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The Eurostar leaves in the early afternoon, so we have a little more… - delta_november

Apr. 10th, 2006

12:00 am

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The Eurostar leaves in the early afternoon, so we have a little more time to enjoy London. We drop our bags off at the left-luggage at Waterloo, have them X-rayed in the tradition of the new British reality, and then wander East along the Thames. Our destination is the Tate Modern. Yet another free museum, this modern art gallery is housed in the shell of an old power station. The famous Turbine Hall houses purpose-made installations -- today it's large stacks of plastic boxes.

I try to keep an open mind, but the abstract art doesn't do very much for me. I enjoy the surrealist paintings much more -- art where I can understand the individual elements, but the scene makes no sense. The museum is reasonably sized, and in a couple hours we see all of the permanent galleries. When we're done we cross to the north side of the river and walk west along The Strand and Fleet Street. While most of London seems to be a food wasteland, this is a bonanza. I shall have to remember the neighborhood for next time.

The Eurostar to Brussels is again uneventful. At this point we attempt to find transport to The Netherlands. I had tried to book Thalys tickets last night, only to be once-again thwarted by the lack of a local credit card. While this caused intense frustration at the time, it turns out to have been a good thing. The Dutch railway tracks are not of very high quality, so the high-speed trains can't get a good clip on them. There's a local train leaving earlier that will still get us into Leiden before the later Thalys would have, plus we save a bunch of money. Informed by our previous Brussels adventure we spend our layover in the station (which is really quite nice) and get real Belgian waffles. Yum!

We arrive at L+A's homey house in time for a game of Carcasonne before bed.