Travel

Mind The Gap!

Sorry about the delay between posts. I know it has been a while, and I have just been trying to get back into the swing of things since we got back from Europe. Which, by the way, was wonderful. Everything went relatively smoothly, except for a bit of a flight delay flying from Paris to Rome, but thankfully, we made it and our ride was still there. We did quite a bit in a short amount of time. I didn’t even really gain any weight from all the food we ate on the trip because I was walking so much! By the time we got to Paris, my feet were killing me. But I tried to suck it up and keep walking.

London was the first stop on our trip, and honestly, my favorite. (Sorry, Ricky, Paris was great, but I liked London a bit more.) Our first day there we checked into our hotel, which was actually in a nice little area of London called Islington. We set out to find a pub, which was… well, easy. They are all over the place there. And maybe this makes me sound like a lush, but I kind of loved the pub culture there. People just hanging out and having a good time. You know how you get this images of English pubs and people drinking and singing? Well, they actually do that. We were in more than one pub where people would bust out singing. It was kind of awesome. The one pub we frequented more than once, actually our first and last night there, was the Steam Passage Tavern. One reason we liked it was the free wifi, but it was also just a fun place, a typical English pub. Oh, and it was a block from our hotel. And of course, we tried the typical touristy English food – fish and chips, bangers and mash, and, not surprisingly, plenty of beer.

Obviously there are a lot of things to see in London, and unfortunately only being there for three days was far from enough even to see all the things I wanted to see. I find the monarchy aspect of the UK interesting, so I enjoyed visiting Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. Also, being both a Harry Potter and Doctor Who fan, I loved finding a blue police box (aka TARDIS) and seeing the trolley in the wall at Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross Station. But probably one of our most memorable nights there was when Ricky suggested that we go find Fleet Street. He suggested this primarily because of Sweeney Todd (the demon barber of Fleet Street), since he has seen both the movie as well as the live musical. I loved the movie too, being a big Tim Burton fan, so I agreed. What we didn’t know about Fleet Street is that it has a lot more history behind it than just being the home of a (some say) fictional murderous barber. A part of the street was destroyed in a fire in 1666, but even that didn’t stop pubs like Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese from surviving. It was rebuilt after the fire and has been in the same location since 1538. It’s been frequented by literary figures such as Charles Dickens, who alludes to it in A Tale of Two Cities. The place is definitely worth a visit if you’re in London. It has a really neat feel to it, and we even made some new friends there!

We also decided to venture out of town a bit to visit Wimbledon for a tour. I’m not a big tennis fan, but it was interesting to see where it all plays out, and maybe I will even watch the championship next year, since I’ve been there. There are a few other places we visited but didn’t really have time to tour or go inside, such as the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street (of course) and Buckingham Palace. We were lucky enough to see the changing of the guard there, however. We saw Big Ben and got a great view of plenty of places while taking a cruise down the Thames. I would have liked to see inside of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, but unfortunately, we ran out of time. I do hope to visit again sometime, though, as I fell in love with London’s charm. But this time, we had other places to go. Up next – on to Paris!

Note: all of the links are to photos I took while we were there.  Feel free to go check out the rest of my photos from Europe on my SmugMug page!  Oh, and also… let me know if you understand the title of this post. 🙂

2 Comments

  • Glad you liked London! I did, too. But I don’t have Paris or Rome to compare it to…yet. 🙂

    OH, yeah! I totally understand “Mind the Gap.” I have often wished I had gotten a t-shirt in London of that phrase because we heard it often over there and read it on the signs and trains of the underground.

    On a related note, did you see any signs about “busking”? We had to look that one up when we returned back to the States. It (street performing for money) is sometimes not allowed in the underground, and sometimes it seemed allowed because we saw plenty of people doing it.

    • Melanie,

      I saw the Mind the Gap shirts and thought about getting one too! I hadn’t heard of busking, but from your description, I’m pretty sure I saw several people doing it. 🙂

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