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London, day 2: 14 September 2006

Started: 2006-09-19 02:21:28

Submitted: 2006-09-19 02:29:17

Visibility: World-readable

If you're just joining us, you'll want to read Day 1: 13 September 2006.

1105 BST 14 September 2006

We're now over Wales en route to Heathrow. About 30 minutes to go in the cross-Atlantic flight. I think this is my shortest trans-Atlantic flight (at least eastbound); I'll have to check.

Got about 5.5 hours of quasi-sleep. Feeling mostly awake with sun streaming through the window.

The seat next to me stayed empty. Once cabin door closed, asked flight attendant if Kiesa could move over. Might have been nice to have an extra seat to my left, though.

Not yet sure what we're going to do once we check into our hotel. Presumably something that doesn't take much effort, but will keep us awake until a plausible early bedtime, British Summer Time.

Flight path took us past the Twin Cities, directly over Duluth, and along the north shore of Lake Superior. Passed over the bay at the south end of Hudson Bay, which was bumpy. Passed a bit south of the southern tip of Greenland. Crossed Ireland diagonally and touched the tip of Wales. Saw Irish hedgerows far below. Over Wales and England, cloud cover obscures the ground; we're descending now and all I can see is a uniform white, much brighter than the cabin.

1315 BST 14 September 2006

Inbound to London on Piccadilly Line tub, so this is bumpy. Cleared customs and passport control without incident -- much faster than Gatwick last summer. £4 ticket, each, for the tube, and it'll take us to the right stop. Outbound plane's tail number: G-YMMF.

1540 BST 14 September 2006

Checked into our hotel, off Gloucester Road tube stop. Now eating a late lunch at a hole-in-the-wall French sandwich shop half a block away. Fell better after a shower; should feel good after eating. Next stop: Science Museum.

1830 BST 14 September 2006

Headed for the Science Museum in the wrong direction. A quick consultation of the map put us in the right place. We passed the Natural History Museum, a neo-Gothic brick building advertising various facts about dinosaurs. Behind the building we found the Science Museum. I saw an exhibit about Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his massive ship the Great Eastern. I found the Apollo 10 command module as one exhibit among equals in the "Making the Modern World" exhibit.

Apollo 10 spacecraft at Museum of Science, London
Apollo 10 spacecraft at Museum of Science, London

Kiesa didn't feel up to hunting down the Abbey Road zebra crossing, so we headed back to our hotel to check out BBC News.

Tomorrow our plan is to look at the popular sites in Westminster -- Parliament, Whitehall, Westminster Abbey.

1930 BST 14 September 2006

Rick Steves tells me that the Natural History Museum is Victorian neo-Romanesque. My bad.

Place to visit: London's Transport Museum, featuring the history of the tube and plenty of old tube cars. £6, at Covenant Gardens (east of Trafalgar Square).

For more photos from my visit to the Science Museum, see Photos on 2006-09-14.