Contents

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Day 1 - Friday, 25 June 2010
  Adelaide to Melbourne
  Melbourne Airport
  Melbourne to London on a 747
Day 2 - Saturday, 26 June 2010
  Welcome to London
Day 3 - Sunday, 27 June 2010
  Lazy Sunday morning in London
  Grand Prix Flying, England Failing
Day 4 - Monday, 28 June 2010
  I am working, so dont expect much
Day 5 - Tuesday, 29 June 2010
  Theres nothing to see at Canary Wharf
Day 6 - Wednesday, 30 June 2010
  Theres no such thing as too much walking
Day 7 - Thursday, 1 July 2010
  All day driving
Day 8 - Friday, 2 July 2010
  Theres not a lot of photos today
Day 9 - Saturday, 3 July 2010
  Wales hates vowels
  Edgware road is great
Day 10 - Sunday, 4 July 2010
  Administration day
Day 11 - Monday, 5 July 2010
  New working week
Day 12 - Tuesday, 6 July 2010
  Not Notting Hill or not
Day 13 - Wednesday, 7 July 2010
  Train spotting cars
Day 14 - Thursday, 8 July 2010
  Screwed
Day 15 - Friday, 9 July 2010
  Last day of work
Day 16 - Saturday, 10 July 2010
  I am in Paris, prepare for photo overload
  Montmarte, I think?
Day 17 - Sunday, 11 July 2010
  Typical bloody tourist
  La Defense
Day 18 - Monday, 12 July 2010
  The Louvre
  I made my own dinner
  Little India
Day 19 - Tuesday, 13 July 2010
  Paris shopping - nothing special!
  Indian food
Day 20 - Wednesday, 14 July 2010
  It rained on everyones parade
  Hotel dramas!
Day 21 - Thursday, 15 July 2010
  Last day in London
Day 22 - Friday, 16 July 2010
  Planes, sleeping, showers in Singapore
Day 23 - Saturday, 17 July 2010
  Back where I started

London 3 - June/July 2010 - Page 2

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Day 5 - Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Theres nothing to see at Canary Wharf

I spent much of the working day in the car getting back from Essex to Central London. This seemed like a huge waste of time to me but its what a lot of people seem to do every day. A big part of most peoples working day is driving between offices and commenting that the traffic isnt as bad as expected.

I decided to play tube station roulette for my evening activity, and it came up Canary Wharf. This is a new part of town where everything is shiny and new. One of the worlds most terrible bands wrote a song about it called plastic trees, and 2 of the worlds stupidest movies, 28 seconds earlier and 28 hatfuls of cabbage were both filmed here (wikipedia told me this, and many other interesting facts).

It was very shiny and clean, and full of immaculately dressed young people. The open air wine bars were 90% men plus the 1 or 2 attractive single girls from each office who were invited along in case they might get a bit tipsy and agree to something they wouldnt normally.

I did actually find dinner here, read on for the awesomeness of it.

After admiring the plastic lawn of Canary wharf (really, they had fake lawn there), I went back to Bond street and walked home in the daylight at 9:30pm.

This is apparently the tallest building in London, its quite new but looks more like 1970's in design

I enjoyed this hole for a while, especially the cess pool on the left of the picture.

Heres my dinner, I ate in a Waitrose supermarket. They set up a few tables and have hot meals to go. This cost 4 pounds, chicken balti, vegetable curry and rice. I didnt eat most of the rice as carbs give you cancer.

FREE CANDY

Day 6 - Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Theres no such thing as too much walking

Tonight, I walked a lot. I didnt really set off in any specific direction, just headed down any street that looked interesting. This makes for boring reading I realise.
There are lots of decent places to eat in central London for solo workers who I guess are eating before they are going home, the places are casual, cheap and fast, I wish there was more of it in Australia.

Something else worth mentioning is that television in England is really terrible. They love to talk to you like you are an idiot, in ads, and on the news, sports coverage, it doesnt matter.
There are also very few actual shows on, just news chat about celebrities even on the BBC, big brother, occasionally they interupt this with songs of praise or a repeat of a murder mystery show from the 70's.

Currently on big brother the big drama is they have to give up all their personal belongings for some tobacco. This has led to an all out emo meltdown. I hope they all die.

Tomorrow I am going to Birmingham, where they speak welsh or flemish or something, this should be exciting.

You would be dissapointed by now if I took a photo in any other pose.
Look at my reflection in the building, an entire bus load of people think I am crazy.

This is my dinner from a Japanese fusion style modern cafe bar something or rather. It was very nice and very healthy, vegetable dumplings with vegetables and soba noodles. Cost including the diet coke was 5 pounds, so good value too.

