London - Old and New

After a good night's sleep (the advantage of a windowless room) we enjoyed our breakfast in what seemed to be a collection of Sixties style furniture.
There 's a little park right in front of the hotel with quite a lot of history - they dug out some remains of various churches that used to stand here.
And off we went on our walk towards the city!
We did not take the Tube this time because our main goal, the Museum of London, was theoretically just half an hour by foot away. But of course we took our time to look at all the amazing buildings and other sights on the way.

Here's the first picture to illustrate the day's motto "old and new" as you can see from all the things that are in it (especially in the background).

Mixing the ultra-modern with the old 
New art, looking like something old
The "Gherkin" - a very imposing, tall building. Unfortunately it's not open to the public, so we couldn't go up.
Actually in London the old and new buildings are so mixed together, sometimes it's hard to tell where one ends and where the next begins.
We found a historical market
The Pret A Manger restaurants are EVERYWHERE in London! So we figured that they must be doing something right to be that popular. And we actually had a very nice, small lunch! 
Yes lunch, because we had made quite some detours since we had started our walk and as you can tell by the bag in my hand those included several shops...
A view through a hole...
Since on our first day had been all about pre-booked, pricey attractions, I thought it would be good to take advantage of the fact that there are a lot of museums with free entry.
The Museum of London tells the history of the city since its beginnings.
Romans on the Thames
This "Roman" kept calling the boys "gentlemen".
Warming up in a medieval hut
Lift of a department store
And another ecclectic mix of styles!
The Guild Hall
There are remains of a Roman amphitheatre under the Guild Hall's gallery
Loads of paintings in the gallery - unfortunately there wasn't much time left to look at them as it was close to 5 PM.
On our way home - we only got lost a few times. You can never tell in which direction you are walking!
One thing that we noticed is that pedestrians in London have very little concern for traffic lights. Green or red, it's all the same to them! So at least they should look the right way before crossing the street.
Proud dragon of London
We only briefly went back to the hotel to get our luggage and then took the Underground to Paddington station for the next part of our adventure: Cardiff!
Fortunately I had booked the seats far in advace. The train was PACKED!
But it was good to just sit for two hours and give our feet a rest....

The countryside was not very exciting to look at - flat and green.
That's when you need a good book!
First impression on our walk to the hotel.
We left the pubs and bars for another night and chose to relax instead - after all, the hotel was only about a 10 minutes walk from the station.