Seeing great artwork has always inspired artists to create new pieces. In my case, that involved rubbing a crab (the drawing a blatant ripoff from a seafood restaurant I visited one time as a child) into the lush orange shag carpet hanging in the Tate Modern. That piece, Untitled (1993) by Rudolf Stingel, was created explicitly to foster interaction with museum visitors.
While London was my final stop, I didn’t change any of my habits from earlier in the trip. Walking around the Royal Naval College and exploring the Cutty Sark in Greenwich satisfied my picturesque and engineering tourist checkboxes. I spent plenty of time in the Tate Britain (Henry Moore’s Shelterers in the Tube (1941) really captured the fear of air raids in World War II well), the Tate Modern (I was less than impressed with an entire room devoted one artist’s own wedding photos), the National Portrait Gallery (Chris Levine’s Helena Kennedy, Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws, QC, had a unique 3-D effect), and the National Gallery (lots of Degas work on display). I wasn’t about to miss the Transport for London Museum, either (I like trains). I also made sure to enjoy a full English breakfast each day (the “Karma Kickstart” I my hostel/bar served was surprisingly good for a vegan meal – I didn’t miss the bacon).
The biggest shock I encountered was finding out that food prices in London Gatwick Airport were actually reasonable (i.e. a full meal cost 10 pounds). Be careful if your discount flight passes through Iceland though – I had no idea that those two sandwiches and a banana cost me $20 until the wheels were up on my flight to the United States. Seeing Greenland on that flight was some consolation though.