Random architecture picture of the day. Only skinny people can get the coveted corner office.

This cat sat very still while I took its photo.

Heres St Pauls cathedral. Now I realise not all of you are religious scholars like myself so let me explain what its for.
About 9000 years ago St Paul flew down from heaven with the ark angel gabriel and defeated St Patrick in an epic duel. Paul slayed all of Patricks dragons and Patrick fled to Ireland in exile. Patrick was forced to wear green for 1000 years by one of the 7 ruling Jesus's as a symbol of his failure.
Paul and ark angel Gabriel became very good friends, and when Gabriel died Paul took his ark (which Gabriel had inherited from Noah) and turned it upside down and turned it into this cathedral.

The upturned ark can clearly be seen on the roof in the form of a dome.

They love the hoff in London. Streets are named after him.

Twilight eclipse shot from the bridge. Spoiler alert: Edward dies.

Day 7 - Thursday, 1 July 2010

All day driving

Today I sat in the passenger seat for a journey to Birmingham and back, and then about another 100 miles on top of that, so about 400 miles in total.
Perhaps diesel BMW's leak carbon monoxide into the cab, but this left me feeling very drowsy, I did go out for a walk in the evening, but walked away out of the city and didnt see anything much to photograph and couldnt find anywhere to eat.
In the end I ate in the train station forecourt near my hotel at Nandos, somewhere I eat quite often in Australia.

I do however now have 6 hours+ listening experience of Radio 1, the main BBC radio station, and it doesnt dissapoint with its terribleness, much like their television. When the 10am crew took over they played (and I am not exaggerating) a 10 minute intro montage of soundbytes of themselves set to techno beats and fart noises, it kept building to a crescendo of fail.
Later in the day we were treated to 'the posh lady from radio 4 reads your emails'. She then read the lyrics to a Lady Gaga song, and soon after this had been remixed into a song featuring soundbytes and fart noises.
The future of Britain is in fart noises and Lady Gaga.

I have decided to dedicate my life to taking photos of random cat statues in London, I will be the first person to have done this. Im famous.

Heres my nandos dinner, they have some extra choices in sides compared to Australia, including rattatouille which you can see here, which was actually very nice. Nandos in the UK is too expensive though.

Due to a lack of other photos, you are treated to a photo of my crappy hotel room. It has no air conditioning and the window opens about half an inch. When its been 30C and your room is tiny, this is a sure recipe for sleeping with a wet towel for cooling.

Day 8 - Friday, 2 July 2010

Theres not a lot of photos today

Today there will be just the 1 photo, sorry about that!
At work in Lambeth I went to lunch at a portugese sandwhich shop. Not sure what makes it portugese but the people I was meeting told me it was. They also told me it can be an interesting experience as the staff are very rude.
They werent wrong! If you didnt look portugese you basically got no service at all, one guy asked for pepper on his sandwhich and the girl said they had run out and it was right there, and another guy wanted cheddar cheese and they said it was too late to slice anymore (the block of cheese was sitting in the display cabinet thing). Then a portugese looking guy asked for the same thing and got it.
I ordered one of the pre made sandwhiches, it was pretty delicious!

I didnt venture out until quite late, and ended up eating at wagamama, which was a waste of an evening!
I did however spend the early evening booking travel to both Cardiff and Paris, so keep reading for that.

This is my dinner from Wagamama, it was the special. The dumplings were cold, the soup was as grey as it looks in the picture and the stuff in it seems to have been soaking in it for most of the day. It was a real struggle to eat enough to not feel hungry.

Day 9 - Saturday, 3 July 2010

Wales hates vowels

Today I went to Cardiff, capital of Wales. And yes there will be lots of photos. So strap your pants, we ride nightmare.

Wales really does hate vowels, the official language is still idiot, despite hardly any idiot speakers left, this means that the signs and announcements at train stations are made in English and Hobbit or whatever language they speak.
I will talk about some specific things with the pictures below, but theres a few things that didnt get into photos worth mentioning.

Inbreeding seems to be the main hobby in Cardiff, I saw a lot of people who would be cover shot candidates in the big book of british smiles.
Also, there are only white people, theres no asians, africans or indians, at all. After a while when I noticed I started trying to spot any and still couldnt. Even in the 'Chinese and Indian buffet' restaurant there was only white people working.

Cardiff seems to be the place to go for a hens night, if you are 40+ and getting married. I saw a huge number of groups of older women in pink bunny outfits or glitter wigs or similar all wearing sashes declaring if they were the bride to be or maid of honour etc. The scary thing about this is that they were already out and about drinking at 11am in the morning, its a good thing I am leaving before it gets dark! Things could get very ugly.

