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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

325: Exploring London

Yesterday I went to London - to visit my sister and then my son. I had a great day, more of that in a minute. Firstly, a petty annoyance. The station car park meters click over from rush hour rate (£5.80) to off-peak rate (£3.30) at 10.00 exactly. The fast train to London leaves at 10.01. It is impossible to park after 10.00 and then race to catch the train one minute later. I was hoping the train might be a little late - how ironic is that  - but no. So I had a coffee in the station buffet and waited for the slow train at 10.34. That train seems to call at every station between here and London.
In fact I probably should have arrived earlier, stopped being miserly, paid the extra, and caught the fast off-peak train. I had forgotten about London Bridge. Most of London Bridge station is closed for most of this year for major reconstruction so I had to route via Charing Cross. Never mind, I still got to Blackheath for just before 1 p.m., as arranged and agreed. We had a nice lunch, and a natter, and I headed off back into London to buy some Polish zlotties and spend some quality time with my son.

Some days earlier we had signed up for a hidden city "treasure" hunt. (without the treasure!) Pay £25 and "they" send you a series of cryptic clues to your mobile and you have to find your way from one location to the next. Clue 5, for example, said "Bound Basinghall Street. Just beyong a secret society's avenue seek a spire to your right to spy five faces facing you. Who has a pleased puss?" Great fun working out all the clues and doing it as a team. Our team name was "one man and his dad". I'd like to say we were the fastest team on record and went straight to the top of the leader board. But I can't. We struggled over one of the clues and incurred a couple of time penalties asking for hints. At the end (after 15 clues) we felt we had earned our drink. We started in daylight and finished in the dark as the photos show. It was nice to learn a little more about this particular part of London  (in and around the city). Also my first time over the millennium bridge.

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