After returning from our train-ing holiday, we were greeted by wonderfully Bergenesk weather, and a week of solid, glorious rain.
We needed to escape to England for some sunny weather.
Now there’s a phrase that probably doesn’t appear in the Google yet, and probably something only ever uttered by Norwegians.
Nonetheless, while Bergen temperatures were rapidly decelerating towards winter, and now consistently below 10C, London boasted blue skies and 25C. It also happened to be our 11 year anniversary. And now, with the Norwegian summer behind us for a second time, we were starting to feel a bit homesick. London was the perfect getaway. (It also gave us the opportunity to engage in more illicit activities, at least from a Norwegian standpoint, but more on that later).
London of course is a gorgeous city, with a history and culture as rich as Paris. There are renowned attractions on every street, fantastic parks, iconic historic buildings, and a lot of renowned (free) museums to check out.
And we only had three days.
I could blog about the museums, the hype of the Paralympics which were just winding down, the architecture, or the New Zealand themes every now and then (ranging from kiwi accents to kiwi-owned and inspired businesses).
But one of my main requirements was a little more off course.
A while back I stumbled on to this website.
I was captivated.
Clump upon clumps of people trying to be unique and recreate a 40 year old music album cover, either on their own, or the more creative ones, in groups of four, all the while obliviously holding up the traffic.
We had to go check out Abbey Road for ourselves and see the spectacle in person.
At this point there are a few things to consider. First, Abbey Road is a busy traffic-way. We counted a bus a minute, and many service vehicles in-between. Second, the road itself is unremarkable. Tree lined, with non-ugly houses, and a couple of pedestrian crossings. Third, London has declared it a heritage site, which I guess means they can’t install traffic lights to assist the hapless motorists needing to pass through there every day.
We took the tube stop to St John’s Wood, and then wandered the 5 mins down to Abbey Road. It was easy to spot. Cars slowing down in the distance and as we turned the corner we saw the spectacle in real life.
Large groups of tourists, each taking a turn to walk across the pedestrian crossing. Once they got to the middle, they would freeze, like in the finishing credits of a cheesy 60s TV series, while their partner would run into the middle of the road to snap their photo from all angles, regardless of whether they were holding up a bus, or long queue of cars.
Sometimes they crossed in the ‘correct’ direction, sometimes not. It didn’t seem to matter to them too much. Occasionally we saw a group of four. Curiously, of all the patiently waiting pairs of tourists, none of them had the initiative to team up with another pair to get a more iconic and realistic shot.
I’m not sure what were more amusing, people in ridiculously statuesque positions, and their photo-taking partner in the middle of the road, or the curiously patient motorists they were holding up.
I could have sat there watching them all day. But, Brian was more interested in lunch.
It was time to wander on.
We had much more important engagements to attend to.