Wednesday, our only goal was to have martinis at a martini bar Valerie recommended, the Dirty Martini. But, we were in no rush to get there before happy hour, so started out Wednesday with a jaunt to King’s Cross station. It’s one of the primary hubs of public transportation in London, with access to the subway system, trains across the country, airport services, taxis and busses.

The station has been mentioned in many works of pop culture, but probably the most well-known was it’s involvement in the Harry Potter series (specifically, mention of a platform 9 and 3/4). Because of the worldwide success of the series, King’s Cross installed a little trinket between tracks 9 and 10 (which unfortunately, fall in different buildings, a mistake J.K. Rowling admits to).

Valerie and I got the tourist shots, just in case anyone in the building wasn’t sure we were American:

After King’s Cross, Valerie and I explored the British Library.

The British Library is different from your typical library. You aren’t not permitted to take books out, only view them within the library. The library is much more like a museum or archive, and they have a permanent display of some of the most sacred documents to the human race.

Among all that I saw, I saw the original handwritten copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Underground, an original codex of Beowulf, the original Magna Carta, and none other than McCartney’s handwritten first pass at the lyrics for Yesterday.

After leaving the library, and stopping for a few brief moments at the Wellcome Trust’s very creepy exhibit on human skin, we ended up at Regent’s Park for some more sun basking. Apparently, all London parks are basically enormous, well-maintained gardens.

We decided that it was time for dinner, so we headed south to Covent Garden. It was a huge, vibrant neighborhood, full of music and food, and Val and I had a rough time trying to decide on which food to eat. We settled on the Spaghetti House, a very authentic Italian place. After that, we grabbed some pastries at a little dessert shop.

The Dirty Martini is actually designed to be an “American style” bar. Apparently, in America, we all live in Manhattan. The interior of this place was very trendy, dimly lit and colorful. Valerie recommended the place because of it’s Wednesday night £4 martinis during happy hour.

I’d like to tell you I had a manly drink like a Rusty Nail or a Jackhammer, but the £4 menu was all martinis, with such flavors as apple, passion fruit and leechee.

After dinner and drinks, we took a trip down to the South Bank to enjoy some of the standard London sights at dusk. I took this HDR photograph of Big Ben.

HDR of Big Ben

The South Bank is a bit of a London city gathering point, with a great view of Parliament, an enormous Ferris wheel, and a slew of street performers, musicians and restaurants.

Valerie and I stayed and talked for about an hour while we watched the sun set. Slowly, Parliament began to light up and we took some shots of the very beautiful building:

Valerie and I walked about twelve miles that day. It was a very fun day and we saw a lot of London’s west end.

Our tracklog: