.  Got our washing together and went and put it on, and had Thai for dinner next door.  Two mains, two desserts and a bottle of wine, and suddenly we have a $100AUD bill :(  This country is so expensive it's more than just a little ridiculous.  Put on the drying and had a McFlurry then back to the hotel to research tomorrow..

Oh I forgot to mention.. I got THE BEST value for money deal possible in this country tonight - sixteen 500mg paracetamol caplets for 16p!!  Yes, that's 1 pence per tablet!!  At that rate I considered buying a whole bunch to stock us up for the next few years .. altho customs might have had something to say about that!!


Geotagging - Day 30
Geotagging - Day 30

Photos on the Canon: 163
Photos on the Sony: 24
Photos on the iPhone: 6
Photos on the Olympus: 9
Photos on the Blackberry: 6
Photos on the Video: 21
Videos on the Video: 11
Steps walked: 18641
Pounds Spent: ?
Another small B&B last night so a lot more personal.

Had a bit of a slow start, then headed into town to do our washing.  While the washing was on we went for a walk down to the beach, and while the drying was on we went for a coffee.  Well the sweetie did, I had an OJ :)


Tourist train in Newquay
Tourist train in Newquay

Newquay
Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Cool house on top of rocks in Newquay
Cool house on top of rocks in Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Bridge to the isolated house at Newquay
Bridge to the isolated house at Newquay

Fountain at Newquay
Fountain at Newquay

Having lots of weather here on holiday - yeah, story of our holiday!
Having lots of weather here on holiday - yeah, story of our holiday!

Came back to the hotel and repacked our suitcases then headed out.

First stop was Padstow because Stu was interested in Rick Stein's restaurants.  We had trouble with parking.  The first car park was full, which mean a drive through pedestrian-infested streets trying to get out.  Then the second car park was also full, with about ten cars in front of us trying to find parking.  So tried for the top car park.  Got a park there but the machine wouldn't take money (for me or the people in front of me).  A city car park person came by and had a look and said yep, machine is broken (often happens in the rain)  (did I mention it was raining?).  So we got free parking!  Do you have any idea how exciting that is in this country??  Anyways, so wandered down the hill in the rain.  Had a bit of a wander around.  Found Rick Stein's "The Seafood Restaurant" but they didn't have any tables.  So went and found his cafe which is a bit more casual.  Had some lovely seafood there.  Our most expensive meal so far, but that was the point of going there.


Port at Padstow
Port at Padstow

The Seafood Restaurant at Padstow
The Seafood Restaurant at Padstow

Port at Padstow
Port at Padstow

Cornwall
Cornwall

So then headed south west and went out to the tourist trap known as Land's End.  We got there at 5pm, but paid a pound too much for parking (£3 instead of £2 if we'd just waited two minutes for 5pm).  Went down to the cliff edge and thought well that's lovely.  Took photos of ourselves with the "overnight" Land's End sign that they put up after 5pm and don't charge £9.95 to stand in front of.


Stu at the entrance to Land's End
Stu at the entrance to Land's End

Lighthouse at Land's End
Lighthouse at Land's End

Rocks at Land's End
Rocks at Land's End

Rocks at Land's End
Rocks at Land's End

Signpost at Land's End
Signpost at Land's End

Stu at Land's End
Stu at Land's End

Karen and Cutie at Land's End
Karen and Cutie at Land's End

Then headed back past Penzance (and the pirates thereof?) to St Michael's Mount to attempt to photograph it in the horizontally blowing rain (horizontally blowing *into* the direction of my camera, not away from it :( ).


St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount

At least the parachute wind surfers were having fun
At least the parachute wind surfers were having fun

Then back to the B&B.

It's raining here.  Severe weather warnings and everything.

Have I mentioned the rain?


Geotagging - Day 26
Geotagging - Day 26

Photos on the Canon: 168
Photos on the Sony: 27
Photos on the iPhone: 1
Photos on the Blackberry: 1
Photos on the Video: 3
Videos on the Video: 11
Steps walked: 8479
Pounds Spent: ?
Was a little bit warm in the hotel room last night (even with aircon on) so didn't sleep as well as could be expected.

No hotel breakfast, and the Laundrette opened at 8am, so we just got up and lugged our washing down the road to the Laundrette.  Set it running then went across the road for breakfast.  I had a "Scottish Breakfast" which included an awful lot of food, including haggis, which I've never had before.  After having tried a little black pudding the other day (which I didn't much fancy), haggis was actually quite nice .. :)  Went and had Starbucks while the washing was in the dryer, then wandered back to the hotel to checkout.  We didn't end up getting charged for the under the hotel parking - win!!

