9th – 11th October 2019: Flash Barcelona (Spain) for Miyavi (and friends)

This was another of those flash trips, and it worked miraculously somehow. MIYAVI‘s concert was on the 11th, which was a Thursday. It’s not normally something I can do, but I managed to get away from Wednesday at noon to Friday at noon. So I worked on Wednesday morning, and in the late evening I took a train to Barcelona, where I met my friend C***** and we headed out to the hotel, which… turned out to be pretty bad. It was the closest we found in the general area of the venue for a different price but I draw the line at cockroaches, no matter how small they are. The bed was too soft, it was too hot and in the end we were both up at 6am to the point that we decided that we could get to the queue already.

Our tickets were VIP so they included a Meet & greet and a picture before the concert, which is one of the most fun I’ve attended lately. However, the road leading to it, and the organisation, was a bit of a chaos – there was a late-announcement of an opening act, the M&G time was changed and nobody really know what time it really was… It added a lot of unnecessary stress, as bad planning usually does. But in the end, MIYAVI is an amazing human being and made up for it all. He greeted us when he came in, and when he left, and he gave his best on stage.

Miyavi kneeling on the floor playing guitar. He is wearing white trousers and a sleeveless black tshirt that reads No sleep till Tokyo

However, I’m going to use this platform to say this – Miyavi is adorable (and huge) and I would die for a hug from him. The M&G was over super quickly but he had a smile for everyone and that’s a super nice detail.

We went back to the hotel to catch some sleep and the next morning we met our other friend E****, who had not attended the concert, for breakfast. I took the early afternoon train and I was home for the afternoon-evening shift, so it worked.

Cup of coffee with fern art.

22nd – 26th August 2019: Food at San Juan and Alicante

This was a quick three-day trip for my father to have some diving time, and even if I had just landed from Japan I tagged along to make sure that my mother was not alone. I was understandable a little beaten from the big exiting trip, so there was not much that I was up to visiting. However, somehow we had a bit of a gastronomy splurge at the hotel and around.

For example, one day we had some awesome arroz caldoso con bogavante , Spanish rice with lobster for lunch:

For another lunch, I discovered that I could actually eat poke bowls in Spain – behold the Poke bowl de atún rojo de Almadraba , almadraba-caught tuna poke bowl. An almadraba is an ancient Mediterranean fishing technique in which nets are suspended mid-water that lead the fish to a central trap from where they are caught – as a curiosity, let me tell you that somehow orcas in the Strait of Gibraltar have learnt to use the almadraba to fish too! Anyway, the poke bowl had a rice base with avocado, spring onion, red onion, wakame, poached egg, and tuna marinated with sesame oil and soy sauce.

We shared some Spanish ham with that.

And finished the meal with a latte with vanilla ice-cream and a caramel biscuit because… yes, I needed something to prevent me going into a food coma.

We had granizados mid-afternoon – behold my lemon almost shaved-ice.

And one of my desserts was whiskey-cake ice-cream.

Not that much of an exciting trip, but there were some nice things to take from it.

18th & 19th May 2019: Madrid (Spain) for Jupiter (and fesFE[M]!)

Believe this or not, we this weekend started at super-early on Saturday, when I took literally the first bus out to Madrid, and I think I was there around 7:30 or something to meet my friend. She had been having a rough time and she had asked me to “keep her head off things”. Up until a couple of days before, we did not even know whether she’d been able to come to the concert, so I had a whole plan up my sleeve. Unfortunately, a couple of steps backfired (^◇^;)

First we had breakfast at the coach station where we met, to catch up and to give shops and so on the time to open up. When it was a decent hour we took the underground to drop our luggage at the hotel (the lovely EXE Moncloa, even if I’ll be forever traumatised that the terrace was not open 。゚(゚´Д`゚)゚。). Then we took the underground again towards the neighbourhood of Chueca, and I had looked up a bunch of Goth apparel shop that… did not open at 10:00 as expected, but at 12:00 (≧▽≦).

Fortunately, some make-up shops were already open and we were able to pass the time amicably before we ended up at the TeamLab exhibit – that I had already seen, yes, I know, but she had not ☆⌒(ゝ。∂)

After playing out in the exhibit for a while, we moved onto the Callao Gourmet Experience for a snack. I wanted to introduce her to the Niji Mochi shop, and we also shared a chocolate ice-cream shake.

