Tower of London / Westminster / The Tate Modern

Dan England (2008)

Today I had nothing specific planned, except to visit the Tower of London, in the morning. So I popped on the tube, but got off a stop early to hit up a camera store I found online so that I could get something to clean it. The small pen-like device to clean the camera sensor cost about 15 pounds – making it one of the most expensive items I’ve bought this whole trip. Joy! At least the photos are clean now! The Tower of London isn’t just a tower – it’s a whole castle compound, and well worth the time to check it out if you’re ever in London. I took a guided tour by the one of the Yeomen of the Guard (“Beefeaters”) and it was a very fascinating and worthwhile event. Then I explored the complex a bit, and capped it off with a look at the most extravagant crown jewels. Impressive and shiny!

I then walked along the Thames River for a bit, then crossed over to work my way to the Tate Modern Museum. I got there, but then realized that it was about 1pm, and I was hungry, and so I decided to get a bite to eat. There’s nothing to eat at on that side of the river, except the museum cafes, so I walked back across the river to go to the area near St. Paul’s Cathedral. I found a Pret-a-manger, which I’ve been told I need to eat at, but the line was very long (it was lunchtime now) and it just looked like the Rodilla I went to in Madrid (except they speak English). I’m sure I’ll get to it at some point, but I ended up finding a small sandwich shop a few blocks away (on Fleet Street), and then I took it to go, and headed back down to the river to sit on a bench and enjoy my meal.

From there I popped on the tube again, and took it to Westminster, just so I could see Big Ben and Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. Mission accomplished, I hopped back onto another train, and went to the Tate Modern. They had a few exhibits, including a retrospective on Juan Munoz and another whole exhibition on Marcel Ducamp, Man Ray and Francis Picabia. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a lot about modern art I just don’t “get”. A lot of it reminded me of when I was getting my art minor in school, and it felt like as though all you needed was some kinda justification as to why something is “art”, even if it’s just a blank canvas with a slash in it. It was still interesting stuff I guess, but I wasn’t really “moved” by any of it.

After that, I was pretty wiped; I had hoped to get to Harrod’s Food Hall and Trafalgar Square, but those will have to wait until later. I took the tube back to Martin’s, and now I’m just relaxing for a bit before figuring out what the evening has in store. (As always, pix have been updated in the gallery.)