To get to Cardiff its a 2 hour train ride. It sounds impressive getting to another country in this time. And the train does occasionally go fast as you can see, but it also goes infuriatingly slowly for long periods of time, I am sure the journey could be cut to 1.5 hours.
Also, trains are noisier and far bumpier than jets, old people (trains are 90% old people) were attempting to break their hips every time they got up from their seat. My pepsi fell over twice (with the lid on).

The lastminute.com ticket I bought allowed first class on the way for 2 pounds extra so I thought I might as well try that.
Its not even worth 2 pounds (and it generally costs 15).
You get a slightly better chair but its club seating so you stare at someone the whole way.

I decided to go to the buffet car and see what was going on after an hour of waiting for first class service (there is none, I expected a service cart).
So I order a skinny latte, and the guy says 'arent you in first?' to which I said yes.
He tells me coffee is free if you are in first, awesome I think, skinny latte please. He then tells me only instant style coffee is free. Hmmm, Skinny latte please? I hold out my 2 pounds.
He then tells me 'but youre in first, you get free instant coffee' and gives me an instant coffee. 'Anything else? you are entitled to a free cookie.' I accepted one free shortbread cookie, the kind you would get in a hotel.

So thats what first class gets you.

OK, I assumed that in this day and age crap didnt literally fall out the bottom of trains, but it appears it does.

Heres the street in Cardiff near the station, it looks a lot like London here. Apparently its all quite new, only declared as a city in the early 1900's.

BOOF, gastronomic fast food. Boof is welsh for eat, its one of only 3 words with any vowels.

I paid a small fortune to get into Cardiff castle, dont make me catapult you.

There will be many castle pictures, I had to try and get my moneys worth.

Heres the older part of the castle.

And now im half way up the older part of the castle, apparently this area used to be a grand hall with a roof.

Im getting near the top now.

This picture is pretty redundant.

And now I am at the top, looking down at the moat, keeping an eye out for invading hens night birds (correct usage of birds, tarts would also work).

ITS ME!

This is the Cardiff central market, it is one of the main attractions. I am sorry but the Adelaide central market is the best market in the entire world, at least the world that I have been to, and I am not just saying that cause I am from there, generally I would bash Adelaide rather than defend it!
Cardiff central market is mainly people selling English football team merchandise for 50p. There was also a cheese shop selling weight watchers biscuits and nutella.

Japanese guitar shops > English guitar shops.

This is the outdoor mall area, its actually really nice, reminded me a lot of Adelaide, theres also a huge internal connected mall off to one side of it. I think pretty much every thing there is retail wise in Cardiff is right in the centre of the city.

The famous Millennium stadium, completed in 2002.

Out the back of the castle theres a nice park, lots of people out and about having picnics, I studied the map for the location of the public toilets, nope. Hmmm, there must be one the place is huge and theres a thousand people. Hang on, thats the 2nd guy ive seen urinating against a tree, and wait whats that woman doing....OK I best head back to the shopping area before I also need to put on a show.

Edgware road is great

I didnt get back from Wales until about 7:30pm, and seeing as though most of the tube is closed for weekend repairs, requiring me to take 3 trains, I instead decided to walk back to my hotel from Paddington and find dinner along the way.
This took me to Edgware road, which is the middle eastern area of London, and I like it there a lot, lots of outdoor diners and general chaos.
All the places have people smoking a shisha (which smells really nice, like licorice), and you can see men and women with a million dollars worth of gold, as well as women in full burkas. The food is cheap and looked fantastic, I picked a place at random and wasnt dissapointed.

Heres the scene inside the restaurant. Outside it was chaotic. They have an army of staff in this small place and at least 3 of them seem to be assigned to security duty on the footpath. I saw them move people along, help people with prams, make sure the line for the bus was orderly etc.

Dinner was pretty great, this was all 7 pounds. The bread was made in the shop and was excellent.

Looking back along Edgware road, this photo is useless without pics.

Marble Arch station is at the end of the road, and theres a bunch of muslims guys all in white you can see here lecturing and handing out pamphlets on the merits of Sharia law.
Meanwhile a muslim in black pyjamas came along and started having a heated argument with white pyjama guys (you can just see them against the wall if you click the picture to enlarge). I presumed it was sunni vs shia, and if I stuck around a car bomb might go off, so I headed into the tube.

OK, theres a page 3 now, click the things below to go there or change 2.php to 3.php in the address bar (for advanced users only), or just use the contents thing. Dont complain you dont get any choices with my awesome travel diary software which I made.

 

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