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July 26 2011 - London - Saatchi Gallery

LONDON

semi-overcast 23 °C

Our first stop was the Saatchi Gallery just along from Sloane Square in Chelsea and housed in the enormous Duke of York Headquarters building dating from 1801. It contains some really interesting modern art and admission is free. If there is one piece of artwork to see in London, it has to be Richard Wilson's 20:50 in the basement

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From there we walked down towards the Thames to spend an hour or so around Cheyne Walk and Cheyne Row. There is the fascinating Chelsea Old Church there, that has an incredible history (Sir Thomas More built his own private chapel here in 1528) - this is the area to live in London, just a stone's throw from the Thames

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A word or two about travelling around London on the tube and buses - even if you're only staying a day or two, get a Travelcard; getting an Oyster Card and loading it with GBP5,10 or 20 is what most people suggest but it's really not a good deal if you plan to do a lot of travelling around. We bought an Oyster Card with GBP5 credit (there is also a GBP5 refundable deposit) and after just a 4-stop tube ride and a short bus-ride we got the message "Seek Assistance" when we next tried to use the card. Those 2 trips cost us GBP3.20 and as we had only GBP1.80 left on the card, there wasn't enough for the minimum tube-fare of GBP1.90. A very kind London Underground guard spent ages asking how much travelling we intended to do and suggested the only real answer was a 7-day Travelcard (GBP27.60) and also said that a Travelcard was really best for any tourist in London; the Travelcard can be "loaded" onto the plastic Oyster Card which is better to carry around than the cardboard Travelcard ticket

From there, we took the tube to Charing Cross and spent a very pleasant couple of hours at the National Portrait Gallery, in the Tudor and Stuart rooms - those artists really knew how to paint a portrait unlike the insipid works from Gainsborough's era

Jeni then left for the Indonesian Embassy, in the optimistic hope that her visa would be ready for collection. Not only was it not ready, she was told it couldn't be done, despite having had assurances in writing over the last 2 months that there would be no problem. So after hours and hours putting the application together, getting photos and supporting documents she is defeated and is hoping that she can drop a new application into the Sydney Embassy on her way back to Byron Bay

Posted by kforge 30.07.2011 04:28 Archived in United Kingdom

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