Looking up Montague St, Ediburgh
Looking up Montague St, Ediburgh

So we'd decided last night that we weren't going to try and see anything in Edinburgh.  To do this place justice you'd really need to spend a few days here.  Plus there were so many other things to see out of town.  So we decided just to leave, and come back and spend a few days here on another trip, perhaps when we go to Ireland or other parts of Northern Europe.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

So first stop was Firth of Forth, and the bridges thereover.  Had to wait for little patches of sunlight to shine through between all the clouds.  

Firth of Forth railway bridge
Firth of Forth railway bridge

Firth of Forth railway bridge
Firth of Forth railway bridge

Forth road bridge
Forth road bridge

Then headed north west.  Our next stop being Doune Castle.  Read: Swamp Castle and a couple of other castles from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (but not Camelot - it's only a model - shhh!!).  Had a wander around the castle exterior and squeed quite a bit :)  Also had a look at the river Teith behind the castle which was flowing very high - there must have been heaps of rain around here recently!

Doune Castle
Doune Castle

Doune Castle
Doune Castle

Doune Castle
Doune Castle

Trojan Rabbit was just there
Trojan Rabbit was just there

River Teith at the back of the castle
River Teith at the back of the castle

Continued heading north west and did a little detour out to Duke's Pass to see if we could find the quarry of Tim the Enchanter.  Well we found it, but it was a twenty minute hike up the hill to where the filmed it - grunt! So got my photos and ran back down the hill again (before it started raining).

Quarry off Duke's Pass near Aberfoyle
Quarry off Duke's Pass near Aberfoyle

There are some who call me.. Tim
There are some who call me.. Tim

Stopped for lunch at a little cafe on Loch Venacher.  It was pretty awesome.  The cheeses Stu got were epic awesome!

Loch Achray Hotel
Loch Achray Hotel

We had lunch at this cafe on Loch Venachar
We had lunch at this cafe on Loch Venachar

Continued on.  Getting up to Glencoe was exceedingly cool.  The mountains were sooo pretty.  But really hard to document in the failing light and dirty windows.  And then the petrol light came on in the car so didn't want to risk stopping in case we didn't make the town of Glencoe. We'll just have to go back! ;)

Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

Hills near Kingshouse
Hills near Kingshouse

Hills near Ardveich
Hills near Ardveich

Viaduct near Glenogle
Viaduct near Glenogle

Restaurant near Ardchyle
Restaurant near Ardchyle

The Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum
The Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum

Hills near Clifton
Hills near Clifton

Hills near Auch
Hills near Auch

Hills near Auch
Hills near Auch

Lochan na h-Achlaise
Lochan na h-Achlaise

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

So got to Fort William around 6pm-ish and checked in.  Got quite amused by the crazy path we had to take to get to our room.  Had some time to catch up on news feeds, and do some photo stuff.  Went out around 8:30pm to get some snacks and ended up with a bottle of pinot grigio, cheese balls, toffee popcorn and ice cream.  Yeah real healthy .. hrmm..   Not all consumed, some will carry on to other days...

Bleak looking Loch Linnhe
Bleak looking Loch Linnhe

Geotagging - Day 19
Geotagging - Day 19


Photos on the Canon: 310
Photos on the Sony: 16
Photos on the Olympus: 5
Photos on the Blackberry: 1
Photos on the Video: 23
Videos on the Video: 21
Steps walked: 11060
Pounds Spent: ?
Didn't sleep all that well last night.  Not helped by the pillows that were about a foot thick :/  And breakfast was pretty stingy too (had to order again, but this time they just had the choices, and they brought them out in a set quantity - so if you only ordered three things out of six, you'd get half a plate of food).

Well after seeing both Leaky Cauldron's last week, the Hogwarts Express two days ago and Hogsmeade station yesterday, today I finally got to Hogwarts!!

First stop was Durham Cathedral.  We found the Howlands Park and Ride thingie and caught the bus into town.  Apparently Durham has a congestion charge, but we didn't see signs anywhere, so we're a bit worried that our drive to and from the hotel was charged and we don't know about it.  Definitely not a user-friendly town this one.  When we got off the park and ride, we really had no idea where we were or the best way to get to the cathedral.  Ended up picking a direction and walking in it, and eventually found a tiny sign pointing to the cathedral and castle.

