To Victoria and Albert? A misadventure of epic proportions

Ah, after starting the day with a good stretch and some spying on my neighbors it was nearly 11 when I got out of the house. Another bus day, another attempt to get to the Dior exhibit at The Victoria and Albert Museum. Of course I wanted to travel by bus, I really enjoy the looking out the window and bus people seem a little less closeted than tube people.

So off to Old Street to catch the 214 or is it the 205 to the 34 or the 43 to the 2.  Who could tell…I’m not so happy with Citymapper as it seems to keep changing my options and certainly doesn’t show all the wonderful ways to travel.  

So I am on my own hopping on and off, changing directions, not taking seriously my mission to see the exhibit today, there is always tomorrow.

Of course I headed in the wrong direction on my way to Old Street but I did see a few interesting things.



I am quickly becoming addicted to the upper deck on the bus. Its an entirely different view.

You can get much closer to the mushrooms that appear to be growing on rooftops throughout the city. A google search will tell you

Artist Christiaan Nagel – “Why did you choose mushrooms?
“Most of the installations used to be at night. I’d grab a mushroom, and along with some friends we’d go scout a spot and do the installation. It’s a metaphor for how it works in nature. Mushrooms
are transient, quick lived things, just like street art. I like how you’d walk down the same street you do every day and suddenly mushrooms have sprouted everywhere. It’s fast, modern art in contrast to someone like Da Vinci who took years to complete a fresco.”

I changed buses in Islington, not because i wanted to or because the app told to me, it just sort of happened, I looked around enough to know I could come back and hopped on another bus at stop “R”. I dont know why the stops are lettered… hmmm.. google search….It appears “The letters on bus stops are a map reference for the public and emergency services, used particularly in busy parts of London. They are allocated randomly.”

So off the bus on my way to Victoria and Albert.. And back on…and off …to find myself wandering the streets of Westminster. I had seen Regents Park from my upper floor vantage point and thought a walk might do me well. I liked this little white house tucked into the corner next to the church.

And here is where things seemed to go wrong. I followed the directions on my city mapper. I confess I didn’t put my glasses on and I was throwing a bit of caution to the wind but was shocked to find myself at The Victoria and Albert Pub at the Maryleborn underground station rather than at the museum. Horror? NO! A cupcake vendor in the station!

And as happy as I was to see that, what really thrilled me was this elaborate potico

So into the station I go and ask for directions – “down to platform 2, take the train one stop then switch to the west circle line” and I do, very carefully , follow these directions, only to find myself in Ladbroke Grove

Out of the train, up and down to the same platform where I think I started and a train heading east!!! Things are looking up! Now it’s after three and if the train goes near home I’m on it. If it goes to the museum, I go too.

If it goes somewhere else I’m throwing up my hands and having lunch at the nearest pub!

It is going to Liverpool Station, home! and then… Hysterically they announced that this train will not be going to my stop, no Liverpool Street Station but I am prepared and will get off at Moorgate which should be just a twenty minute walk from home. Which sounds perfect. Except chances are I will head off in four wrong directions before I hit the right one.

To my great surprise I do walk in the right direction, I know this because I see a sign to Liverpool Street. Its a cool afternoon and a pleasant walk. A few interesting things to see.

A War Memorial

A Bath House in the middle of a plaza… right out there…

Never willing to say die, at approximately the half way point I came upon a #8 bus. This bus I know.  An opportunity to see if I hit my daily max on my apple pay oyster card?  Does the bus and tube fare combine? I think there is a 1 1/2 hour free ride grace period.  I have 8637 steps today so clearly will need to walk out to dinner.

So. What did I learn today?  That there are a ton of tube stops out past zone 1 that hold little or no interest?   That you can get on and off and spend a lovely day walking around almost any block- there will be a shop, a clock, a pretty building and wherever I wandered was lovely.  

I think though that next time I am going to plan ahead and really go to the Dior exhibit at The Victoria & Albert.  I joined the museum so I want to research what there is to eat in the members room and what else there is to do and see.

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