After resting yesterday afternoon we both had a restless night. Our sleep patterns haven’t adjusted yet. However, we were up early this morning and got going. After a reasonable, but light breakfast we undertook to get our phones working.
Yesterday I attempted to load some money on the SIM cards we bought after realizing that what we paid only gave us the SIM with no pre-paid service. I attempted to buy some prepaid service, but the company’s loading system required me to enter the billing address for the credit card I was using. The problem was that their system only recognizes UK addresses. Tired and grouchy I was in no mood to deal with it. This morning I read more details and learned of two other ways to load money on the account. That required a trip to a local green grocer to buy credit vouchers for our phones. Once activated those vouchers now provide us with local phone service.
The next adventure was tube tickets (subway to us Yanks). The cheapest way to ride the tube is with an Oyster. No, that didn’t mean that Jean and I couldn’t travel together. For some reason London has named its Tube pass the Oyster Card. Another trip to a news agent got us our Oyster cards and we were off to the tube.
London tube lines are confusing. One must figure out in advance what station is closest to your destination, what line(s) will take you there, and where to begin the trip. The closest tube station is about a mile from The London Guest House. The desk clerk advised us to take one line to a certain station and then transfer to a second line to Victoria Station, which he assured us was closest to the Tate. We got on the first tube okay and got off at the appropriate transfer point. However, we failed to account for several different tube routes using the same tracks and got on the wrong train at the transfer. Quickly realizing our error, we recalculated, got off in a couple of stops, and transferred once more. Eventually we arrived at Victoria Station and learned that it was 1 1/2 miles from The Tate!
After another long walk we arrived at the museum. Like most museums here it is FREE. The government and non-profit groups support it! How enlightened. Today we only visited three exhibits: key works from their historic collections, a review of Romanticism, and a walk through the 20th century. Here is a picture of the Tate and two of my favorite paintings seen today: Claude Money painted by John Singer Sargent and Pomeranian dogs by Thomas Gainsborough.
During a late lunch at a nearby pub we took a good look at the tube map and discovered a station across the street! By following the routes we saw that we could return to our digs with only one transfer. Back in our room by 4:00 PM and resting. It will be an early night.