A Travellerspoint blog

April 16, 2010 - an unexpected day in London

We managed some sightseeing while trapped in London. If you're there, you might as well look around . . .

Double-decker London bus at the Bank of England Museum

Double-decker London bus at the Bank of England Museum

Day 3 — April 16, 2010 (Friday)

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This morning at our British Airways (BA)-provided breakfast there was a sign posted that they would pay for another night at the Thistle Hotel. Knowing that, we decided to see London for free. The concierge gave us a map and we set off on foot.

*****

We walked to and across Southwark Bridge, meeting a trio from Canada in the same ash-cloud dilemma walking downtown. Later we met a lost Aussie businessman who needed a look at our map. Looking for the Globe Theater we asked a young Londoner for directions. He was interrupted by an elderly Londoner and they contradicted each other. We opted for the younger fellow since he seemed more willing to check directions on our map. Later the older man came racing over to tell us that the younger fellow had been correct.

*****

*****

Bank Station at The Royal Exchange

Bank Station at The Royal Exchange

Whittington Gardens-Saint Michael Paternoster Royal

Whittington Gardens-Saint Michael Paternoster Royal

View of the train bridge from Southwark Bridge

View of the train bridge from Southwark Bridge

Dome and Spires of Saint Paul's Cathedral from Southwark Bridge

Dome and Spires of Saint Paul's Cathedral from Southwark Bridge

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London


We found the Globe Theater and checked the gift shop and the outside. Next we walked under the Millennium Bridge and into the Tate Modern Art Museum. London is odd in that museums are free but you pay to visit the churches. Having no British money, we chose museums!

I’m not terribly excited by modern art but a lot of it, while not inspiring, is often lots of fun. The museum is very well done with explanations, movies and interactive exhibits that were wildly popular with young people. It was fun to watch and the works were interesting (or curious). We went to the top floor restaurant for lunch overlooking the Thames River, Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s. They took credit cards so we had the crab lunch and it was good.

*****

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

The Tate Modern - London

Lunchtime view of St. Paul's from the Tate Modern

Lunchtime view of St. Paul's from the Tate Modern

We left the museum and walked over the Millennium Bridge and up to St. Paul’s, then back to the hotel without getting lost.

St. Paul's Cathedral from the Millenium Bridge

St. Paul's Cathedral from the Millenium Bridge


St. Paul's Cathedral walking up Peter's Hill, London

St. Paul's Cathedral walking up Peter's Hill, London

Back in the room, Ed tried to make a phone call and had to go down to the desk to make phone arrangements. He came back and it still didn’t work. Back down; back up; it worked. We saw on tv that BA canceled all flights up to 10:00 AM Saturday. That was our rebooked flight! Ed called the BA number they gave us and it didn’t work. He called Customer Service and got a robot who said to rebook on ba.com.

Next I had a fight with the computer trying to purchase Internet access. I got as far as the credit card and it was refused. Ed had used it a few times here in London and had no trouble. So . . . he called MasterCard to see what happened. We had called and told them we’d be in France but were using the card in London so they decided it was suspicious. He got it all straightened out (hadn’t they heard the news?!) and I signed on to see verification of our second flight cancellation. Sigh . . .

I e-mailed the kids who had already discovered we were in London. Jean & Peg checked the BA website! Next I went to the BA web site to re-rebook and it told us to telephone. I checked phone numbers and Ed called again. The phone says to rebook on the web site; the web site says to rebook on the phone. Catch 22 . . . I logged off.

I e-mailed Andrew (NiceLife on Virtual Tourist) and asked him how to get out of London because he lives here and will hopefully know. I’ll check VT later. There must be boats . . .

We went to the BA buffet dinner and to hear our update at 8:00 PM. Nice buffet–no update. Came back to our room to discover on tv that all BA flights tomorrow are canceled. Sigh . . . back to the web.

Posted by Beausoleil 13:47 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged museums london volcano uk tate_modern globe_theatre saint-paul's

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Comments

Great, your walk was lovely. A good way to use the delay. I was in Finland on my way to Russia by train at this time. Travelled with no fly people. Stay Safe Alec.

by alectrevor

I bet people would say things like 'You are lucky you got extra days in London.' Unless they've been through it, they don't realize how much time is wasted on trying to sort things out.

by irenevt

That was such a challenging time for travellers! We were lucky that we squeezed a flight to Italy in after the initial eruption and before the ash descended again. Had I known you properly on VT back then I would have been happy to advise and to meet up in London :)

by ToonSarah

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