Thursday, January 05, 2012
Tuesday, once Jacq was with her Dad i took off to do my own sightseeing. My son and I are both interested in military history so I headed to the Imperial War Museum. I had planned to walk there but it was windy and raining quite hard and within 5 minutes my umbrella had blown inside out 3 times and the backs of my legs were drenched from heel to thigh. So I caved and took the subway. I found my way there without any detours - I am directionally challenged and while I'm not so bad that I always get lost it will generally take me a bit longer to get to my destination than it should.
I spent some time wandering around inside, took lots of pictures for my son and bought him some books. Upon leaving the rain had stopped so I took off to find the HMS Belfast. The routes I needed to take along the river was blocked by buildings so I had to walk through some of the nearby streets and ran across a pirate galleon moored in an alley. It looked like someone had cut out a very narrow boat slip from the river right between 2 buildings and then built the sidewalk back behind it so it is permanently moored.
Unfortunately the Belfast is "closed to visitors until further notice" so I could only take pictures from the dock. It is right by London Bridge so I got a lot of bridge pictures then walked across it to get to the Tower of London. The Crown Jewels are on display in the Tower and they are pretty amazing.
Finally I went back to the shopping district of Bond/Regent/Oxford streets to get my souvineers for myself - from the East India Company. A whole shop dedicated to tea
Wednesday was our tour to Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford. Our tour guide was quite opinionated on certain subjects, such as how he felt about Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the overpass bringing people from Heathrow into the city which has been discovered to be "falling down" six months before the Olympic Games and the inadvisability of anyone talking while he was doing so.
We had about an hour to go through the public areas of Windsor Castle, which is primarily Queen Mary's Dolls' House, the State Apartments and St. George's Chapel. Absolutely magnificent, I can't even imagine what it would be like to live there.
The next stop was Stonehenge. According to the guide the reason you can no longer walk among the stones is because at one point people had started chiseling off pieces of the stones to take as souvineers, so the historical society had to rope it off. It is a shame some people are so stupid and ruin it for the rest. There were also a large number of sheep wandering about so the air was quite fragrant.
After Stonehenge we went to Oxford. I bought the optional tickets to go into Christ Church College, which is where the castle scenes were filmed for Harry Potter. We saw the corridors from the movie, the staircase, the one area where Harry had his first flying lesson and the banquet hall. And, of course, the buildings themselves are pretty amazing.
Once we were back to the hotel we just grabbed some baquettes from a stand in the train station and I set out to the laundromat. I had originally intended to use the hotel service until I looked at the prices - about $4.50 per pair of socks for example. So the laundromat it was. Fortunately there was one only a 5 minute walk from the hotel.
Thursday we check out and take the train to Paris.
Monday, January 02, 2012
Today we slept in and got a late start, not leaving the hotel until after 12 pm. We wandered about Harrods department store a bit, having to employ lots of elbow strikes to make our way through the maddening crowds. Absolutely insane. I picked up some Harrods' souvineers for my nieces and fancy chocolate for my sister as a thank you for taking care of my dog and cats.
Over lunch I received dating advice from my 13 year old daughter, who does not yet date, consisting of such gems as "Don't tell him you have cats. It's OK to say you have a dog, guys like dogs, but keep quiet about the cats." and "Make sure you tell him your kids are already teenagers and will be gone soon so he doesn't get scared by the idea of raising more kids." and "Make sure he's rich and thinks he needs to buy our affection. I really want a PS3."
After lunch we went to Camden Town and I had to take a picture of Jacq crossing Abbey Road. I don't quite get why this is a big deal but she tells me Beatle fans will understand. At least we were not the only ones taking pictures of people crossing the road; residents there must despise tourists for disrupting traffic as it is a busy intersection.
We rode the London Eye and she got some good pictures of the city at night. We went to the Aquarium, which is not really worth the money in my opinion. We walked around a bit along the Thames before returning to the hotel area. Dinner was at an "American" Steakhouse, where the music was (Old) Country music, from the 70s and 80s; lots of Kenny Rogers, Willy Nelson, Emmylou Harris, etc. Jacq thought it funny that for once I actually recognized the music.
Get An Email Alert Each Time FANGFACEKITTY Posts