Archive for the ‘tourism’ Tag

Shepherds Bush to Acton Tourism   1 comment

 

Friday after work run:  Started at the Shepherds Bush stop of the coach from Oxford and moseyed on up to the Queens Tavern.  As I have every other time I’ve tried to go here (this must be the sixth or seventh effort), I checked the opening times and found them to be from noon til 11 or midnight.  As it has been every other time, it was closed.  The website went down since last Friday and the WhatPub entry tells the story: the pub is only open on game days, now.  Shit.

Whilst grinding my teeth over this wasted choice of an urban route over much nicer ones, I noticed the Batman Dental Surgery.  I only hope that if you explore deeper in the estate you’ll find the Black Widow Marriage Counseling offices or the Swamp Thing Garden Centre.

 

 

 

This poor choice of font size resulted in an unfortunate and confusing presentation of the team slogan. It SHOULD, of course, read, “Come On Your Arses.”  Or, maybe it is as simple as bad spacing and should be, “Come On Your’s” (with a troublingly spurious apostrophe).  No one puts the effort into graphic design nor proofreading, anymore:

 

 

 

 

This Bed & Breakfast, not far from the stadium, is probably out of my price range:

 

 

 

 

I continued.  The other planned pub stop was also closed, I think.  I decided there wasn’t enough spring in the mattress to assist in clearing the hoarding, and ran on, eventually finding the Wishing Well pub near East Acton station (write-up soon).

I’ve had more (and less) successful runs.  At least it was hot and the start of the Early May Bank Holiday Weekend.

 

 

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Southend-On-Sea, Essex: Sights on a Cold, April Day Out   1 comment

 

I had no plan.  Jackie’s mom’s funeral would be held in Tennessee later in the day and, upon waking and stretching for a run, I decided to catch the train out to Southend to jog, drink, and think good thoughts about Jackie and her brother and all the aunts, uncles, and cousins donning mourning outfits and heading to the cemetery.  A good plan, I reckoned, for no plan.

 

 

Southend Station had some nice details and, paint-job-that’s-overdue-some-touch-up notwithstanding, even the dog shit containers were ornate:

 

 

Queen Victoria (or, using her Essex name, “Lefty” Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, as this statue suggests) looks out toward the sea.

 

 

Hash House Harrier (I believe it is the Full Moon kennel) markings turned up on the cliffs:

 

 

I took a run break and paid for the privilege of walking the pier.

 

 

A paddle boarder in the distance worked against the retreating tide, while some lazier pier denizens took the train.

 

 

 

I thought there would be a pub at the end, but it is really just a Life Boats rescue station (although there is a snack bar).

 

 

Returning to terra firma, it was time to find a pub.

 

 

The cliffs elevator:

 

 

The Kurzaal holds a bowling alley:

 

 

Seaside arcades in older cinemas line the seaside walk.

 

 

Still Life on Victorian Keystones:

 

So, the mourning run finished after 4 pubs (write-ups are slowly being crafted), some eels, and a plate of seafood pasta.  “What have any of these got to do with one another or the stated intent of this trip,” you ask?  I counter, “it’s Southend…nothing has to work together.”  Case in point.  The billboard for the “Sea Life Adventure” features a meerkat — a relative of the mongoose from the Kalahari Desert and no Sea Life, at all:

 

 

Posted May 5, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Running, Tourism

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Sights around Bushey   2 comments

 

The Sunday run was short and sweet with 4 pub stops over the course of about 4 miles back-and-forth and round-and-round Bushey, a little village completely covered with pubs a mile or so south of Watford.

 

 

 

The main sights, I guess, were the pubs which are being written-up (or shall soon be). I was impressed with the spiritual life of the town, though, especially the icon of Darrel from the Walking Dead (in drag, above) on the side of the Catholic Church.

The Methodist Church is also odd: look at the steeple and the way they seemed to have built it and then built a brick tower around it about halfway up its full height.

