Day 7, Friday January 11th Guildford & the Tate Britain
On this day, Monica was supposed to work for half a day and then were supposed to return to London. After a quick breakfast, we parted ways. I decided since we only had a half day to stay in Guildford and walk around the town some more. Guildford is an interesting mix of very old buildings and very well built new buildings, and it’s the biggest town in Surrey. Basically, Surrey is to London what Connecticut is to New York. It looks like there was a recent surge in development around Guildford, with new houses, businesses, and a shopping mall. We walked back down High Street, this time taking our time and going into some stores. We also wandered up some side streets to see some old churches, an old castle, and a club with sporting “greens”.
After a half day of meandering, we went to visit Monica’s office in Guildford. The meeting were still going on, so I took Genevieve to get some lunch. I noticed earlier that there was a TGI Friday’s in town, and I figured that would be an easy place for me to take a baby for lunch. It turned out to be a pretty good choice, as they had a good children’s menu. After lunch we strolled a bit more and then ran into Monica. She was finished with her meeting and ready to go. We took a shortcut I had discovered back to our hotel and then caught a cab to the train station.
Getting on the train with all of our luggage and the baby was again a bit of an ordeal. But, as was becoming usual, a local man held up the train for us as we stowed all of our baggage. We had an uneventful trip back to Waterloo station and then caught a cab back to the Thistle Marble Arch hotel. This time we were given an even bigger suite with a bar! Very nice!
It was about 4:30 at this point so took a cab for a quick visit to the Tate Britain. The Tate Britain houses artwork from mostly British painters. There was some very interesting paintings there, particularly from the “pre-Raphaelites” and from Turner.
After getting our fill of art, we spent the rest of the evening in a very very long walk. We started by walking alongside the river Thames up to Westminster. Monica wanted to walk on Westminster bridge and get a good view of Westminster at night. Then we walked up Whitehall Street towards Tralfalgar square, passing the Banquet Hall. Then we walked towards Covent Gardens. We started seeing a lot more young people and a lot of people in general once we started getting near Covent Gardens. We had forgotten that it was Friday night! From Covent Gardens we wandered back through Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, and the Soho area. There were lots of interesting people to see and also some of the early nightlife. (Which we only saw from the outside, of course.) Eventually we made it back to Oxford Street, our favorite Tesco, and our hotel.