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Europe : London to Italy - March 16

 Last day in London. Owlet and I are the chief suffers of foot pain on our hikes out and about, and I'm convinced it's because we have the most worn out shoes. So we have to go to a posh running shoe store, the only shoe store nearby, but given the neighbourhood this B+B is in, it's posh. It's one of those places that takes running as a lifestyle, not merely something dimly remembered with growing horror from high school class. 

You know it's posh when it has a name brand you've never heard at prices you'd only pay for brands you HAVE heard of. Then there are other indicators, repetively mentioning the word 'gait', or 'pronating', or really any word that you've only heard from a sports commentator during the Olympics when someone has had a spill and they are decribing why the althletes joints are now moving in directions that are not entirely natural.

We do get somewhat posh runners, there really isn't much of a choice, really. Prices are not family friendly, but anything allay the foot pain while we wander through europe, Mrs. Owl's fitbit blaring warnings like klaxons over London under the Blitz.

We then squeeze ourselves into the National History Museum. With the geology and evolution rooms, and dinosaurs and birds and all manner of well preserved taxidermy. It's a particularly busy day, it's as if every nearby school has decided this is the day for a field trip. As well as every family with small children, every group of tourists. 

It's a torrent of people constantly pushing forward forward. This is a plaque-reading hostile group. Any slight slow down, and ambling will be met with huffs and perhaps a grumpy glare. We are not so much touring the place as being swept along the flood of people. 

Everyone taking pictures of interesing things as they pass, presumable to digest later, like we are all a bunch of intellectual cows, chewing up the grass of information, later to be called up and chewed upon. 

I imagine it'll be more like a bleary review through the photo scroll in a few days, wondering why you have 15 pictures of various unidentified, and unidentifiable skeletons, taken under dim light and rushed by the crowd behind to keep moving. Where were we moving to is anyone's guess. 

The halls were magnificent though, and the plaques, at least the ones I read were suitably plaquey, interesting tidbits to ponder later. One was about the various physiological oddities of dinosaurs and how they could support warm or cold bloodness. Rather nerdy, but you don't come to the Natural History museum to support your local sports team or bet on the ponies.

The shoes are working better, but are not a miracle, standing still is not recommended, walking helps quite a bit though. 

We whirlwind through the museum and make our way to the airport. And now are waiting our departure to Italy.

A few passing random thoughts

- I suppose I am a tapwater snob, I think the water in BC is the best there is and pretty much everywhere I go the tapwater is subpar. London is no exception. However it does have this weird feature where they don't seem to have water savers on their spouts. No aeration of the flow to reduce the wasting of freshwater. It's just a solid tube of water that splashes out of the faucets. I assume because the majority of the faucets were made before conservation was even an issue, and I suppose it does rain rather a lot here.

- I was, I think the only person with a graphic t-shirt on. I'm even counting the children in this. Something something England is rather formal and/or I'm a stunted manchild.

- Almost everywhere we walk it's equivalent amount of traffic we'd see in Canada in the street directly outside a stadium after a game ends. Just an endless flow of humanity. 

- Everyone j-walks, but traffic lights are someone obscure and not clear in the slightest. Add to that the very unique side the Brits drive on, and well.There are little signs "LOOK RIGHT" handpainted everywhere we went. Save me from a decent maiming if not outright death a few times.

- Given how I am a flat, I'm slightly anxious about going to Italy. I'll consider it a triumph if we make it back without me somehow refinancing my home to finance a 3 card monte debt.  It's perhaps my overcautious self but the stories of pickpockets and all sorts of thievery happening in Italy might make for tragically fascinating blogging later.


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