We woke up this morning after a heck of a storm that had flooded some parts of London and woken Sarah up a couple of times with the sound of thunder. We knew today was going to be a bit unpredictable weather-wise, and so decided we’d start by getting the tube to the British Museum. Sarah’s a big fan, and I’d wanted to go here and look at some of the amazing artifacts from Egypt and Rome (and anything else that was interesting along the way) so we hopped on the train and headed off.

The British Museum was everything I’d heard – stunning and overwhelming!

We got in a bit early, and after security checked our bags, we wandered around the giant atrium space inside the main foyer. It’s a pretty impressive space – you definitely get a feeling right away that this is a space for grand and grandiose displays. The crowds thickened up just as the doors were about to open, which suggests that tour operators did better research than we did! We went in through the Egypt wing, and saw the Rosetta Stone, the Winged Bull of Assyria and some other truly remarkable things from all sorts of historical periods. The level of detail and instruction from the staff and curators is stunning.

Sarah being a wally
Sarah being a wally

After a few laps, we’d had enough of intake and so left the British Museum to walk down to the Strand, and visit the Australian High Commission. We needed to vote, and it was a surprisingly easy process to fill in our lengthy federal ballots and drop them off! It was also nice to do the voting on the same day as the Brexit referendum; it gave us a nice sense of solidarity with the British public!

After voting, we picked up lunch at a Sainsbury’s and went down to the riverbank to eat it, sitting quietly with our sandwiches and chips while runners went to and fro along the path. It’s always amusing to hear snippets of people’s conversations – one of the chaps who ran past was telling a story about someone in his office stealing all the bananas from the kitchen!

After lunch, we walked across the Millennium Bridge (pausing while I stopped to take multiple photos of EVERYTHING) and did a few experiments like this.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

We then went to the New Tate Modern, which has recently opened with a new section. I like the Tate Modern – from the space in the old power station, to the eclectic and sometimes seemingly unrelated collections that show so many different facets of the human condition through art.

The views from the New Tate Modern viewing deck are incredible!
The views from the New Tate Modern viewing deck are incredible!

We also went up to the new viewing deck, which offers an incredible view of the city from ten floors up!

After the dizzying heights, we met Sarah’s friend Brigid and her adorable daughter Isolde for a cup of tea in the Tate Café. It was a good decision – not only because Brigid is lovely or because her daughter’s contagious effervescence was a nice change from the contemplative silence of the Tate’s galleries. As we sat in the glass-walled café, the heavens opened and the rain came thundering down like God’s judgement, flooding the forecourt in front of us in minutes and falling so thickly that it obscured the Thames completely at some points!

Serious and sudden rain has been a theme of this trip!

Eventually the rain tapered off, and we said our goodbyes to Isolde and Brigid for the time being. We walked the suddenly soggy streets to Southwark, and caught the train to Baker Street, to meet Sarah’s old colleagues Kelly and Ria for drinks and dinner. It was still a little drizzly, so once they’d finished work, we quickly snuck down the road and around the corner into an All Bar One for cocktails, and then around the corner to a local Thai place for some more wine and Thai food.

We had a lot of shared laughs and some political banter about the Brexit vote and Sydney’s lockout laws, then said our goodbyes to the girls and walked home via Oxford and Regent Streets. We ended the night with an episode of Absolute Power and a last glass of pinot grigio before bed!