Afterwards we were shopping for a little before we moved on to have lunch. I had a surprise for her. While I care little to nothing about Korean food, she is a fan of everything Korean, so we hit one of the best Korean restaurants in Madrid, called Seoul. I gave her free reign to order for both of us and we shared. In my not so humble opinion as blog owner, the best was the green tea at the end.

Once fed, we went on and found an underground station and we rode towards the Museo Arqueológico Nacional, National Archaeological Museum, although we had not realised that it was museum day so instead of a quiet exhibition we had to deal with a ton of families!

After that, my friend was tired from spending all night in the bus, so we went to the hotel to finish our check in process. On the way we stopped and bought a few snacks for the following day because you always have to be ready for a post-concert low.

We found out that we had not one but three Japanese restaurants in the area where we were staying, and we happily went to have dinner in one of them, called Naniwa. We had some decent sushi and takoyaki, and ordered takoyaki seconds because we had a discount (≧▽≦).

The next morning we went to the venue door around 9:00 and upon seeing nobody queueing yet, we went to have breakfast, then walked around the Moncloa park area, mostly chatting, until we went back to the venue. And went back to the venue. And went back to the venue again, just to find there were still no people in the queue.

In the end we ran into the supporting bands went to have lunch in a second Japanese restaurant in the block, Morikaen. On our way there we walked past a family all clad in “Sunday clothes”, and their little girl wearing aaaall white who just stared at us – in rock-goth black – with pure envy in her eyes. Here’s to you, little one. You’ll get there too.

After lunch, I decided that I was too tired to go up and down the streets and we stayed back to wait for the venue to open before we got into the chaos that was the concert. Honestly, I think this has been the worst-organised concert I’ve ever attended. My friend C***** and I had Premium tickets (there were five of them on sale), which included a handshake with the band, a picture with a member, autographs from all, the opportunity to purchase a Polaroid with the whole band (well… and either a backstage or soundcheck pass that never happened).

Jupiter is a Japanese heavy metal band with a very distinctive visual-kei style, and honestly we only decided to go because it was… easy and convenient, well-communicated and an opportunity to spend a weekend decompressing somewhere. As the time drew near and we could access more stuff, the excitement built up – I also managed to find the album they were promoting and it sounded really well, actually.

There were two support bands, a German one called VII ARC, and a Japanese one. As we went in, I sent C***** to the first row to save my spot and I tried to find out whatever was going to happen with the VIP extras because communication seems not to be the promoter’s first language. It turns out, the experience was throughout the supporting band’s act. Good thing I had asked, else we would have missed it (as someone did! One of the Premium tickets did not show up, and most VIPs never got their chance to even buy the Polaroid).

I got to talk to the support bassist as we waited for the picture, because the had been kicked out from backstage for the pictures – poor guy. Then I had my picture taken with Teru, my favourite member (I swear that if I ever get to do this again, I’m choosing Hizaki cause he’s just amazing). The problem with placing the experience there was that… well, we lost our spot and missed half of the Japanese support band’s acts – fesFe[M], who in the half concert I watched blew my mind. I mean, absolutely blew my mind. They are also a V-kei band, and they’re currently running with a “doll” theme and they were just fantastic.

The Jupiter concert was as expected, very energetic and fun. Even if we had lost our spot, the venue has some lateral raised spots, and I found a good place at a low staircase that allowed me to lean back and not be in too much pain – basically we watched the concert next to the fesFe[M] bass (≧▽≦). Kuze, Jupiter’s vocal, was really good live, more than expected.

After the concert, we bought fesFe[M]’s autographs and got our pictures with them, when we headed back to the hotel and had some dinner, and the following day we parted ways, a bit sad but happy that we had had the chance to meet up and have a fantastic weekend!

The report of this is of course at SemiRandom.

Note: there is a longer commentary of the concert and the experience over at SemiRandom.

3rd September 2018: More friends, less tourism {Japan, summer 2018}

I walked towards Nakano [中野] again – realising that Nakano Broadway [中野ブロードウェイ] is in walking distance has been a problem – and the Aoyama Daiso where I got some stupid things, basically fake nails, stickers to put them on and blue mascara.

On my way I reaffirmed the existence of Tōkō-ji [東光寺]:

Then I came across Araiyakushi Baishōin [新井薬師梅照院]:

Once in the Nakano Broadway [中野ブロードウェイ] building I checked out the shops and jumped on the train to meet B**** for sushi (not killed in front of us, thankfully), and drinks and talking. This time we were not at Starbucks spending my voucher, but at Tully’s spending hers. Afterwards we were having a look at the make up shops in Shibuya 109 and Super-Donki. It ended up with me buying some red eyeliner.

Four our last dinner B****, D****e and I got shabu-shabu. In all honesty, I wanted curry but it has not sat well on my stomach the last few times, so now I’m afraid to try 。゚(゚´Д`゚)゚。 ← most of the tears are because I had to say goodbye to B**** anyway.

23rd & 24th June 2018: London Express (England, Great Britain)

I took some family members over to London for the weekend, and they asked me to organise something so they could see a lot of things. We took the red-eye flight so we were downtown London something around 8:30. Our first visit had tickets for 10:00, so first spot was a Costa Coffee for breakfast! (≧▽≦)

Afterwards we saw the Tower Bridge over the Thames.

Then, at the right time, we walked into the Tower of London, where we wandered around visiting all the areas, including the White Tower, the dungeons, the Crown Jewels vault and the raven nests.

Once we were done, we took the underground to the British Museum for a quick visit through the most important collections, along with a few of the less known but interesting things – in the end we saw the Babylonian, Grecian, Egyptian collections, and had a glimpse at a few of the Chinese artefacts and the Hoa Hakananai’a from Easter Island.

We had lunch in-between and then went to the hotel to drop our things off. After that, we took off again and, via underground, we reached Trafalgar Square. We walked towards Piccadilly and on the way we stopped at Legoland and M&Ms shop. Then had dinner in an Angus steakhouse in Leicester square, and to end the day, we had a look at the lit Piccadilly Circus.

We got back to the hotel, and honestly, I had not realised how close to the centre we actually were until I looked out of the window.

The next morning we woke up early and headed off to have breakfast on the go – actually the weather was super nice so we got ourselves some Nero coffee and sandwiches and ate them in front of Westminster’s Abby. As it was Sunday we could not visit the Abby, but we saw the scaffolded Big-Ben, and walked around the Houses of Parliament.

We went to visit the Monument to Emmeline Pankhurst because the youngest person in the group needed to be told about a period in history in which she would not have been as free as she is today.

After that, we crossed over the Thames, then moved on to the London Eye. Half of the group wanting to go up, the other half being not fans of heights, we divided and conquered – two of us went to the London Aquarium while the other three enjoyed their VIP ride in the London Eye. I know you are not surprised I picked the side with the sharks instead of going up.

This guy judged us, very hard:

After our riverbank separation, we regrouped and headed off towards the Natural History Museum where we first saw the Butterfly carp that was installed outside it – they were extremely pretty and beyond friendly, because we were landed on quite often.

When we had finished the walk, we stepped into the Natural History Museum itself to wander through the dinosaur area for a bit, and then around the animal collection.

We decided to head out to the restaurant to have a bite to eat, and as we were walking through the marine invertebrate area (the room with all the crabs and so on), there was a nice lady showing items. And that’s how I ended up holding a megalodon tooth and fanbying like there was no tomorrow. Don’t judge me. Or do so, I don’t care ☆⌒(ゝ。∂)

As they walked into the insect / general creepy-crawler gallery, I walked around the gallery that held “less impressive” fossils, including the ones discovered by Anne Manning. We had lunch in the NHM, then moved on.

A short underground ride later, we were at St James’s Park, where we took a bit of a walk towards Buckingham Palace. As the weather was nice, we got to see a lot of the local fauna, even the local swans.

We hung around for a while as we saw Buckingham Palace, then headed off back towards the airport. Although we had a couple-of-hours delay, we made it home without further complication.

3rd – 5th March 2017: #XDAY in London (England, Great Britain)

The X JAPAN concert in Wembley was scheduled for the 12th of March 2016. Unfortunately, on the 15th of January, guitarist PATA was admitted to the ICU in Japan, which set back the date a whole year. For the record, I’m very happy that PATA made a full recovery.

Since January 2016 I had been trying to arrange one of the VIP packs that were being offered and which included transportation, but the promoter ONTOURS had been skittish. The postponement did not come as a surprise. In the end these packages blew up and there was a different kind of VIP upgrade arranged, that my friend C***** and I chose to buy. This included half of the merchandise and access to the sound-check. Later on, it was announced that the band would be signing copies of the “We are X” album at hmv in Oxford street. My friend C***** and I also managed to get tickets for that one, so we were elated.

Friday, 3rd of March 2017: We Nailed It

We met at the airport on the 3rd of March, Friday, for an early afternoon flight, and everything went smoothly. The only minor bump was that she was carrying a trolley and the lady at the gate decided that there were already more than fifty trolleys being loaded as carry-on – there were not, I counted them and that she had to check in. She tried to protest (literally, the attendant started tagging the line when she saw us) to no avail. As we walked past the boarding pass check, I ripped off the “check at gate” tag and produced a copy of the boarding pass, so we were allowed in without problem.

We arrived in London, went through customs without any impertinent agent bugging us, and we took the train, then changed into the underground. It was all smooth. We reached the queue and she stayed, I went in to buy the CDs for the signature. I also bought a bottle of water, and the cashier actually got a chuckle out of my face when they gave me a new £5 note, which are sort of plastic-y, and have a transparent part. After this, we settled to wait, sneaking glances at the phone of the Japanese girls in front of us that had Yoshiki channel and were checking where the band was. It took a long time to finally get to the signing area. We were also very lucky with the weather, too.

You could take pictures on the approach, but as you pulled up in front of them you had to leave all your things. As you approached someone (one of Yoshiki’s assistants) took the booklet from you and handed it over to Sugizo, who was the first and did not look too awake. Then ToshI who was smiling all the time. Yoshiki was happy as he tends to be when he is the centre of attention. Pata tried to look like nothing had to do with him. Finally Heath handed your (supposedly) booklet back to you.

All in all you might be seeing them for 3 or 4 minutes top as the hmv staff kept yelling at you to hurry up. But it was worth every second (sharing the only picture of the five of them together I managed, by the way. It’s not the best one but it’s the five of them together).

And here is my not-so-little secret: I froze. I had practised so much what I wanted to tell each and every one of them, but I just froze and I couldn’t get the words out except a mumbled thank you to Heath when he gave me my booklet back. I remember looking at Sugizo and Yoshiki thinking “they’re real, they’re here, it’s happening…”

We knew that there would be a crowd after the event, and we wanted to avoid that, as C***** has a bad back, so we decided against waiting for them after the fact. Instead, we headed off for the hotel we had booked just next to Wembley Arena. On the way, we stopped at a Salisbury supermarket to get some stuff that we might need – aka some drinks and snacks for the following day – we needn’t have worried though as when we turned the corner we found a whole shopping centre with restaurants.

We checked in, left our things, had a shower, and headed off for dinner. She had never been in a Wagamama before, so I thought it was a great idea to try it for dinner. I think she enjoyed it – and so did I, I might have eaten a bit too much.

Saturday, 4th of March 2017: The Actual #XDAY

On Saturday morning, the actual #XDAY, the fourth of March 2017, we had breakfast at a Costa Coffee – I have to say that I really enjoyed introducing her to a bunch of “my favourite British things”.

We hung out at the outside of the venue all morning until we could get our VIP accreditations and be admitted. Before everything started, though, we had some burgers for lunch.

After lunch, we went to the VIP line. I saved up the space while my friend made a run to the merchandise booth to check if they had the We are X soundtrack CDs – yes, exactly the same one that we had bought the day before, except that this time they had a special cover – blue, red, or purple. And with each CD you got a set of “trading cards”. We were not lucky at this time.

The whole experience once within the venue started with watching the rehearsal, at least what we were allowed to – to this day I don’t understand why we were let in late and escorted out early so we only caught about 50% of it. Highlights of this are Yoshiki in pink sweatpants, and ToshI waving his hand at us whenever “nobody” was looking.

We were chased out to wait in the halls and I used the time to slither towards the merch booth, where I got the CDs – all three colours (twice, actually, for both myself and C***** as she kept the spot). Eventually, the doors opened again and we took the picture on the stage – unfortunately without the band – as the arena started filling up with people. After this we found our seats. I made a run to the ticket booth again because I had won an extra set of tickets and we needed to check whether by any chance they were better than what we had. Through this process, I ended up having a riff-raff with the security staff at Wembley that lead me to file a complaint letter. Of course, I had to run into my least favourite things about British people.

Late, of course, everything started. First, we were shown the documentary “We are X”, and it hurt every bit as much as the first time in Barcelona. And as the documentary was coming to an end, the music rose up and we got started with the chords of Rusty Nail. The concert was fantastic – we had had to wait for over a year but we were finally there. This was my first real X Japan concert, and my heart was soaring all through the event. Everything was magnificent: all the members, the music, the crowd… It was so amazing I wished it never ended.

Unfortunately, though, everything comes to an end, and so did the concert, though I hope the memories never fade away.

