London travel & Tate Modern

Last weekend I ended up going down to London to find out more about the trip to africa.
The train was the cheapest optiona. The train got me direct to to central London without any changes or hopefully delays. I was looking forward to train travel. I guess even in this day and age the train still has a cache about it. Anyway I arrived at the train station with 10 minutes to go.

On the board the trian I was getting had been cancelled. I spoke to a memeber of virgin staff who were very helpful and explained I was got get the 10.20 to carlisle and change at carlisle for the london train.

This meant a 30 minute delay in glasgow. I went and bought some fruit.

I got on the train to carlisle.
it was a pleasant enought journey.

At carlisle alot of people got off the train. I was slightly worrried about the amount of people on the platform waiting for the train.

The next train in was the train from edinburgh to the London.
As I boarded I thought this could be rather busy.

It was.
I found 2 emtpy seats which had been reserved for travellers from edinburgh to crewe?
I had a seat. Unfortunately I was travelling backwards and i didn’t have a window. Bums.

anyway I travelled for an hour before I had to share my seat it was really uncomfortable and squashed so i choose to stand for twenty minutes. At Crewe alot of people got off the train my self and my neighbour comandered a large table next to a window.

I finally managed to travel forwards agin
On this part of the Journey i managed to finsihs Generation x By douglas Coupland, it was a really good travel read. I really enjoyed it.
The train to london then went well. The drunk hen party got off the train to conect to gatwick and the train was reasonably quiet for the rest of the journey, which was kind of sad.

I got to london at 3.30pm and decided to spend some time in town.
But where was I, How did I get to where I was going to.
I walked about for five minutes, decided I would get horribly lost and I didn’t fancy that. I went back to the train station and bought a small a-z pocket sized. 4.99 not to expensive.

I decided to goto tate modern I knew it was by the river and the quickest way to get there was on the tube.

I joined a massive queue to buy a ticket. One of the Official statrted saying follow me If you want to pay at your destination station. I guessed I wanted to do this and went forward. I got down to the train and boarded. It wasn’t as busy as I thought It would be. The trip took about ten minutes. it was nice ish. the tube was smaller paltform size than Glasgow ot new york, the two other subways I have been on.

I got off at embankment. went to the gate and spoke to the official. I told him I had been told to come through to pay for a ticket. He told me he was to busy to help and I was to go through. so i did.

I walked outside. The city roared at me. I crossed the road and was by the river. It was big. and high, waves were soaking the pavement infront of me as i walked.
I didn’t know where tate modern was in relation to me but I didn’t want to look like a lost tourist. I wanted somewhere where I could stand and wait and check my map without looking to lost.

I spotted a large group of spanish teenagers and chaperons beside cloepatra’s needle. I went and stood near them and checked my map. I went to the left. I doubted and changed my mind I started walking right, i walked for a bout ten minutes before I checked the map againa nd realised that i was going the wrong way and should have went left.

I walked left to the millenium bridge. I crossed it. it was full of tourists so I felt safe.I walked to Tate Modern and entered on the middle of long side.
I wondered around and saw good stuff and some bad stuff

Rachel Whitbread ‘s EMBANKMENT was great and really big. my favourite bit was towards the back on the right hadn side as you walk into the exhibit. There are four towers of boxes kind of as columns. you can wlak in a 1 meter space between the outer wall and these towers, the enclosedness and the colour contrast between the dark wall and the white boxes as really effective.

anyway after a while I left. to travel on to my destination in kent.
I walked to balckfriers, saw the international Headquaters of The Salvation Army, (My employers, it was a really light, glass building, it looked really nice, it is at the bottom of the stairs at st Pauls. It also has a cafe open to all which has reasonable prices for central london.

anyway i got the tube from blackfriers to Victoria.
At victoria I was delayed in the biggest queue I have ever seen for train tickets. After ten minutes and still being at the end of this massive queue I commented to a station manager that the queues were horrendous. I asked If I could by a ticket on the train and not queue. He told me that those days were long gone. He then quietly told me that i could queue in the advance tickets only queue seeing as it was so busy. This queue had ten people in it. I got a ticket within 5 minutes and was on the next train. Lovely.

The train was busy. I got a seat to my self though. No window again but traveling forward this time! As the train winded it’s way into the suburbs i got a better seat. I got beckenham, with 10 minutes to spare. I found my map and wandered towards the chruch where we were being based I got there in good time and my journey and london adventure was basically over.

more later