England 2019

My latest trip to London was to visit the infamous “psychology conference”… and, ofc, to debrief with my MI6 handler. I also used the opportunity to tick off many of the last big museums in London that I had yet to visit, as well as Brighton and St. Albans.

Previous posts:

All my travelogues can be accessed at the Travel tag or this page:  https://akarlin.com/travel/

As I explained on the previous London post an hour ago, my England travel posts will be text short and image heavy. I don’t see the need to write about it in any depth – in any case, I have already made all or almost all the “sociological” observations I wanted to make back in England 2016.



I know CDG Airport has a poor reputation, but could I just point out that it’s rather beautiful?

Also Air France is great. They are cheap and they have some of the least bad airplane food around, with generous servings of wine. I have been flying with Aeroflot to date but Air France is better for Moscow/London.

Until Wizz Air starts doing 50 GBP flights come this October or so, anyway.

Churchill’s War Bunker

Very good (if pricy) museum that showcases Churchill’s life, as well as his bunker living quarters during the Blitz.

Allow yourself about 2 hours for a thorough experience.

I will admit that I came away with a better opinion of Winston Churchill after this (modestly positive to moderately positive). He had a very derring-do character that was quite admirable.

London Mayoralty

This is where Sadiq Khan works.

London Guildhall

The City of London is like its own state within its state, subject to its own ancient regulations.

City Police Museum

Museum of London

This is an excellent London history museum, which is in a rather scenic location along the London Wall.

The collection is rationally arranged and has detailed descriptions.

Bank of England Museum


National Gallery

Finally managed to visit this place.

The interior is gorgeous:

Some of my favorite paintings there (some known, a couple much less so):

Imperial War Museum

It was a pretty anodyne museum TBH, nothing much of interest for people already familiar with WW2. But full marks for aesthetics.

Do they really need to add a Holocaust section to every war museum?


There’s a couple of notable things about Brighton:

  1. It is considered to be England’s gay capital.

  2. It is the only part of England where the Green Party has a reliable seat.

Brighton Pavilion

Visiting Brighton Pavilion, I finally realized why I have such an inordinate love for casinos, the Moscow Metro. Grand, luxurious, & KITSCHY aura… but ALIVE – the last refuges against gray bugman uniformity.

And NOT under steric conservation like palace museums.

(Not my photo).

British Airways i360

This is kitschy, but a cool attraction nonetheless.

This is the Brighton Gin & Tonic – basically a gin & tonic, but with this candy in it. Not impressed.

Brighton Fishing Museum.

Brighton Palace Pier

St. Albans

This seems to be a small, nice, typical historical town close to London.

Checking Out St. Albans Cathedral and Its Spire

Verulamium Museum

This is a very good museum about the Roman settlement of Verulamium, which preceded St. Albans.

Ye Olde Fighting Cock

This is supposed to be the oldest pub in England.

Oops… a wrong turn down into the basement.

The food was excellent FTR.

Back to London

Random Scenes of London

While not the biggest fan of Iranian cuisine, the “Iran Restaurant” is about as authentic as it gets. Great place.

Odds & Ends

Interesting that Jordan B. Peter’s 12 Rules for Life is being advertised in the London Tube.

Because kettlebells are not a fad introduced to the West by Pavel Tsatsouline?

What the “intelligentsia” are reading.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    You can find all my travel posts here.

    My personal website has a list of all of my travel reviews here.

    Now that I have gotten this out of the way, my next Travel reviews will feature Bryansk, Veliky Novgorod, and Sergiev Posad – all of them are ready to go.

    In the near future, I should also try to complete my Moscow Guide.

  2. Digital Samizdat says

    Why London? Well, I need to visit it from time to time. Need to keep my MI6 handler happy.

    We all know what you’re really doing there in England, Anatoly. You’re the dread novichok man!


  3. Nice photos. It seems you visit more tourist places than me (well, I also like National Gallery too, at least, especially as all these places are free entry).