 

 

Looking for a quiet place to unload some used beer, I wandered into the town Rose Garden. This was absolutely lovely, but too occupied for my Trump-Russian-prostitute impression. I continued the trek to a final pub (indoor potties!) and called it a day.

 

Posted April 27, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Wandsworth sightings   Leave a comment

 

From the Falcon, I started a run to see how well my blister treatment was holding up on my foot.  The route took me through Wandsworth and beyond; along the way, I saw that the Silver Surfer must have pissed off Herod something awful (above, apologies for the shitty photo but not the heresy).

The Wandsworth Council building has a grand (if not grandiose) relief comparing the district government to those of the classical world:

 

 

As if I can’t make my own (evidence above), the council announced “a diversion” ahead!  Hooray!  What might it be?  Jugglers?  Bull baiting?  Perhaps a pub of some historical significance!  I trundled on….

 

 

Posted April 8, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running, Tourism

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Circle Line Finished, District Crippled, some Northern, TfL Run Project   1 comment

 

Friday entailed another race against the setting sun on a TfL Run Project trot, this time starting at Embankment. The actual route is here:

 

 

 

Missed the Underground Roundel fro Kennington on this map…drink and/or drugs may have been involved

 

Sticking to The Embankment, the next station was Temple.

 

 

Embankment

Temple

 

On the segment to Blackfriars, a winged stallion on a gate startled me…I was certain, just moments before, that I was the only winged stallion on the Thames Path.

 

 

 

At Blackfriars, the path to Mansion House and Cannon Street veered inland a bit.

 

 

Blackfriars

Mansion House

Cannon Street

 

 

Leaving Cannon Street, I was now finished with the Circle Line and one, small segment shy of completing the District:

 

 

 

 

 

Avoiding the foot traffic in The City is difficult at the best of times. I took some alleyways to get to Bank Station where I started working on some of the Northern Line:

 

 

Bank

 

 

 

 

Crossing London Bridge, the Thames looked especially busy (but, there was a nice view of HMS Belfast and the Tower Bridge).

 

 

 

The next 1½ miles yielded the most congested pavements of the evening. London Bridge and Borough Stations passed easily enough, though.

 

London Bridge

Borough

 

 

Just after Borough, I took a cider break at the Gladstone Arms. Then, straight down to Elephant & Castle.

 

 

 

Elephant & Castle 1

 

I stood by the Faraday monument in the roundabout to take a photo of the station, but just the other side was a different entrance to the same station (assuming the first one serves the Northern Line and the 2nd the Bakerloo).

 

 

Elephant & Castle 2

 

 

The shopping centre’s Elephant & Castle could use some fresh paint.

 

 

 

I took a wrong turn and had to loop back to Kennington Station but approaching it from an unplanned angle yielded a new perspective on its dome:

 

 

Kennington

 

Close enough to my finish, I stopped for another beverage at the Ship before heading past North Lambeth Station to Waterloo.

 

 

Waterloo

The full system map after tonight’s run:

 

Amersham to Chesham, Metropolitan Line, TfL Run Project   1 comment

 

The weather sucked and I was tired of the Holiday Run Streak. The entire journey out to Hertfordshire was spent internally arguing whether or not to do the full planned route. But, since this represented the outer-most segments on the Metropolitan Line on the TfL Run Project and since I made it out to Amersham I decided to plod on with it.

 

Amersham

 

 

On the way to Chalfont and Latimer Station, I stopped for a pint at the Pomeroy (write-up soon). Nice enough, I guess, but it is more restaurant than bar.

 

Chalfont & Latimer

 

 

The next segment featured a bit of suburban parkland. I ran through here a little over a year ago but it was after dark and I really had to focus on the pavement illuminated by torchlight. Today, I got the chance to look around and spotted some rough-hewn bench sculptures like this one near what I would characterise as a sewage lagoon:

 

 

 

And, the hands on the ass seating:

 

 

 

Another beer stop at the General’s Arms (write-up soon) lasted about 30 seconds too long and I arrived at Chesham Station in time to see the train depart.

