Monday, July 1, 2013

London Soho, Manchester Madness and Museumism

Alas, my time in England/Europe has once again come to an end and I'm returning home to Sydney. This last week has included some epic cocktail drinking, rental car driving mayhem and getting all museum like.

Happy hour seems to be the go around Soho - killed it there last Saturday night with 2-for-1 cocktails at "Be at One" bar. We figured we would start with 2 each, ended up having three to start (I guess due to the noise in the establishment some things were lost in translation) - a worthy invesment however, as this avoided unnecessary jostling to the bar for multiple rounds, apart from the 4 more drinks to follow. The cocktail masters (bartender seems to be a more entry-level title) somehow remember multiple orders of drinks and lay the glasses out on the bar 3 orders ahead. It was like a cross between a memory master competition and a glassware sales event, although they occasionally would cross to the customer to making up the order. 

London Underground (1968) - Lego Style!
A few more days in Leicester to see the family and a trip up to Manchester in a rental car. Driving in the UK is much like Sydney, and easier than Spain (given that things are on the left side). People tend to give way more and let out cars entering from the side streets, but you get the occasional not-letting-you-out-no-matter-what-you-do-even-if-it-is-only-to-merge-and-it-will-only-slow-me-down-for-a-second types during peak hour... only in Manchester for a day for work so really didn't have a chance to explore.

Manchester - Town Hall

Manchester - Industrial Conversions
Returned to London for a night and a last chance to walk around Green Park, check in on the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, explore the museums around South Kensington, and have a go on the Barclays bikes shooting around everywhere in London (in light rain none-the-less). The bikes are rather heavy and geared such that it is hard to get them much above 30km/h unless you are heading downhill, but they work well as an alternative to walking around town, and there are heaps of stations to return them to. Sydney could learn a thing or two from this, although Sydney is much hillier too. After heading up Piccadilly and into Mayfair in the evening peak hour traffic without a helmet on and eventually fearing my demise, I threw in the towel and had a less-than-satisfactory chinese buffet in Soho (avoid if you can - they suck) and headed home to watch Spain v Italy in the football.

Obligatory "I'm at Buckingham Palace Gates" London Photo

Rad Foyer Design (London Museum of Natural History)
WiFi at Dubai airport is dubious, and my jetlag has delayed this post 2 days since my return to Sydney. Big ups to Emirates for fantastic service and an on-time flight. Still battling jet-lag-ism but hoping it will ease soon.