Kayakers on the River Wear
Rowers on the River Wear

So the cathedral is quite impressive (especially since the thing is nine hundred years old!!).  It's free to get in (they ask for a donation) but they don't let you take photos inside the cathedral itself.  I wanted to go up the tower (£5) so did that.  Then we paid £5 each to see the stuff around the cloisters.  You don't need to pay to see the cloisters themselves, just the other special exhibitions.  Of course I was there to see the cloisters and courtyard.  These of course being where they filmed the corridors and courtyard from Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets.  I was epic excited to walk down the same way the kids did and round to the little gate (couldn't actually go out into the courtyard).  Probably took a few too many photos ;)  Had a look at the "AV" presentation - a 17 minute doco about the history of the cathedral and St Cuthbert which was really interesting.  Also had a look at the "treasures" which included one of Cuthbert's coffins and a gold and garnet cross that was with his body (no photos allowed there either).

Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral

Cloisters from the tower
Cloisters from the tower

Durham from the tower
Durham from the tower

Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral

Durham from the tower
Durham from the tower

Cloister of Durham Cathedral
Cloister of Durham Cathedral

Cloister of Durham Cathedral
Cloister of Durham Cathedral

You can see the little gate over the other side that the kids walked through
You can see the little gate over the other side that the kids walked through

Here Harry tells Ron and Hermoine he's made the Quidditch team
Here Harry tells Ron and Hermoine he's made the Quidditch team

Fred and George are on the team too
Fred and George are on the team too

And here's where they walk out into the courtyard
And here's where they walk out into the courtyard

Cloister of Durham Cathedral
Cloister of Durham Cathedral

Courtyard of Durham Cathedral
Courtyard of Durham Cathedral

There's a shot of the towers in the movie, but they've completely CGIed the top of them
There's a shot of the towers in the movie, but they've completely CGIed the top of them

So then we headed north.  Made the decision not to go to Lindesfarne as it just wasn't going to fit in timewise.  Had lunch at a Little Chef on the motorway.

Angel of the North in sunlight this time
Angel of the North in sunlight this time

So went straight to Alnwick (pronounced Annick).  It was supposed to be £2 parking, but we walked up and down and couldn't find a ticket machine, so eventually asked someone and they said a dude at the entrance was selling the tickets.  Well the dude was nowhere to be seen so we scored free parking!  Win! :)  £12.50 each entrance to the castle.  More squeeing on my part as we came up to the gate that they filmed in Philosopher's Stone.  We arrived just before a 2:30 "Broadswords to Broomsticks" tour, so went along on that.  Most of it was telling me stuff I already knew, but there was some interesting history thrown in as well, some behind the scenes stuff, and stuff from other movies (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves) as well.  Some stuff I didn't know - they used twelve identical Ford Anglias, and wrote off seven of them; they filmed the train scene from Philosopher's Stone in a building in the courtyard, as well as the restricted section of the library scenes.  So after the tour had a good wander around the area where they had their first flying lesson, as well as the little courtyard where Ron pays out Hermione about "leviOHsa, not levioSAH".  Had a wander through the staterooms (no photography there unfortunately).  People actually live in this castle in the winter, so there were a couple of completely incongruous things, like a fusball table!, in one of the rooms.  Found the sweetie, went up one of the little towers, then another quick walk around the grounds before heading off.

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

Entrance to Alnwick Castle
Entrance to Alnwick Castle

The car drives through here in Chamber of Secrets
The car drives through here in Chamber of Secrets

Inner building of Alnwick Castle
Inner building of Alnwick Castle

There's a high angled shot of this courtyard in Philosopher's Stone
There's a high angled shot of this courtyard in Philosopher's Stone

Medieval Bridge.  I would like to have gone down to see where they filmed Black Adder, but we were running too short on time
Medieval Bridge. I would like to have gone down to see where they filmed Black Adder, but we were running too short on time

Hagrid's Hut was over there in Philosopher's Stone
Hagrid's Hut was over there in Philosopher's Stone

Alnwick Castle - give it here Malfoy or I'll knock you off your broom!
Alnwick Castle - give it here Malfoy or I'll knock you off your broom!

Here's where the kids had their first flying lesson!
Here's where the kids had their first flying lesson!

