Friday, September 14, 2012

Sept 14 2012 - Through London to Zagreb Croatia

Ice cream sandwiches on a plane!!!
Our trip to Croatia began comfortably. United 777 to London, on-demand video, power outlet, 10 hours to work, read, watch, and sleep. It's the little things in life that make it so pleasant. United treated the plane to ice cream sandwiches at 30,000 feet. Movie selection was plentiful. The time just flew by.

How close to 221B Baker Street?
When we were planning this trip, the prospect of a 6 hour layover in London seemed like so much time. We wondered, what could we do with so much time? We planned out several possible itineraries. Should we go to Covent garden, Transport museum, and sample what is known as the tastiest brownie in all of London?

The Tate Modern is even bigger on the inside!

Or how about Battersea park, Pumphouse gallery space, and views of the famous Pink Floyd landmark? In the end, we decided on the Tate Modern museum and snacks from the Borough Market. The Tate is a modern art museum in a renovated power station, in a way similar to the Jewish Contemporary Museum of San Francisco growing out of a power substation, but at the scale of the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington D.C. There still is a Pink Floyd connection - it was originally designed by the same architect as the Battersea Power Station - and you can see the similarities instantly. The museum offers free entrance, and the exhibits did not disappoint.

View of a pedestrian bridge from Tate Modern
For me though, the highlight was the space itself. The old oil tanks have recently been reopened as an audiovisual exhibition space. Kids are singing impromptu into microphones and adults are walking around the room inside mobile structures made out of venetian blinds and metal rods on wheels. In fact, the exhibit seemed to be completely interactive and we were thinking about climbing into one of the roaming structures, going as far as to touch one, when a lady inside one of the structures yelled at us not to touch.... according to the website, they are "Timed choreographed performances" as far of an exhibit called "Dress Vehicles"... uuuhh ookk!

The resemblance truly is uncanny
I should point out though that I spent about 30 minutes of our precious London time resting with my eyes closed on an uncomfortable but conveniently located bench - it appeared just as my body was about to give out. Olga took a few photos of me resting my eyes and you can read more on her blog:

You just can't go wrong in the Borough Market
After the museum, we walked along the Thames river, past Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, under and past the London Bridge, eventually wandering through the Borough Market. It's a fun scene, a mostly roofed outdoor market with vendors hawking everything from fresh fish to seasonal produce to gourmet turkish delight (free samples provided!) to fancy goat cheeses to blackberry chocolate truffles to haddock pot pies... we grabbed a couple items we couldn't refuse and headed back to the airport, more waiting and a 2-hour flight to Zagreb ahead of us.

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