On my final day of my weekend trip to London on Sunday October 12, 2014, we started our day at a very posh and tasty cupcake shop! Even though it was nearly four pounds a cupcake, the cakes from Primrose Bakery were very delicious! I had the Chocolate Toblerone Cupcake (with a delicious bowl of granola and yogurt) and my fiancée the White Chocolate Cupcake. Coffee makes a great addition to a morning cupcake, as was demonstrated by the number of children drinking the Babycinos.
The cupcakes were so delicious that the local pigeons and dogs couldn’t be held back from flying into the store only to be shooed away or staring in at the display with big sad puppy dog eyes! Well with rainbow layered cake in the window, can you blame them for trying???
Despite the deliciousness of the cupcakes, they were just a warm up for the main event of the day: The British Museum! Since I was a young boy, I had always DREAMED of getting to go to the British Museum. It was just a short and direct tube ride from Camden Town. On the way to the museum, we passed the “first YMCA”.
One very shocking thing to me was the fact that the British Museum was free to enter. While they do have a number of rotating exhibitions that you have to pay to enter, one may view the majority of the museum for free.
As any good Museum should, the British Museum proudly boasts a wide array of artifacts. Stretching way back in history to a man that died in the sands of Pre-Pharaoh Egypt thousands of years ago
to a wide array of Greco-Roman era displays
and all things Egyptian of course!
Then there were the special exhibits! For instance, the one dedicated to the German perception of WWI through the display of wartime medals
Even though I had dreamed of seeing the Sarcophagi of the British Museum since boyhood, I was most captivated by one of their special exhibits dedicated to the portrayal of witches. The theme was to show how the portrayal of witches has evolved from the 15th century crone to the 21st century siren. The work was stunning!!
While I wanted to visit the Museum Tavern across from the museum to review it, I had no time for we had planned to return to Canturbury that night and I needed to head back to Camden Town to meet my fiancée (who had left the museum to catch a final BFI London Film Festival movie). Everything went smooth until we returned to the Victoria Coach Station. We arrived just in time to be at the beginning of the line to board our National Express bus back to Canterbury. However, when we got to the front of the line, the bus driver told me that my ticket was no good, but my fiancée’s was.
I guess that there must have been some error in my ticket from when it was booked (Friday to Sunday like my fiancée’s) to when it printed. Mine had the return on the ticket for returning the Friday we arrived. While the mistake was irritating and frustrating, and it was understandable that that coach was sold out therefore I could not ride standby on that coach, the company did absolutely nothing to help.
Despite their five pound policy to adjust a ticket, they forced me to buy a new ticket which ended up costing more than my original booking! And it had to be for the following morning. We were allowed to try to ride standby. While I am very used to flying standby on airplanes, it was a horrible experience having to wait to see if I could get on the next oversold bus.
By some miracle, there were two seats open on the next bus and my fiancée and I were able to get on. However, there was a third lady seeking to ride standby. She told the driver she had booked her ticket for the previous coach (the one we were supposed to take, that one that the driver told me there was no way I could ride on because it was oversold). Yet, here was a lady, one lady that was supposed to be on the previous coach but was not, that did not fill her seat on the early bus, and hers was a seat I could have taken and arrived home when we planned!
While I felt terrible for her that we got the last two seats on the coach returning home, I was relieved nonetheless. However, I will be weary of booking with National Express in the future. They did nothing on the administrative side to help or compensate what must have been a mistake in their server because of the difference in our two bookings. Our return to Canterbury was smooth, and our taxi man who took us from downtown to the university was a nice guy.