Legs still a-quiver from the Drop Dead ride in the London Dungeon, we were to then part ways with our companions for a few hours. The aim: do whatever we pleased!
I asked Ricky what he recommended for the area since he was far more acquainted with it than me. His suggestion ended up being the Tate Modern.
Best decision ever.
I hadn’t been to a gallery since the Rodin exhibit in Montreal, and before that…man I don’t even know. But it’s been ages since I frequented the halls of artists past and present.
But before we even got there, my excitement bubbling as I imagined what sorts of inspiring work I’d soon be seeing, we came across a giant used book sale set under a bridge. We browsed for a while, nothing really jumping out at me, until…
I found this.
It was possibly the single most exciting find I’ve ever come across at a book sale. I’d first seen the Tolkien Bestiary by David Day in Andrea’s Tolkien collection, but since then have never come across it as it seems to have been out of print for a while.
But here this one was – just sitting on the table ready to be snatched up – for £7.50 no less.
Later, I looked through it and discovered it was a first edition too.
Cue the nerd swoons. It made up for the fact that I hadn’t bought anything at Forbidden Planet. In fact, it ended up being the only thing I bought for myself during the trip aside from the London Dungeon photos.
So I pretty much cradled this next to my heart for the rest of the day.
We got to the Tate Modern just as it started to rain (look at us with our impeccable timing!). There were quite a few free exhibits, so we headed in their general direction. The first was a study of artists and their representation of space, shape, and the connection to the human body. I ended up finding quite a lot of quality pieces there (at least to my taste).
Here were some of my favourites – though sadly I neglected to write down the artist and title for each one, so if you guys recognize one feel free to leave a comment to let me know!
The next exhibit ended up being…I’m not really sure what. It was very modern and mostly sculptures. Marta in her Marianopolis College days during 2007-2009 would have probably loved it. Contemporary Marta was a little underwhelmed.
As I wandered through a room in which giant burlap sacks made to look like mounds of potatoes were roped off, I mused for a few minutes on how much your tastes can change. Ten years ago, I was all about abstract installation art.
But, as I went into the last exhibit and came across a wall full of Mondrians, I realized that some things never do change.
Once we’d expended all the free exhibits, we decided to get some lunch. It was quite late in the afternoon by now – more for coffee than for lunching – and our full English’s could only get us so far before refuelling. (If I was a car, I’d be the least fuel efficient car in the world – one of those old, gas-guzzling pickup trucks from the 50’s).
Both of us were craving something a little more exotic than your standard British pork pie, and at Ricky’s recommendation we ended up at a Greek tapas place he’d been to before: The Real Greek.
For the first time ever, I didn’t actually take any pictures of my food (gasp!), so unfortunately I have nothing to show for it. But believe me when I say it was lovely.
We found a really decent deal for Sunday lunching. Or at least the internet told us it was a really decent deal: turned out it had expired, but their website hadn’t updated. That said, the staff was super nice and let us order for the stated price anyway.
So we ordered four plates off the menu each and they came out on a lovely tiered tray (great for maximizing table space).
Everything was amazing. Hummus, tzatziki, olives, flatbread, pork belly, chicken skewers, saffron rice – and surprisingly the aegean slaw being possibly the best thing there.
Considering we had eight plates between us, it came to a tidy £35. Granted, this is around $70 in CAD, but for London? For eight plates? Yeah we were quite proud of our budget splurging.
By this point, we didn’t really have a ton of time left. It was pretty much down to coordinating a meeting point with everyone at the nearest Tube Station. Side story: it was in the station that I also paid for a bathroom for the first time. Popped 20p into a turnstyle and was allowed to pee. I grumble about it, but also grudgingly admit that the whole place was much cleaner than public restrooms back home.
Once we were all gathered together, it was back to the car in Greenwich so we could get an early start on the weekend traffic.
And thus it was that the end of our London adventure came to be.
Ten posts, folks. That’s how much stuff we packed into three days. Ten posts worth. It was a trip of a lifetime and every second was well spent.
A big thanks to Sharon and Tony for making it happen – best Christmas present ever! You guys are amazing!!
And with that, I now declare the London posts concluded.
If you missed one or want to relive these marvellous adventures, check out the links below.