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

On the Broadswords to Broomsticks tour - that was our guide
On the Broadswords to Broomsticks tour - that was our guide

A very well defended entrance to the castle
A very well defended entrance to the castle

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

Little Princess
Little Princess

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

It's LeviOHsah, not LevioSAH!
It's LeviOHsah, not LevioSAH!

Same courtyard, different angle
Same courtyard, different angle

Stu inspects a canon
Stu inspects a canon

Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle

Headed down to the coast to find Bamburgh Castle, which looked quite impressive in the afternoon sun.  Went down to the beach north of it to get some photos.

We had to stop for like five minutes for this freight train to appear.  And a rainbow.
We had to stop for like five minutes for this freight train to appear. And a rainbow.

Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle

Lighthouse on an island offshore
Lighthouse on an island offshore

Sadly we didn't have time to get to Lindisfarne
Sadly we didn't have time to get to Lindesfarne

Then onto Edinburgh.  We arrived too late to do our washing (it closes at 8pm).  So just had a pint (not a quiet pint - the pub was filled with noisy people watching football) and then got some takeaway dinner and came back to the hotel to eat and do internetty stuff.

Scottish border
Scottish border

Scottish border
Scottish border

Driving through Scotland
Driving through Scotland

The local
The local

Prepare for some disappointment regarding Edinburgh in tomorrow's post...

Photos on the Canon: 343
Photos on the Sony: 7
Photos on the Blackberry: 2
Photos on the Video: 34
Videos on the Video: 8
Steps walked: 13164
Pounds Spent: 74.93
So our morning began at 12:45am when the roadworkers outside decided to start jack-hammering.

Seriously.. WTF???

That would never happen in Australia - there are laws about such things!!

Anyways.  It stopped after about ten minutes, but it took me ages to get back to sleep cause I was anxious about it starting up again.

Breakfast much the same.

First stop of the day was the British Museum.  I knew in advance that you could easily spend a week in that place.  And I wasn't wrong.  We had a couple of "must sees" - the Rosetta Stone, the Mildenhall Treasure, the Lewis Chessmen, the Elgin Parthenon marble, the Sutton Hoos burial stuff.  And in two hours we easily saw those. But there was the hints at so much more.  You could easily spend a hour in each small room.  If we lived in London it'd be cool to pop in for an hour or two on weekends and just explore the place.  We barely scratched the surface of what was there.  

The British Museum
The British Museum

The grand foyer of the British Museum
The grand of the British Museum

Statue of Amenophis III
Statue of Amenophis III

My first view of Egyptian heiroglyphics
My first view of Egyptian heiroglyphics

Red granite head from a colossal figure of a king, about 1390 BC
Red granite head from a colossal figure of a king, about 1390 BC

Quartzite figure of baboon, about 1400 BC
Quartzite figure of baboon, about 1400 BC

Winged human-headed lion, Assyrian
Winged human-headed lion, Assyrian

I loved the amazingly detailed stonework of the Assyrian pieces
I loved the amazingly detailed stonework of the Assyrian pieces

The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone

Ramesses II
Ramesses II

Gayer-Anderson Cat
Gayer-Anderson Cat

Elgin's Marbles
Elgin's Marbles

Statues from the Parthenon
Statues from the Parthenon

Hoa Hakananai'a Easter Island Statue
Hoa Hakananai'a Easter Island Statue

The Lewis Chessmen, as seen in Harry Potter :)
The Lewis Chessmen, as seen in Harry Potter :)

Spoons of the Mildenhall Treasure.  Roald Dahl put me onto the Mildenhall Treasure, I've been wanting to see it ever since!
Spoons of the Mildenhall Treasure. Roald Dahl put me onto the Mildenhall Treasure,
I've been wanting to see it ever since!


Flanged bowls
Flanged bowls

The Mildenhall Great Dish
The Mildenhall Great Dish

Fluted bowl
Fluted bowl

The Sutton Hoo helmet
The Sutton Hoo helmet

Roman Glass
Roman Glass

Ancient weapons
Ancient weapons

Pottery
Pottery

The Lindow Man
The Lindow Man

Mold Gold Cape
Mold Gold Cape

Early image of Christ from Hinton St Mary
Early image of Christ from Hinton St Mary

Hadrian
Hadrian

Enlightenment room
"Enlightenment" room

So at 12:15 we headed back to the station to meet Shazzy for lunch.  Went to Pu's Brasserie - Thai - and had some very nice curries.  Lunch was over all too quickly.

