Europe 2007 Day 6 – London

After a busy day yesterday, we decided to sleep in late. The clocks rolled back so it was actually 12 (before the time change) but since it did, it was only 11 so I didn’t feel as bad. We got ready and headed out the door. Nathan had said he would be done by 1:30 so we walked around our neighborhood a bit and then settled on Subway for lunch. It was a bit drizzly when we set out so we had an umbrella with us that I had received from my aunt a few years ago. Daniel tried it out and discovered it had a huge smiley face on it and he immediately decided he wouldn’t be caught dead in it. He also was having shoe and pants trauma so we headed back to the apartment so he could change.

By then Nathan was done with brunch and headed back our way. We met him around the corner and set off for the Tower of London. Thanks to ever popular improvements to the Tube system, the direct tube line was closed for the weekend so we had to take an alternate and walk 15 minutes to the Tower. It was raining lightly, but we didn’t have too much difficulty. I tweaked my neck when we ran across a street and it was sore at random points for the rest of the day. We paid the steep fee to enter the Tower (this was my third time in the Tower, but Nathan and Daniel’s first) and headed for the crown jewels. I noticed they upgraded the spot where they executed people as well as some of the exhibits inside the galleries. I even got to meet the first female Beefeater and got a photo with her.

After slogging through the exhibits for an hour or so, we then set off back towards SoHo. I was completely embarrassed when my Oyster card did not have enough money for a bus ride back to Trafalgar Square so we had to walk all the way to the Bank station in a heavy rain to get my Oyster card squared away. When I bought them before we met Nathan, I didn’t realize you had to maintain a minimum that you would never get back. Sucks for us! When I tried to top mine off, I realized that my credit card didn’t work, but the friendly man in the booth told me that only ATM cards or ones with the electronic chip would work. This explained my previous problems getting tube tickets. With it all sorted out, we headed back to SoHo and ate at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. The hamburger was excellent (and expensive, but well worth it). Daniel’s had tomato sauce, which was nasty, but he choked it down. Nathan then showed us where his favorite Internet café was and then we parted ways. Thankfully, we will probably meet up with him one more time before we set off for the rest of our UK adventure. I do wish that we lived closer and that we kept in better contact with each other since I enjoy hanging out with him. One thing I hope we will do is go on a trip together in the future. He is trying to make it to the Traveler’s Century Club like myself, and if we can check off some countries together it would be great.

After checking some emails, we headed back to the hotel and lounged around. We got pretty wet from the rain so it was good to relax. I got to see a new episode of Top Gear as well as an episode of Michael Palin’s New Europe. It seems that whenever I am in the UK there is a new Palin book and video out, so I am looking forward to picking it up before I leave. I finished getting caught up writing my diaries and accidentally found a unlocked internet connection. I was briefly able to check my bank balance and a few other web sites before it was lost for good, but at least there is hope.

Tomorrow will be a “free day”. Daniel and I are determined to visit all the free museums and spend as little as possible!

As I was getting ready for bed I made a startling discovery. A whole day’s worth of photos have been erased by my digital camera. I spent a worrisome night trying to figure out how to recover them. In the morning I found a freeware application that specifically recovers digital camera images from a DF Card. I was able to get most of them back. It runs into problems when I deleted photos in the camera and then ghosts the next image that I needed to recover. Thankfully, instead of missing 60 photos, I am now missing just 5. Only two were lost of Norway and the other 3 were from London – two of Nathan’s apartment. I’ll ask him if he can send me some photos of his view which I can post. I now am going to be more proactive in downloading photos to the laptop so I can avoid this in the future. I wish I learned this in Australia since I would be able to get the 40 or so photos lost in Melbourne. I guess it is time for a new camera!