Pin Balling through London

We had a lovely weekend planned which involved us heading into London both Friday and Saturday.  On Friday we were going to The Shard for the view and lunch.  Boy did we get lucky with the weather as Friday was a beautiful day with hardly a cloud, certainly no rain, and even very little pollution it seemed.

Looking at the maps, it appeared we were only about a mile away from the location so we set my hubby’s phone to a GPS mode and started following it out of London Waterloo Station.  As we weren’t positive where we had to go, every time we saw a sign that offered a map of the surrounding area, we would stop and look to see where we were and how far we had to go.  Mostly it was rather in a straight line so no worries and we ambled towards the Shard without a problem.  Good navigation.  And nice to walk along on top of the streets rather than riding below the streets for once.  After our lunch and view though, we hit the tubes to go back to Waterloo and head home.

Saturday
Hubby and I had a nice Sat in London last weekend.  We had tickets for him to attend the Craft Beer Rising Festival which is a yearly gathering of different brewers, mostly from the U.K., and their brews and a good many of them started as home brewers or still do beers in the home brewing fashion.  As my husband has been a home brewer for the last 40 years, this festival interests him a great deal as he gets to talk to the brewers and exchange ideas and gather tips, yada, yada.  Much better than the beer festivals where there is just a wall of kegs and everyone is drinking as fast as they can.

So to the Craft Beer Rising, had a lovely time, talked to some great brewers who are quite proud of their stuff, only tasted a few that were less than stellar, and then out and on for the rest of our evening.

We had tickets to see Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap and a nice dinner before hand with one of the special Pre-theatre dinner restaurants that offer you a two course meal for a reduced rate in the hopes that you will also buy a bunch of drinks and maybe desserts, etc.    As we didn’t want to retrace our steps to the metro tube station where we had arrived for the Craft Beer shindig, we set up my hubby’s phone to a GPS mode to follow it to our restaurant.  It had been quite easy on Friday to follow it to get to The Shard.  Of course, it helps being able to see your building over all the other buildings too.

We wandered around the neighborhood first as there were several markets in action but nothing really worth buying that day.  And then we followed the GPS to the tube station.  Oddly enough, his phone told us to exit at Embankment which was at least a mile from where we wanted to be.  It would have made much more sense to exit at Leicester Square which is smack in the middle of the theatre district but for some reason, the GPS/phone was playing tricks on us.

Fairly easy to get to the Strand from Embankment but then we were sure exactly which way it was telling us to go, so we navigated by the combination of GPS-phone instructions and stopping at every map on the street again to ascertain where we were and where was the restaurant and where we wanted to turn.  Felt like we were pin balling from sign to sign.  Hit one and spin off in another direction until you hit the next one and then spin off some more.  What’s wonderful about London and a good many large UK towns and even European cities is that these maps are up and about the town and make it quite easy to find places.

So bouncing around and we found our restaurant quite early actually.  There was a comic book store right next to it and I don’t think we’ve been in a comic book store since my teens but we went in to see as we had the time.  My gosh!  Exactly like The Big Bang Theory.  I looked around for Howard and Leonard and Raj and Sheldon.  They could have been there.

And then to dinner and then the show, both which were quite enjoyable.  Heading back to Waterloo, we managed to snag a cab but the trains were delayed.  First time we’ve been caught out and had to detour to Staines and get a cab home from there.  geez.  not a cheap night.

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