Monday, February 29, 2016

King's Cross Station and Lumiere London

King's Crossing/St Pancras train station

First up, happy leap year day!

Each time that I visit Europe, I see too many cathedrals and I start to miss the details when I visit them. However, I have never been able to get enough of the giant train stations. I'm not sure if I love the architecture or the idea that you see these places when you are about to go on an adventure, but I love them. Feel the hustle and bustle at New York's Grand Central station. Soak up the atmosphere at Denver's recently remodeled Union Station or just take a look at London's King's Crossing/St Pancras stations in the photos here.

The actual Harry Potter scene for boarding the Hogwarts Express was filmed somewhere along this King's Cross station wall.

Inside King's Cross station.

Fancy decorations or an architectural feat at King's Cross station.

After leaving Cambridge via King's Cross Station, KLS and I came back for Lumiere London, a 4 night light festival and a crowd control disaster. There were 30-40 light installations across the city for people to explore.  We had planned to walk along a route that would allow us take in at least 75% of them. Due to the volume of people in the streets, I think we only made it to 25% of the exhibits.

An exhibit setup like an old video gaming.

Watch the little men climb the building.

Some of the exhibits took up the entire side of a building while others were only in a single shop window. It was inspiring to see what some of the artists were able to create. It really seemed to get the city excited because SO many people were out in the overcrowded streets - adults, families, teenagers . . . everyone.

A classic British phone booth repurposed as an aquarium (photo stolen from the Internet).

The stereotype goes that the British love to form orderly lines and I saw nothing to dispute this until this night to refute that. Unfortunately, the breakdown of this stereotype led to our one big miss of the evening. In the previous photo, you'll see an aquarium inside a phone booth that was the single exhibit that I wanted to make sure to we saw. Unfortunately, by the time we got there, the impatient crowds were partaking in some very not British behavior and they refused to form a proper queue (line). The safety and security personnel were overwhelmed and closed the entire exhibit. They found plywood and covered the phone booth so that not even a single beam of light was shining through, doubled security, and sent anyone looking to make a call on their way. Tear.

The very busy streets of London.

A close up of the exhibit over the intersection.

Changing colors.

Neon cartoon dogs!

The other exhibits we saw throughout the city were a treat and almost made up for the hunger in KLS' belly that needed to be satiated before she tried to eat my face off. The best part about this hunger is that even though KLS was crazy hungry, we still waited 30 minutes to get into Bibimbap for Korean food. It was on a list of best cheap eats that KLS found in London. While I waited in line, she went to get ice cream. When we got inside, it was like so many other of the cheap eat places we had been to that force themselves into smaller, less expensive spaces - maybe 15 feet across and 90 feet long. The kitchen was in full view to enhance the eating experience, but also to maximize seating room. Most of the seating was on bar stools facing the kitchen or the opposite wall without enough room to walk between the two without bumping jackets and purses. Maybe, there'd be a table at the front window or back of the restaurant. It was cheap and delicious.

The Corinthia Hotel in London near one of my favorite lunch parks, the Whitehall Gardens.

The London Eye at night.

Big Ben, the House of Commons, and the Palace of Westminster.

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