03 April 2008

Other things to do in London

Well, I've let this one get away, haven't I? This post should wrap up London, but I won't guarantee that I'll complete the trip too soon because I'll be pretty busy with school for the next two weeks. I started my second semester a month ago, and they aren't exactly easing us in this year. I will try to be better, though. As for London, I've told you about the Abbey, the Tower and the museums. But these things are London musts as well.

Be sure to take a walk with Donald Rumbelow, noted Jack the Ripper expert and author of The Complete Jack the Ripper. He provides tours as part of London Walks, the original and best walking tour company in London. Rumbelow will take you to several important scenes of the Ripper mystery and give you a two hour brief on the series of events that have captivated the world for 120 years. He is gracious and patient, answering each question, which he has no doubt been asked thousands of times. For six pounds, it's a great deal. We also went on a Shakespeare walk that is also recommended. Many others are available, and they all begin and end at major Underground stations, so they are very convenient; check their website for more information.

Speaking of the Underground: take it. It's easy, convenient and reliable. Not to mention that it is probably the most famous public transportation system in the world. Did you know that the London Underground map, based on a circuitry diagram, is the model for every other rail map used today? This design presents the rail system not as it is in reality, but rather as we picture it in our minds. You can thank Harry Beck for that one.

Next on the to do list is the ubiquitous red telephone booth. Despite the prevalence of mobile phones, and the disappearance of public phones in many other places, you are just about guaranteed to be able to see one of these anywhere in London. We chose this one because Big Ben is in the background, and had another unexpected benefit: this was about the only ten seconds of no rain that we had the entire week we were there.

And speaking of Big Ben: never let it be said that Look Right doesn't bring the experience to you. If you play the video below, you will hear the chimes of the Big Ben. You will also hear a lot of wind and rain, but as I mentioned above, that was a bit hard to miss. As cultured, civilised people, I'm sure you already know that Big Ben is technically the name of the bell, not the tower housing it. So in this video you are looking at the Clock Tower, but hearing Big Ben. Whatever you call it, it's a London institution. Enjoy.


Karen said...

Thank you for this field trip of sorts. Cole and I just studied Big Ben.

carina said...

thanks for sharing your adventure! just now I've realized there are really lots of Things to do in London. nice blog! :)