"My second VT meeting - VT Treasure Hunt" Personal Page by Britannia2
I left sleepy Swanland at 6.30 to get the 7.00 train to London and arrived in less than two and a half hours. Distances are so short by train these days. With time to spare before the 10.30 meeting I went to see the John Betjeman statue in St. Pancras and buy a tube and bus day card there because the queues are shorter than at Kings Cross.
A 91 bus took me to Trafalger Square ( the buses are so much better for visitors than the tube)and Waterstones where I was the third person to arrive for the start of Jo104's London trasure hunt. It was nice to see someone I knew (Dave Sut - see photo) but everyone was very friendly and we were soon sorted in to teams by the organiser Jo. The packs she had devised were really comprehensive but I must admit I was glad I was not a Londoner and to be chosen as team leader.
We were ably lead by Angiebabe ( who I had met at a VT meet in Manchester ) and the other members were Planxty ( who I had sent some messages to about his Yorkshire music appearances), Irisbe who was from Antwerp in Belgium was the third member and The View making his first trip to England for this VT treasure hunt was the fourth. I of course was the fifth.
I thought we made a good team and we got on really well together. Its at times like this that I realise how awful my command of languages is when our two overseas visitors spoke perfect English and mentioned the other languages they spoke. (I also wish I was taller!)
We started off in Trafalgar Square and made our way through the west end collecting answers to the questions Jo had set us. Despite many visits to London over many years its amazing to come across places I had never seen before or little passageways or courts that are very much hidden. It also proved to me just how much knowledge collectibly we have at VT and Planxty (Fergie) was a real source of London knowledge. The clues seemed reasonably easy to answer but as I was not around for the final marking I do not know which ones we did well with or failed on.
There was a lot of walking to be done and I think we could possibly have utilized the buses more - we did get one bus to cut out a long walk and the photo below shows Irisbe and Angiebabe on a 383 bus on its way to Borough.
The best part of the hunt was discovering Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral. I had actually been close only a few months before but did not know if they were worth seeing - they certainly are and will turn in to VT tips in their own right. Jo caught up with us here and broke the news to us that we were not doing very well with time which surprised me as we had not stopped for anything - even lunch had been taken on the go.
We also met up with another VT group going in the opposite direction who were doing better at time keeping than us and a passer by used our cameras to record the meeting. The Globe theatre (another London first for me) is in the background.
The longest walk without a break was from Southwark to Westminster and it was a hot afternoon. However the embankment/river front walk is very interesting and you get some good views of the City across the Thames. There is also a nice stream of craft coming up and down the river to see - the great northern rivers ( the Humber, the Mersey and the Tyne) all seem empty in comparison to the Thames. There was no opportunity to not walk the entire distance to Westminster because there were clues along the whole distance but it was interesting to see the many street artists along the way and never boring or dull.
We had to give up in Westminster as time had run out and did not complete the course or answer all the questions. The final destination was Hyde Park to meet other contestants and for Angie to pass our entry in to Jo for marking. The weather was still good and Hyde Park was another London first - I never realised how big it was. I could only stay for a short period as I was booked back to East Yorkshire on a specific train (OK so you can get discounted fares on line but on a Saturday night when there are plenty of available seats why cannot any train be taken). Therefore I had to reluctantly leave without knowing where we stood in the marking.
I did text to thank her for arranging the day when I was on the train home and found out we had come last - never mind - it was still a great day and although my feet ached and I was tired I had really enjoyed the day.
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