Then we headed into town to have a wander past Downing St and onto the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum.  Fascinating stuff!  A couple of odd highlights for me - that Churchill was a pretty talented artist!  And that Neville Chamberlain looks exactly like Barty Crouch in Goblet of Fire.  Freaky!  (actually a website I read suggested Barty Crouch looks like Hitler - which is also true! Gah! :) )

If this is a woman she totally took a lot of steroids!  

On Horse Guards Avenue
If this is a woman she totally took a lot of steroids! On Horse Guards Avenue

A horse guard
A horse guard

Horse guards entrance
Horse guards entrance

Entrance to Downing Street
Entrance to Downing Street

Arches on King Charles Street
Arches on King Charles Street

Bomb suspended near the entrance - an original german 250kg bomb.
Bomb suspended near the entrance - an original german 250kg bomb.

Meeting room
Meeting room

Art of Winston Churchill
Art of Winston Churchill

Door to 10 Downing Street
Door to 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister's dining room
Prime Minister's dining room

Chiefs of Staff conference room
Chiefs of Staff conference room

Graffitti of Hitler
Graffitti of Hitler

Communications room
Communications room

Winston Churchill's bedroom
Winston Churchill's bedroom

Winston Churchill's bedroom
Winston Churchill's bedroom

When we were going through Westminster station on the way back I was thinking hey this could be the station from Order of the Phoenix - and sure enough it was!  But I don't have any photos dammit!!  Will have to go back ;)

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey

Clock tower closeup
Clock tower closeup

Then we headed back to the hotel to pick up our washing to take to the laundromat.  It was a pretty sad place - half the equipment was "out of order" - including the detergent machine which was somewhat annoying.  Fortunately Earl's Court has enough mini-mart type places that we could buy some.  We even donated some to some kiwis in the same predicament as us.  

While we were waiting for washing and drying we went next door to the "New Asia" Indian restaurant for dinner.  Because Indian has to be done when you're in London :)  It was pretty good.  Also had a couple of pints. 

When I was transferring our washing to the dryer I noticed a couple of things that weren't ours.  I thought they must have gotten stuck in the corner of the washer and missed.  But as we pulled the stuff out of the dryer we found more things.  Another couple that had come in at the same time as us said those things were theirs.  They also had had to switch between the small and the big washers.  I'm guessing she threw a handful of stuff into our washer by mistake.  So we gave them back most of their stuff, but we missed a couple of socks.  So they will have to be thrown out as they don't even match - doh!!

So now it's 10pm and I haven't downloaded my photos yet... maybe tomorrow..!

Geotagging - Day 12
Geotagging - Day 12


Photos on the Canon: 389
Photos on the Sony: 14
Photos on the Blackberry: 2
Videos on the Video: 3
Steps walked: 11707
Pounds Spent: 104.48
Woke up very early this morning. Like maybe 4am or something. That'll learn us to go to bed at 9pm. Lay there for ages and finally got up at 6am to use the puta.

Breakfast the same as last two days. Out the door a bit after 9am.

Checked out a local laundromat on the way to the station which should work for us later in the week.

Bicycles for hire in Earl's Court
Bicycles for hire in Earl's Court. They had these all over the place. We might have
used them except the process seemed overly complicated so thought it was all too hard.


So headed into town.

Our first stop (after passing Piccadilly, Mayfair and Vine St) was the Apple Store on Regent St.  Unfortunately they don't do iPhone unlocking.  So I am royally screwed :( $20000/gb because Optus and/or Apple couldn't get their act together.  Bastards.  Epic hate. So switched off data and will only use data in emergencies. 

Toilet at Mayfair
Toilet at Mayfair. Yes even the toilets are fancy in this part of town!

Ritz Hotel
Ritz Hotel

Burlington House
Burlington House

Old building on Great Marlborough St
Old building on Great Marlborough St

Apple Store on Regent St
Apple Store on Regent St

Continued up Regent St and along Oxford St, past Park Lane to Hyde Park.  Had a bit of a meander through the park and took lots of photos of gooses and stuff.  

Clock on Selfridges
Clock on Selfridges

Marble Arch, Hyde Park
Marble Arch, Hyde Park

Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park
Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park

Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park
Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park

Hyde Park deckchairs
Hyde Park deckchairs

Hyde Park deckchairs can be hired - £1.50 an hour!
Hyde Park deckchairs can be hired - £1.50 an hour!

