Wednesday after MineCon we met up with Jules & Becca for a (slightly rainy) picnic in St. James’s Park. Then we wandered around the Mall a bit, passed by Buckingham Palace, and finished up the afternoon over on the South Bank.
We split up early because of the tube strike. We walked over the (other) Golden Jubilee Bridge, and caught a very busy District Line train back to Barking before the whole system shut down.
In the evening, Alex, Fiona, and I walked to the Cineworld in Ilford to see Minions, which was fun.
This looked amazing on the enormous screens in the main hall.
Tuesday after MineCon we wandered around London a bit on our own. We visited the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street, which I found notable for a) being expensive (£50 for the four of us, for a tiny exhibit you breeze through in about half an hour) and b) unintentionally creepy wax figures. The house/museum seems to have two overlapping goals: it is furnished in late 1800s style, to give you an impression of what 221b Baker Street would have been like back then; and you are surrounded by waxwork characters posed in scenes from of Shelock Holmes’ adventures, to give you an impression of…being in the stories? I don’t know. It was a curious shrine, and it seemed to delight in blurring the lines between history and fiction.
We had a late lunch at Pizza Express (is a gluten-free pizza better than no pizza at all? I’m starting to doubt), and wandered to Regent’s Park where we saw some black swans.
Alex and I went back to the hotel, while Abi and Fiona went bra shopping at M&S.
On Monday after MineCon we went to Greenwich and met up with Mum & Dad. We had a drink at the Costa just outside the DLR station, then visited the Cutty Sark. I didn’t know anything about the Cutty Sark before, but it’s a fabulous exhibit. The ship is beautifully restored, and presented with heaps of fascinating information. Afterwards we had a lunch of burgers sitting outside at the Gipsy Moth.
We had bought a combination ticket for entry to the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory, but it was late by the time we made it up the hill. We got there shortly after 16:00, and the place closed at 17:00. We had just enough time for a flying tour through Flamsteed House to see the Harrison clocks and be amazed by the difference between H3 and H4.
After a last-minute shopping spree at the gift shop (Fiona came away with a charming steampunk ring in the shape of a pair of goggles), we had ice cream at a nearby café and wandered back down through the gardens. We had cocktails and dinner on the roof terrace of Frankie & Benny’s overlooking the Thames.
And maybe it’s just me, but it seems to have got worse at gapless playback, too.