Day 4 and 5 : London

Jenni —  August 13, 2010

After an early hectic morning of Andrew trying to follow my gazelle legs through the underground, we’re on a bus to Cambridge. I was a bit worried about making it to the bus on time with our current sleeping patterns, which mirror our pattern at home. Staying up until 3am, waking up at 10am, naps somewhere in between. I safely say we’re acclimated now to the time difference. I’ve also given up the dream that we’d get up early everyday. That’s never going to happen no matter what country we’re in.

Day 4 started with a bunny dress and the mission of breakfast. Andrew scanned yelp and found a cafe located inside the Wellcome Center (a museum dedicated to medicine and the body), which was ooh’d and aaah’d about with the promise of internet. The cafe was alright, but the museum a nice surprise with quite a collection of medical oddities. They had a shrunken head, a lock of napoleons hair, Florence Nightingale’s slippers and paintings (which I thought contained a real Hyronomous Bosch, but just ended up being a copy).

The next stop was The British Library and happened upon their exhibit on old maps, which Andrew really enjoyed. 

George III collection : The Kings Library

The library also has a permanent exhibit, "Treasures" collection of literary pieces. They range from different illustrations of Alice in Wonderland, the original Magna Carta, original various religious texts, Di Vinci’s notes, and artifacts. Since no cameras were allowed I decided to sketch Jane Austen’s writing desk for you.

Jane Austen's writing desk

And thus we began the longest walk through a park ever. Hyde Park is a massive stretch of park, the park other parks were inspired by, the park that took us over an hour to cross only to reach another adjoining park, Kensington Gardens. It was a race against time, a race to make tea time at The Orangery, THE place to have high tea and closed at 6. We started around 3:00pm, with us thinking,”oh that’s PLENTY of time!” and moseyed around a bit, taking our sweet time.
4:00pm, when tea time begins, we were only halfway through the park.

4:40pm: We are still trekking through these flatlands. The crew is starting to lose hope of ever making it out of here alive. We are getting desperate but have made it to Kensington Gardens only to not be able to find The Orangery anywhere. 

4:45pm: A CAB! A cab driver will take us there, of course!

4:47pm: Cab driver drove us 5 feet and said The Orangery is through that gate. He did not charge us for the 5 feet, in exchange for our dignity.

4:49pm: The walkway through the gate is blocked off by construction, there is no way through, just a giant wall, a wall with no directions to The Orangery. We spit and shake our fists at this wall.

4:56pm: We follow this wall and have FINALLY found an alternate entrance and… The Orangery! And a long line. BUT! It moves rather quickly and I have the best tea time I’ve ever tasted and experienced. It tasted like sweet victory, which makes anything taste better.

Our Spread

And then, the girl in the bunny dress thanks The Orangery with a curtsey. The End.

Filled with Tea & Scones, the girl in the bunny dress thanked The Orangery.

Day 5 was Cambridge day. We took the two hour bus, not really knowing what to do in Cambridge but thought we’d figure it out when we got there. England has been a good place to start the trip being that they speak the same language, I’m a little nervous about going to places where I don’t know the language.

Once we arrived, we went to the information area and picked up a few pamphlets. Being a bit museum-ed out, we were happy to find out we could rent bikes. Cambridge has a wide array of bike trails which go not only through the town, but to adjoining towns as well.

Oh look, we're lost... again, let's take another photo

We happily biked upon a lovely lunch place called The Orchard in Grantchester, one of the adjoining towns. With total lack of respect for tea time, we ordered beers with our scones and sat under pear and plum trees in the backyard where other famous Brits had done the same (minus the sacrilege).

 Plums in the orchard

On the way back to Cambridge, Andrew jokingly suggested we bike like crazy people through the town and scare the tourists. I may or may not have taken him seriously and made lots of use of my bike bell. Heh heh.



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