Reformer's Tree mosaic
Reformer's Tree mosaic

Geese on the march!
Geese on the march!

Heron
Heron

Flowers
Flowers

Monkey Puzzle Tree
Monkey Puzzle Tree

Flowers
Flowers

Gum tree outside a toilet block
Gum tree outside a toilet block

Queen Elizabeth Gate, aka The Queen Mother Gates
Queen Elizabeth Gate, aka The Queen Mother Gates

Grand Entrance gates
Grand Entrance gates

Wellington Arch
Wellington Arch

Then hopped on a train to Temple.

Got out and wandered up to the Temple Church, but unfortunately it was closed for maintenance.  Was very cool walking amongst the buildings around the church - little passageways between and through the buildings - very cool!

Entrance to Pump Court
Entrance to Pump Court

Cloisters
Cloisters

Temple Church
Temple Church

Temple Church
Temple Church

Column dedicated to the Knights Templar
Column dedicated to the Knights Templar

Column dedicated to the Knights Templar
Column dedicated to the Knights Templar

Walking up Inner Temple Lane
Walking up Inner Temple Lane

Came out onto Fleet St and saw the Royal Courts of Justice, which I'd never seen before.  It was a pretty spectacular building too.  Walked down and back past that.

My attempt to get a red double decker bus, a black taxi, a pillar box and a phone box all in one shot.  Sorta worked.
My attempt to get a red double decker bus, a black taxi, a pillar box and a
phone box all in one shot. Sorta worked.


Royal Courts of Justice
Royal Courts of Justice

Royal Courts of Justice
Royal Courts of Justice

Continued up Fleet St.  Stopped for lunch and a pint at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which is a funky little pub rebuilt 1667 (after the great fire of London).  It had a whole series of little rooms and bars, which would make it a bit of a fun place to explore.  We found a room with a free table and I had bangers and mash (which had to be done being in England and all :) ).  Also had a couple of Samuel Smith beers - I had an alpine lager and Stu had a brewers bitter.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Continued on.  Had a quick detour up past the Old Bailey (which has been restored nicely after being blown up in V for Vendetta ;) ) and continued on to St Paul's Cathedral.  It was raining at this point which made photography somewhat tricky.  Went into the entrance of the cathedral.  It's £12.50 to go in but of course there is no photography permitted. Stu has been in this one before, so if we're going to shell out that much money with no photos to show for it, we might do Westminster Abbey.

The Old Bailey
The Old Bailey

The Old Bailey
The Old Bailey

St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral

Queen Anne statue outside St Paul's
Queen Anne statue outside St Paul's

St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral

Then we walked across the Millennium Bridge to the Tate Modern, to see an exhibition - "Exposed - Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera".  Some of it was pretty interesting.  Some of it was a bit meh.  My favourite thing was a serious of webcam grabs of Linz in Austria.  A dude had gone down the plaza in front of the webcam at the same time each day and taken a grab of the webcam at the time.  There were a series of short comments as well.  For some reason I really liked this display :)  By the time we'd finished looking at this it was nearly 6pm, so we walked back across the bridge, up to Mansion House station and back to the hotel (via Burger King for a snack dinner).

Heading down to the Millennium Bridge
Heading down to the Millennium Bridge

Seagull on the Millennium Bridge
Seagull on the Millennium Bridge

Looking down the Thames
Looking down the Thames

Crossing the Millennium Bridge
Crossing the Millennium Bridge

Jurgita & Peter Forever.  Says so on the label.
Jurgita & Peter Forever. Says so on the label.

St Paul's from the Millennium Bridge
St Paul's from the Millennium Bridge

South end of the Millennium Bridge
South end of the Millennium Bridge

St Paul's and the Millennium Bridge
St Paul's and the Millennium Bridge

Interior of Tate Modern
Interior of Tate Modern

Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge

Looking up the brick tower of Tate Modern
Looking up the brick tower of Tate Modern

Geotagging - Day 10
Geotagging - Day 10


Photos on the Canon: 297
Photos on the Sony: 163
Videos on the Sony: 1
Photos on the iPhone: 1
Photos on the Blackberry: 3
Photos on the Video: 13
Videos on the Video: 22
Steps walked: 16133
Pounds Spent: 58.31

Third day of our Chisun breakfasts but alas no bacon-wrapped asparagus this time. Oh well, three days in a row of takoyaki is nothing to complain about :):)

Breakfast bar at Chi-Sun Shin-Osaka
Breakfast bar at Chi-Sun Shin-Osaka 

Checked out and wandered up to the station and got some reservations for the next Hikari at 10:13.