 

Chesham

 

 

With 30 minutes to kill in the cold-and-windy station, I explored. They have a garden with a gnome! The sprouts look like weed, but I’m sure it is merely coincidence.

 

 

 

The Metropolitan Line now looks thus:

 

 

And, the system is a bit prettier with that purple bit in the upper left filled in:

 

Posted January 8, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Kensington Olympia to Elephant & Castle, Multiple Lines, TfL Run Project   3 comments

 

Windy and a bit cool Friday afternoon, I was racing against sunset and slalom-ing through inexplicable crowds of tourists on my way from the Shepherd’s Bush coach stop to Elephant & Castle.  I by-passed many an attractive pub on the journey, too, but probably saved myself £5.80 per pint on the way.  The start was chosen to pick up the last western segment of the District Line from Kensington Olympia (3rd time at this bleak station) to the always pretty (despite the crowds) Earl’s Court:

 

 

Kensington Olympia

Barons Court

 

At Earls Court, the Piccadilly Line merged as far as South Kensington (with the Circle Line joining at Gloucester Road):

 

Gloucester Road Station is actually 2 stations although the older part is now just some shops.

Gloucester Road

Gloucester Road, the old bits

The Circle Line stayed with the District Line until I veered south across the Thames at Westminster:

 

 

I had an otherwise funny conversation with Doug Stanhope in Tucson (during which he insisted on showing me a disturbing video of a Mexican prostitute on his phone) years before I knew he was a big deal.  Since then, a hasher I know there has made friends with him.  Not that Stanhope Gardens has fuck all to do with either of them, but discarded Christmas trees seems a likely metaphor if you are clutching at straws after this segue down Memory Lane:

 

 

South Ken Station also bears two facades but experience with it tells me that internally it has longer pedestrian tunnels than the distance to walk to any of the adjacent stations on District, Piccadilly, or Circle Lines.

 

South Kensington

South Ken, old bits

Bela Bartok stands watch outside:

 

On the way to Sloane Square, the outstanding Michelin House appeared before me.  Once the tyre manufacturer’s London HQ, it now acts as serviced office suites.  The window mosaic above the Michelin Man holding a cocktail glass of nuts and bolts says “Nunc Est Bibendum” or “Now Is The Time To Drink” (sound advice):

 

 

Sloane Square

I didn’t have a Sharpie with me (and the crowds were oppressive) but the correct graffito for this play is, “So was mine”:

 

Except for a surge of Chinese tourists, later, I mostly escaped the crowds after Victoria.

 

Victoria

Happily, I crossed paths with this tribute to Henry Purcell on my way to St James’ Park Station:

 

 

Or, should that be “St James’s Park Station?”  That spurious/bonus S on your signage is grammatically incorrect, TfL.  Tsk.

 

St James Park

 

Ten minutes earlier and the shadow would’ve been at the base, making this a postcard shot:

 

the abbey

Westminster

At Westminster Station, I faced a choice between continuing to Embankment or veering south now.  The first option would have been tidier but the crowds were so heavy on Westminster Bridge and along the river that I opted to follow one segment of the Jubilee Line just to get through them as soon as possible:

 

 

 

Waterloo Station is beautiful at the front.  From this side, not so much:

 

Waterloo

 

The final dash along the southernmost two segments of the Bakerloo Line ensued.

 

 

Lambeth North

Elephant and Castle

Now a little after 4 pm (Friday is always POET’S Day, but I’m also comp-timing the days I came in during the Xmas break), I headed to the 6 Yard Box which was still closed (despite posted opening time of 4 pm and someone milling about inside) even after I had a hoppy pint of Meantime Lager at Long Wave next door.

Here’s the obligatory system map update: