Our DF and I spent more time in
London's airports than we did walking through it's historic streets due
to a scheduling error, but once we'd taken the train to the Hyde Park
tube station, we got lost. Eventually though, we parked our bags at the Park Lane Hilton to make most of a Sunday evening. We were
cold and our feet hurt - it was glorious,
Wellington Arch, built 1828, in the very bottom
of photo honors the Duke of Wellington who got his title
defeating Napoleon - CK
Park (opened 1637) - the informal Speakers'
Corner hosts the views of just about anyone - CK
from our hotel window
It quickly became
too dark for us to take pictures as we hiked from Hyde Park toward
Buckingham Palace to Piccadilly Circus to the London Eye, which wasn't
running. Our return walk led us past Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.
No Tower of London, no Boudicca Statue
(In 60 AD / CE, she burned Londinium and killed thousands who supported
the Roman occupation.) and no
The next morning we
hopped in a traditional black cab* for a £5 ride to Victoria Station
where we caught an airport shuttle train.
and prices may change. Jill had a prepaid voucher to get
herself to Victoria Station after her passport disaster. The
price was something like $30 and was much more than Cary and I paid
together for one way transportation. Ask the airport ticket
sellers for best deal.
Passport Woes (scroll down to the July 18th entry)
arrived in London on a busy weekday morning, handled all her luggage
herself while earning nasty looks from crowded commuters. She
has yet to repent the sin of over packing.
Victoria was the first monarch to live in Buckingham
Palace - JK
of Queen Victoria in front of Buckingham Palace - JK
ft / 98m) Big Ben with glimpse of the London Eye (Millennium Wheel) ferris wheel across the Thames
River - JK
Bridge, begun 1886 - JK
The Tower of London was originally built by William the
Conqueror, who won his crown after defeating King Harold
and his exhausted soldiers in 1066. Harold had just
defeated King Harald of Norway at Stamford Bridge in the
north of England). Subsequent kings added numerous
buildings and fortifications.
While William Wallace of Braveheart fame was a prisoner in the Tower, he was hanged, drawn and
Tower was the site of numerous executions and mysterious
V and Richard, Duke of York, the Princes
in the Tower, disappeared
VI - died conveniently
Thomas More, executed for refusing to acknowledge
Henry VIII as the head of the church
Boleyn, 2nd wife of Henry VIII and mother of Queen
Elizabeth I, beheaded
Howard, 5th wife of Henry VIII, beheaded
Jane Grey, queen for 8 days, beheaded
Walter Raleigh, explorer, beheaded
the Tower houses the Crown Jewels. - JK
in the British Museum - there's a lot to be said for
colonization when it comes to assembling museum treasures
from all over the world - JK
granite bust wearing the double crown of Egypt, possibly
Amenhophis III - from Karnak
temple frieze - the Elgin Marbles - ownership of these treasures
has been in litigation for years because Greece wants them
back and Britain won't give them up
body with grave goods
I believe this gentleman was Egyptian, but I could be wrong
| mummy of Cleopatra of Thebes - not Julius
There is a lot to see in London - you can pick your
favorite activity from art museums to military history to palaces,
theater and shopping. As always, we recommend that you get a guidebook or two as well as a
general photo book so you can make educated choices
interior St. Paul's Cathedral - this incredible church was built by Christopher Wren with funds from a
coal tax - JM
Shopping - We had to make do with airport gift shops.
This is not an economical way to spend money.
Restaurants - The only meal we had in London was at our hotel.
Cary loved his club sandwich with hard boiled egg for £16!
Hotels - We stayed at the "flagship" Park Lane Hilton. It was
fine, but not at all memorable.
our hotel details in Traveling with Miles and
Tierney paper dolls for the collector in all of
the Duke of Edinburgh, drives a taxicab, but he probably won't give you a ride.
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Sometimes a title telegraphs too much. That's the case with Majorie Eccles' Broken Music. Still, I hope this WWI era mystery is the beginning of a series. The book is well written and the characters should not be allowed to fade away. Nancy
Roman Britain is a fascinating place to those of us who don't have to actually live there. One of the best series to take us on a time trip is the story of a doctor with the occupying Roman army. Begin with Ruth Downie's Medicus. Nancy
I got my hands on a copy of Royal London in Context after we made the trips described
at left. This guidebook is so detailed it demands we go
back to experience the city we missed the first time. The
suggested itineraries are well thought out and rich in historic
description. I can't wait to really see what London is all
PS This book is part of the Europe in Context series. The Venice book makes me want to head to the airport too.
If a book you're looking for is out of print, click on any link to Amazon Books Home Page or to find out if it is available as a used book.
There are so many books set in London
and the surrounding countryside I truly believe over half the
inhabitants of the UK must be involved in the publishing industry.
With that in mind here are a few gems you may
*Miss Read wrote
over 20 delightful everyday life books set in the early - mid
20th century. They are simple yet enchanting gentle stories.
romances are not really my thing (cup
of tea) so it was a relief to open The Hanover Square
Affair by Ashley Gardner and find a mystery
without what my old friend Chris called "love's hot hands."
The hero, a veteran of the
Napoleonic campaigns, has left the service under shadowed circumstances
and struggles to seek justice for those fascinating characters he
inevitably meets in London's mean streets. Nancy
Our in flight movies on the
October 2003 trip home included a gem whose name I neglected to
write down. After a call to American Airlines and a failed
attempt to join a BBC chat group, I stumbled on the title, Sweet Revenge.
As far as I can tell, this gem
was made for British TV in 2001 and stars Paul McGann as a professor
who helps his "friends" when they want / need to get even.
Things go wrong, but many scenes take place in London shines. It was the perfect ending
to a too short visit.
Good luck finding a copy. Nancy