So sat on the train for the next three hours. Didn't get to see Shiny - it was covered  in clouds again :(

Crossing the Fuji River
Crossing the Fuji River 

Shiny is hiding behind those clouds over there
Shiny is hiding behind those clouds over there 

Freeway bridge on the side of Mount Ashitaka
Freeway bridge on the side of Mount Ashitaka 

Office buildings in Shinagawa, Tokyo
Office buildings in Shinagawa, Tokyo 

Arrived in Tokyo and switched to the Yamonote line to Akihabara. Was exceedingly excited to be back. Felt a bit like we'd never left, especially since the station is still under construction heh :)

Yamonote Line train arriving at Tokyo station
Yamonote Line train arriving at Tokyo station 

Akihabara!
Akihabara! 

Colourful buildings in Akihabara
Colourful buildings in Akihabara 

Big Apple building in Akihabara
Big Apple building in Akihabara 

Denny's!  We had a couple of breakfasts here
Denny's! We had a couple of breakfasts here 

Harbour Bridge in Akihabara
"Harbour Bridge" in Akihabara 

Canal in Akihabara
Canal in Akihabara 

Wandered down to our hotel and suddenly realised why we couldn't book the last one we stayed in - it doesn't friggen exist anymore - it's just a vacant block with some cranes and workers in it - freaky as!!!!

Former site of Green Hotel
Site of former Green Hotel 

View from our hotel room window
View from our hotel room window 

So after cooling off for a little bit we went down to put some washing on (Japan hotels rock by often having coin laundries, other countries should take note). These washing machines were simple as, not requiring you to understand Japanese to understand the intracacies of operating them! Win!

Washing machine!  Europe/UK should take note of this!!
Washing machine! Europe/UK should take note of this!! 

When everything was dried we got ready and headed out for a wander around Akihabara. Looked at a few places selling cables that might work with Stu's laptop. And Stu took fliers for various places :)

Dad would love all the old electronics in Akihabara
Dad would love all the old electronics in Akihabara 

Having your photo taken with the Colonel is the done thing ;)
Having your photo taken with the Colonel is the done thing ;) 

Streetscape
Streetscape 

Buildings on Chuo Dori
Buildings on Chuo Dori 

Chuo Line Train passing overhead
Chuo Line Train passing overhead 

Lights in Akihabara
Lights in Akihabara 

Lights in Akihabara
Lights in Akihabara 

We decided to have dinner and drinks at Cafe Moco which Gaelian had recommended. We had a cheesy hotdog thing which was huge and we ate it Lady and the Tramp style :) Was a good little place and we had a really nice long talk about *stuff* :)

Cafe Moco
Cafe Moco 

Interior of Cafe Moco
Interior of Cafe Moco 

Hot dog in Cafe Moco
Hot dog in Cafe Moco 

So kept wandering til we found one of the Maid Cafes that we had a flier for. There were three guys that were also looking to go there so when we were trying to figure out where to go I said let's just follow them :) I think they understood me cause they talked to us which was cool :) So went up the lift but the non-smoking floor was closed so the other guys said they were going to find somewhere different. I think we both were sad we didn't decide to follow them heh. Anyway we went in and it was bright and colourful, with the waitresses dressed up in cute sort of maid/cats ears costumes. There were several groups of people there, and a single guy as well. Stu said a lot of "otaku" guys go to those sorts of places to pay to have attention payed to them. We had a couple of drinks and I got a bit stressed that people on the next table were laughing at us but one of them came to talk to us. I think generally people were very impressed that the sweetie understood and was able to speak some Japanese (I certainly was :) ) They made a bit of a fuss of him because it was his birthday  and he had his photo taken with Meru-nya :) So a very very bizarre night but still quite fun :)

Stu and Meru-Nya
Stu and Meru-Nya 

Then came back here to blog and do computery things and have a couple of different Asahi beers. The aircon totally works in here, so will get to sleep with the doona tonight hurrah!!

Assortment of local beers :)
Assortment of local beers :) 

Geotagging - Day 4
Geotagging - Day 4 

Photos on the Canon: 52
Videos on the Canon: 3
Photos on the Sony: 71
Videos on the Sony: 9
Photos on the iPhone: 5
Steps walked: 6936
Yen Spent: 11159