This morning, after a short recovery moment from last nights celebrations, it wasn't long before a group of us (three Australians and a Brit) were in a punt on the river Cams, with a can of Pimms. Now let's just stop for a moment and talk about this, as it has been quite life changing. For £1.90 ($3.80) one can purchase a pre-mix can of Pimms, that although missing the fruit, is extremely convenient and delicious. In addition, the drinking of these beverages (which can be picked up from your local) doesn't seemed to be frowned upon in public, and like the punting experience, prior 12 noon.
Punted (??) around by a lovely chap (both personality wise and on the eyes) I learnt quite a bit about Cambridge University - the rivalry between Kings College and Trinity College; that every college consisted of "a place to eat, a place to sleep, a place to study and a place to pray" - and I enjoyed the serenity of Cambridge. The images of studying at a prestigious university running around cobblestone-streets in gowns and enjoying strawberry's and cream with many bottles of champagne in the sun didn't seem too far removed. In fact, it was hard to not picture the opening scenes of Brideshead Revisited.
After our punting experience we enjoyed a beverage in a rooftop bar, before heading back to London via train (where canned Gin and Tonics from the station supermarket were purchased to enjoy along the way). Back in London I departed from the group, farewelling the Birthday boy and ventured into Soho. Where I mainly walked the streets and soaked up the atmosphere, before picking a burger joint to enjoy an early dinner. Contemplating going for a second beverage at the Chesterfield or possibly catching one of the Proms concerts, I decided to head back to my quarters for a quick rest. Well, the next thing I know it was 10pm!
Taking the last opportunity to explore, before my 7am train trip to Edinburgh tomorrow, I walked to the Tower Bridge and around the Tower of London. Both landmarks that I was surprised to learn are nowhere near the main areas of London city. In fact, I was slightly disappointed on my first day here to find that the Tower Bridge is not in view from the Big Ben and visa versa - a perception I had of London from movies growing up.
Although I have enjoyed my time in London, I must admit: on every level it was not what I was expecting. It is placed as one of the top cities along side New York, Paris and Tokyo - controversial, I know - but I don't see it. For me, it has been a city too far removed from my expectations.