I’m spending this Sunday just kicking around London and immensely enjoying people-watching. Between the Brits, the large immigrant population, and the tourists, there’s a lot of variety to see.
I did a dry-run this morning on the tube over to St. Pancras station to check out the Eurostar facility. This is where I’ll be checking-in tomorrow morning to take the train under the English Channel to Paris. I was looking out for the number of stairs that I’ll have to lug my bags up, as many English tube stops lack escalators. In addition, I was gauging the travel time, which could increase greatly for morning rush hour. And, I wanted to have an unhurried look at St. Pancras, which has been recently rebuilt, without concentrating on making my train. All in all, I think I may take a taxi.
After that, I jumped on the Picaddilly tube line and rode down to the National Portrait Gallery to see a great exhibit of publicity and album art photos shot in the late 60’s of bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, Kinks, etc. Amazing to see them all so young, and it was quite nostalgic.
I then knocked around Trafalgar Square a while and walked up Wardour Street, through the gay neighborhood, to the Horse & Coach, a favorite pub near Oxford Circus. I spent an hour there over a very tasty pint of St. Edmond’s ale and took in the scenery. On the tube ride back to my hotel at Paddington a fellow got on the same car wearing a Redskins ball cap. I asked him if he was a "real" Redskins fan and he said "the way this season’s gone, I’d have to be to wear this hat in public"! We chatted a bit and he said the entire problem was Dan Snyder, that Snyder had to go!! So even the Brits know Snyder stinks as an owner!
By the way, the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing an regular season game here at Wembley Stadium in about an hour and there were a lot of jersey-wearing fans to be seen on the tube. A sell-out crowd of 85,000 is expected and, as this is the 3rd year in a row they’ve done this, there’s a lot of speculation about the future of the NFL’s British experiment.
I’m looking forward to getting back to Paris tomorrow!