    Wealthy and bourgeois places in England, are such a paradise, especially in the summer. Which is why, they produce a lot of self-destructive utopian liberal politics.

    There’s a couple of notable things about Brighton:

    1. It is considered to be England’s gay capital.

    I think “LGBT” religious capital is Cambridge University. It’s really a religion for the students.

    an excellent London history museum, in a very scenic location.

    So now you admire brutalism 1960s-1970s architecture, like the Barbican, lol?

    What the “intelligentsia” are reading.

    Isn’t this display more for businessmen, tourists and people without time to look at the bookshelves. Intelligensia like reading the books from the shelves and don’t need to look at that promotion part.

    This is (Russian owned) bookshop – Waterstones, where the staff can choose books and write their own commentary. In this book chain, I never look at the promotion part or comments written by staff.

  4. and, ofc, to debrief with my MI6 handler.

    Say “hi” to Christopher Steele.

  5. It seems you visit more tourist places than me (well, I also like National Gallery too, at least, especially as all these places are free entry).

    Well, I also visited:

    1. A psychology conference, which I can’t write about – at least if I want James Thompson to invite me again. 🙂
    2. A meeting of Brexiteers and nationalists, which I can’t write about either. (Chatham House rules).

    3. I tried to meet up with transhumanists but no luck with scheduling as last time.

    So museums are the main things that are left to write about.

    So now you admire brutalism 1960s-1970s architecture, like the Barbican, lol?

    When you add glass and greenery to brutalist concrete it becomes sort of archeofuturist. That feeling is especially buttressed by the presence of the old London Wall.

    This is one of the rare situations in which brutalism can work.

  6. I think Barbican is also successful brutalist architecture, because it was simply a very expensive project, where they designed it carefully for years, used the best materials, etc.

    For elite public location, brutalism in London created a lot of successful and even attractive (when you actually visit them, rather than just see pictures) buildings.

    Other examples are: National Film Theatre (NFT), Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre (NT), Hayward Gallery.

    Although they can look funny in photos, all these buildings are very nice places and interesting, when you visit and explore them, and their weird style. This architecture was very successful in the Southbank of London.

    Brutalism style can be successful, when it is for “billion dollar” projects, which were very carefully designed, and were used as “showcases” of the architecture and the new construction technology.

    • Problem was when they used this style in non-elite contexts. For example, London proletariat were relocated after Second World War, into cheap and terrible brutalist buildings, while the architects and politicians themselves were living in beautiful, prestigious 19th century buildings. (Kind of typical 20th century story of some other countries we know too).

  7. Anonymous says

    I like that you were wearing sandals with socks like a true autiste. I’m impressed.

    AK: This is libel.

  8. John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan says

    I will admit that I came away with a better opinion of Winston Churchill after this (modestly positive to moderately positive). He had a very derring-do character that was quite admirable.

    I will never understand how Anglophilia leads to admiration for incompetence.

  9. The Canterbury streets.

    In Canterbury though (I’ve been a couple times), seems always a lot of poor people, drunks, and homeless in the streets. I guess it’s pretty poor (for UK standards), despite all the tourists.

  10. silviosilver says

    Random Scenes of London

    When did “random” replace “miscellaneous” or “assorted”? Can anyone put a date on it?

  11. truthman says

    AK, I didn’t see much sign of Londons wonderful globalist diversity on display. Or was it just that you were in the more popular touristy parts of town? Also, Brighton could use some more diversity.

  12. I wrote about London’s diversity here, what else is there to add?: http://unz.com/akarlin/open-thread

    Rich central areas to tend to have more whites than certain depressed suburbs. And it shouldn’t be surprising that whites display a disproportionate interest in voluntarily going to museums.

    More representative samples are obtained from school trips to museums. The children here were more than 60% non-White. Another school group that arrived at the Bank of London Museum – causing an unpleasant commotion, since they predictably did nothing but talk loudly to each other and prance about – were a group of teens that were more than 50% Black.

    However, as I also wrote here, the Canterbury children’s choir was 90% White.

  13. inertial says

    Returned to Oxford for a day to visit a certain friend whose work you are likely to have also read at some point.

    Does this friend happen to write and translate poetry? If so, tell him that I think it’s very good.

  14. Philip Owen says

    Unless you are on the beach then you should wear socks with sandals. It’s rude to inflict your bare feet on other people especially in formal environments like museums, far less a place of work. Bare feet are for deranged hippies.

  15. RadicalCenter says

    Especially interested in your Russian travel pieces. The more detail, the better. Some statistics, political observations and historical context, for each city, are useful along with the straight reporting and photos, too. Ready to see as much of Russia as possible through your eyes. Thanks, AK.

    AK: Thanks for the kind compliments.

  16. anonymous says

    Brutalist buildings are only good for demolition, they’re a perfect example of what the west has become, a soul-less, cultureless desert with no beauty, no grace, no elegance, no hope.

  17. previous

    i’ve always liked how 40K extended WW1 tanks

  18. Bragadocious says

    That Churchill exhibit is hilarious. First, they misspelled “imaginary.” Also, they must have worked overtime to get his quarters to look just so, in order to make the drunken maniac appear heroic and ascetic.

    “He was himself nearly killed by a German shell”

    We should have been so lucky.

  19. Budd Dwyer says

    That’s Brighton rock (confectionery) in that drink.


  20. Thulean Friend says

    Aesthetically it looks better with bare feet. But I sometimes use socks because I walk a lot and having socks in sandals means there is less wear and tear on your feetsoles. Also, the weather I use them in isn’t as warm so it can be quite comfy.

    Either way, I never understood why people have such strong opinions on the matter, or why it is considered such a faux pas. It seems like a self-perpetuating meme that masquerades as an opinion.

  21. OT: What is going on with Russiagate, is Mueller still so big thing it still drives leftists mad and straight into hardcore stalinism (or neo-reaction 😉 )



  22. I don’t get why Karlin is suffering from Anglophilia in the first place.

  23. That does seem to be a rather strange conclusion: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russian-anglophilia/

  24. anonymous coward says

    Maybe because he’s a British citizen who grew up in Britain?

  25. Overall, brutalism – failure.

    But some expensive projects like Barbican, were very successful. Today they are the unique result of this historical epoch (1960s-1970s), and are not less souless than a cool 1970s car.

    Actually residents love these few, successful projects.

    Here about Barbican, – maybe the most weird and ambitious brutalist project in the world – which Karlin photographs above.


    It is really representing utopian attitudes in 1960s London.


  26. Amerimutt Golems says

    Blacks are typically security guards at London tourist attractions. Division of labor rather than diversity.

  27. AltSerrice says

    Surprised you weren’t a fan of the Imperial War Museum, always loved it as a kid. Must’ve went twenty times when we lived there. Then again, maybe that’s just nostalgia since I haven’t been in 15 years.

    If there’s one thing I’ll say in favour of London and its surrounding, the museums are all fantastic.

  28. The aesthetics were great – but it was crowded – and there I had little to learn from it as I have read quite a bit on WW1.

    Something like seeing the tanks first hand – now that really is interesting to me. I am hoping to check out Kubinka, Russia’s premier tank museum, this summer.

  29. The WW1 museum in Tsarskoye Selo is highly recommended if you haven’t been there already.

  30. AltSerrice says

    I suppose the aesthetics are what I recall best. Used to play on the artillery barrels out front, back when that was allowed.

    Kubinka looks fantastic, I was very disappointed I didn’t get to visit it last year. Busy schedule. But the Museum of the Great Patriotic War was one of the best I’ve ever been to. From getting off at Park Pobedy station 130m below the earth, climbing the endless escalator, walking down the interminable path of monuments memorials towards the main building – really a fantastic buildup. The museum itself did not disappoint of course.

  31. Agreed, it’s a very good museum. Let me know if you happen by again.

    @ Jayce,

    Thanks for the tip – will try to visit when I’m in SPB again.