Sunday, 5th of March 2017: Excitement Hangover

The next morning, we woke up and went to find the Costa again, because Costa is amazing. It was raining, cold, and I was not feeling too well as I had hit a wall, but coffee revived me a little. We got into the underground to go to the commuting point to the train and kept an eye out for any We Are X posters that we could find (we decided against trying to find the billboards because that would mean a big detour and we did not feel comfortable with the flights timing).

We eventually found some posters at Baker Street and… after a quick Instagram check we realised that we had stumbled upon the very same poster in front of which ToshI had taken his pictures, and we had a laughing flash.

When we reached the airport we had some hot food at the Stansted Itsu – not the best but it was warm and it helped me feel a bit better.

We separated at the airport because C***** had a better connection to her town to return than she had for arriving in London. All in all, this was one of the best weekends of my life and it all worked almost perfectly – all the important things anyway.

Also, I made a promise to myself after this – that I would not freeze again in front of a star. I hope I can keep it.

Note: You can read an in-depth comment over at SemiRandom: autographs, concert and underground hunt.

8th (and 9th) January 2017: The jump back to Tokyo… and then completely back… {Japan, winter 16/17}

At an insane hour in the morning, umbrella-less and in the middle of the rain, I got myself back to the point where buses were finally running to the airport. I dozed away the trip, because else I would have kept tying to read quizzes in Hiroshima-ben, the local dialect, that they were displaying on the bus screen.

I made it to Hiroshima airport and pulled a bunch of things off my backpack to conceal them before I got my boarding pass in case my carry on got checked, but once again the ‘I am a scary gaijin’ thing worked and I was free to go.

I was allowed to get my water bottle in, even with it being half-full, and I had a Calbee crisps breakfast because I could not find a sandwich inside, although in retrospective, maybe I should have gone out and back again as I had time. Then again, I would have had to explain that to security… never mind. So I had coffee and crisps. Not the best option, but what I had available.

When I landed and got back to downtown Tokyo [東京], I met B**** at Shibuya [渋谷] for gyoza, and boy did we eat gyoza. And afterwards she walked me to Shinjuku [新宿]to buy some stuff, and then we went to a cafeteria for cake… well, she had cake, I had a coffee jelly with vanilla which was my new favourite thing in the world. I seriously need to learn to make that.

After that there was a visit to Swallowtail in Ikebukuro [池袋], the butler café, which is as always very fun. We had a bit of a lost butler – he felt kind of new – and not the prettiest one. I noticed that they have uniformed the butlers, too, so now they are all wearing the same thing. After that we dropped by the shop and I got myself a bracelet I can’t wear because my wrist is too thin… and here I thought that I would get away with stuff prepared for Japanese girls… nope.

After that there were goodbyes and thank yous and tears because the only thing that I did the next day was going to the airport, more goodbyes, more tears. Very sad. As always.

Until next time, I guess.

Maybe.

Hopefully.

24th – 27th March 2016: Easter in Barcelona (Spain)

I think this has been the first time I’ve been to Barcelona without a concert. However, one of the first times I did take a long touristing tour, so this time round my friend and I took it rather chilly – in the literal sense. As we were there there was a drop in temperature and I had to run to get myself a long-sleeved T-shirt.

24th March: Gaudí afternoon

Through different means and from different origins, my friend and myself arrived in Barcelona at around the same time mid-afternoon. We met at the station and dropped our things off at the hotel, then we took the underground towards Monte del Carmelo, Carmel Hill, where Parc Güell, the Güell Park, stands. The park, which was supposed to be a urban area originally, was designed by Antonio Gaudí. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Visiting some areas of the park is charged, but the whole park is accessible starting in the late evening. We decided to climb up first and then visit the paid-but-free area. Thus we got to the summit of Carmel Hill and saw the Turó de les tres creus, the Three-Cross hill, that offers a great view of the city, including the Tibidabo area with the Cathedral and the amusement park.

We went down and we walked into the architectural area. Although there is no artificial lighting in the area, as the sun went down we were treated to a bit of a magical area, also away from the tourist crowds.

We had dinner at Arenas de Barcelona, the old bullfighting ring now turned shopping and dining centre, then we went up to the roof for some night views.

25th March: Gaudí morning & Gaudí night

We woke up and had breakfast – coffee inception!!

Then we headed off to see the Casa Batlló, the Batlló house, one of Gaudí’s Modernist masterpieces. It is also called the “house of bones”, and it’s kind of wobbly and organic. The roof is designed to look like the back of a dragon. An interesting detail is that the building was not really erected on Gaudí’s orders – it was a renovation of a previously-existing building.

