Track 7/18: Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony
I wasn't entirely certain the driver was actually coming as I could not for the life of me understand the guy on the phone the night before when I booked the 7 AM taxi. I thought that he said something to the effect that I was 'all set' but I really couldn't be certain... A car did arrive at 7:03, and I can't tell you how relieved I was! I had an 8:30 train, and while I arrived about 20 minutes before they even posted the platform my train would leave from, I already needed the rest from wrangling the luggage from the car. So I sat on a bench and people-watched for a bit. As soon as it was posted I booked over to the train as I wanted to be sure I could fit my massive load of luggage in the tiny baggage area of my car. The ride back to London thankfully took half as long as the journey to Edinburgh and I arrived at King's Cross by 1 PM! Of course I then had to wrestle the bags through the station, into a gated bathroom (having to pay 30 pence for a bathroom is irritating enough, but that meaning one needs to squeeze through a turnstile with an entourage of baggage to enter the bathroom after 5 hours of travel is simply cruel), and wait in a line to add a week to my Oyster card all before finding the taxi queue to get a ride to my B&B. It must have been a slow day for that cab driver because I'm pretty sure he did several unnecessary loops around different areas on our way to my destination to rack up a £30 fare. It certainly would have been quicker and cheaper to take the tube, but I didn't think I could manage the luggage on the tube, or more importantly on the walk from the stop to the B&B. FINALLY I arrived, and there was my mom standing at the door! (Okay, look, these past few days have been especially trying, and capping it off with another exhaustive morning of travel was making me cranky to say the least, so if I shrieked out 'mommy' and ran for a hug I feel I deserve no judgement).
|A view out of the window where 'visitors' might enter|
Wednesday evening we escaped our jailer and went out and ate at a pub called the Argyll Arms, then started our shopping and hit a few Oxford Street department stores. I'm so happy to be reunited with my shopping partner, London shopping is really a team sport, and now I have my doubles partner to conquer this city with. We returned with our first collection of shopping bags and rested up for the excursions we had planned for Thursday.
Then we were off as I'd been planning for months to attend the world's greatest classical music festival: Proms!!! Proms (the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts) is a summer-long schedule of classical music programming held in London, and the day that tickets went on sale in May I made sure to snap up a pair; there were a lot of concerts that I wanted to go to but I was at the mercy of what I knew about my schedule here at that point so I thought I'd be safe with a date during mini-break. We rushed off to South Kensington to make our way to Royal Albert Hall to attend Prom 9, and the experience was certainly not disappointing.
|Photo Credit: http://www.royalalberthall.com / Bjarke Johansen|
And now for some professional shots to make up for my hasty ones:
|Photo credit: www.visitlondon.com|
|Photo credit: Chris Christodoulou|