A Slice of Life
Day 13 – Monday July 13th
The traffic around Victoria Station was terrible and people (from the train) began yelling at the bus driver that they had flights to catch. That didn’t help his disposition one bit! By the time I finally got to the Golden Tours office it was 12:30. A very nice agent at the Golden Tours office was able to locate my reservation on her computer and print me a ticket.
I asked her if I had to take the train back to Kings Cross to get on one of their tour buses and she said, “No, you can get on the bus right there across the street.” Thank Goodness! As it happened the first bus that came along was the Blue Route, and was one of the routes I needed.
However, by now I was so frustrated and tired, and also because my time was running out, I decided to just stay on the bus for the whole route. This would allow me to see the entire city in air-conditioned comfort (did I mention how hot and humid it was there in London) and with an audio explanation of all that I was seeing. This actually worked out rather well.
I was able to see all the specific museums I had planned to visit in London (from a distance) and heard all about them. I just didn’t get off and visit inside each of them. However, I did miss the Changing of the Guard. Maybe next time.
Trivia Question: What is the name of the bridge pictured below? The most photographed bridge in London is NOT the “London Bridge” but is actually the “Tower Bridge?”
After a tour of the city, in order to get back to Kings Cross for my train ride back to Stevenage, I had to transfer from the Blue Route bus, to a Red Route bus, and finally to the Orange Route bus.
I got to the Kings Cross train station at 4:30, only to discover that the next train to Stevenage was not until 5:15. However, this train was an express train, and it got me there by 5:45.
It took me another 15 minutes to walk up the three levels of stairs to the Stevenage station lobby, across and overpass, and then down three levels of stairs to the carpark ticket machine and pay for my parking. As it turned out, paying for my days parking was a breeze. I just put the yellow token into the machine and it displayed how much I owed (really smart machine!). Then I deposited the correct amount (coins of course) and everyone was happy.
I had planned for this day to go a lot smoother than it did, giving me time after returning from London to visit a couple small aviation museums close to where I would be spending that night. I decided to check them out, even though I knew they would be closed for the day, just to see what they had and to say I had been there. First was the Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum in Ramsgate. This small museum looked like it probably only displayed memorabilia items as there were no airplanes in site.
While I was in Ramsgate I swung by the RAF Manston History Museum. This museum tells the history of the RAF Manston airbase from its beginning in 1916. I just took a couple photos of their “Gate Guard” (V-1 Buz Bomb) and then headed south.
At the Kent Battle of Britain Museum in Folkstone, I couldn’t tell from the street how big this museum was. One of the small museum buildings blocked my view of all but one airplane that might have been behind it or in it.
I was ready to call it a day, and gave Greta the SatNav for the Kentmere Guest House there in Folkstone. She found the guest house with no problem, but it took me another 20 minutes to find a parking place on the street. Before long I was resting in a very nice room in a comfortable bed. I’d have to call that a day and a half’s worth of frustration all rolled up into 10 hours!!!
—–To Be Continued—–