After the house, we went to the harbour area. We hung out for a while (with a stop to buy an extra T-shirt because it was cold), had lunch and eventually purchased tickets for the Museu Marítim, the Maritime Museum, located in the former Royal Shipyard.

The sun was setting when we came out, and we headed towards the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, the church of the Holy Family, also designed by Gaudí. Both of us had already seen it, so we were happy to see it from the outside. When they finish it, I would like to come back though.

26th March: No Gaudí!

We had a walk around the Gothic Neighbourhood of Barcelona, and we made a stop at the Iglesia de La Purísima Concepción, the church of the Conception to visit the cloister.

We saw the cathedral Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia.

We also walked under the Bisbe Bridge, Pont del Bisbe, in the street of the same name.

We had lunch in a Japanese restaurant, then walked around the Port area for a while.

As we had visited the Maritime Museum the previous day, we had a free pass to the sailboat Santa Eulàlia.

We ended the day in the L’Aquàrium Barcelona, the local aquarium.

After that, we backtracked to our hotel. The following morning, on the 27th, we met up with another friend who had a free while for breakfast and then everybody went home.

28th & 29th March 2014: London (England, Great Britain) for VAMPS

A friend convinced me to attend this VAMPS concert in London by paying for the VIP upgrade in advance. I took a red-eye flight on Saturday morning to Gatwick and went directly to Camden, where the venue, Koko live house, stood.

Aside from the run to the hotel, I spent most of the day in the queue, which was rewarded when I got an autograph from HYDE himself on the Sex Blood Rock ‘n’ Roll album.

It was probably due to the high of the autograph, but this is one of the best concerts that I’ve ever attended, with lots of amazing songs, and I had a great time. I did not freeze during the Meet and Greet, and I shook hands with both members, mumbled something along the lines of “thanks for the autograph” to Hyde and “thanks for the pick” to K.A.Z, referring to the one I got in Barcelona. Then I bounced off the evening with most of the songs.

The next morning my friend went off to the airport first thing in the morning. I was not travelling back till the evening, so I took the chance to… Well, first things first, I took the chance to get myself to a Costa Coffee and get a vanilla latte.

Then I took the underground towards the end of the world, or more precisely the end of the Jubilee line – to North Greenwich. I took the O2 Arena exit, to say hi the IndigO2, where I had been once back in 2012 to attend the L’Arc~en~Ciel World Tour, the first and only time I’ve ever seen them.

I left the O2 Arena behind, and walked about 20 minutes towards the Cutty Sark, a tea clipper built in Dumbarton in 1869. It took eight trips to China to trade for tea and other items. Its history involved mutinee, murder, trampling of cargo and travels to Asia and Australia. In the 1880s it was considered one of the fastest ships if not the fastest sailing the ocean.

The Cutty Sark’s figurehead is the witch Nannie Dee, created by Robert Burns – in the poem a man falls in… love or lust… with a witch during a coven meeting that he’s spying, and the witch chases him away, getting away with the tail of his horse, that you can see in her hand.

The steam engines made sail-ships obsolete, but the Cutty Sark was active until the 1950s, when it was rammed by another ship on the Thames. In 1954 it was moved to a custom-dock in Greenwich to become a museum.

I wanted to see the exhibition inside, which turned out out be about Chinese tea and the history of the ship, which was not unexpected. I bought a pet-rat souvenir plush because I found it adorable. In 2007 it was ravaged by a fire, and extensive rebuilding works were undertaken, which included building a new support of glass and steel that would also become the new visitor centre when the museum reopened in 2012 (when I was there in 2012 it was not yet open. I guess this was an itch I had to scratch).

Oh, and by the way… here’s the binnacle!

I walked back towards the underground and by the Thames riverbank.

There stands the Old Royal Naval College, a UNESCO World Heritage site build between 1696 and 1712 – it was originally conceived as a hospital and it became the Royal Naval College in 1873.

Continuing on the riverbank, you can see the floodgates in the background.

I paid my respect to Admiral Lord Nelson Statue and went on.

I had to take a bus at Victoria Coach Station to go to the airport, and I got a very nice tour of the city, with the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament

… the London Eye

… and the Tower of London.

Once at the airport, I had some Yo!Sushi dinner – not the best, but hey I take sushi wherever I can find it because yay sushi.

Note: There is a longer commentary of the concert up on SemiRandom.