March 29, 2009

London: Sunday boating

Since I booked my Qantas flights to Brisbane back in 2006 through British Airways, they keep sending me spamemails with offers and stuff to do at various destinations. Because of this I was aware that this sunday was the date of the annual Cambridge vs. Oxford boat race. Known simply as The Boat Race. Alison needed to do some work, so I set out on my own down to Hammersmith.

Arriving at Hammersmith station I realized I wasn't quite prepared for the amount of people that show up for this event. I think this is the only time I've ever seen people queue up for a zebra crossing. According to the TV coverage, a quarter of a million people were gathered along the banks for the race. So even though I arrived a good hour before the event, it was clear that I was at least an hour late already. I caught a bit of the warm-up race 45 minutes before the main event, and then went to see if I could find a better spot. I didn't so I ended up in Furnival Gardens where there was a big screen set up. And lots of people. So I watched the main race from there.

After the race I decided to go to Kensington to visit the Science Museum. Arriving half an hour before closing time, so I didn't really have the time to visit any of the most interesting exhibitions, such as the new Cracking Ideas exhibit and the IMAX theatre. The pictures show a large circle in the center that I think was supposed to simulate the Large Hadron Collider and occasionally merged the particles into texts.

From the Science Museum I went to look for the Forbidden Planet Megastore. Finally found it after walking along most of the Shaftesbury Avenu - should have taken the tube stop further - and realized it had closed 15 minutes before. So I went looking for a pub and a pint, before going back to Alison's place.

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