London remains one of my favorite cities. Museums, shows, window shopping, and people watching were our main activities this past week.
We took the bus up which took just over two hours. It dropped us at Victoria Station and we took the underground/subway to Paddington Station (yes, like the bear!) Maybe it is because I grew up outside Boston and taking the subway was associated with going into the city for special occasions like looking at Christmas lights, school shopping trips, or seeing the tall ships enter the harbor, but I love trains, trolleys, or subways!
We usually stay in Kennsington but this time we decided to try a different part of the city. In the end I like them equally well. Kennsington is a bit prettier and closer to the museums but Paddington had more breakfast places and seemed to be closer to the theatre district.
Anyway, the first night we just walked around the area and went to a Lebonese restaurant. The food was excellant! We got up early on Thursday, had the big British breakfast - eggs, toast, bacon, beans, hashbrowns, fried tomatoes, coffee, and juice! We got an all day pass for the tube and our first stop was Knightbridge to wander through Harrods. The windows were a mixture of James Bond and Christmas! A bit different! (I wouldn't mind finding him under the misletoe though!) I picked up some things in their food area to bring home to Mom - tea, turkish delights, fruitcake and christmas coffee. Then we headed to Leicester Square to get some theatre tickets. This is where DH can drive me crazy - we wandered around for at least 45 minutes while he checked out dozens of discount ticket places. In the end we got tickets to see Guys and Dolls with Patrick Swayze (He was really good!) We grabbed a pint at the Sherlock Holmes Pub (that is me in the photo!) Then we window shopped...a lot! We went down Regent Street and I visited Liberty of London...a great building and the stationary department on the first floor is gorgeous! I ended up buying some christmas ornaments and some pens as presents. Even the deep purple bag is beautiful! We took the tube to Bond Street and wandered through there as well. It is a great place to people watch!
That night we ate curry at a restraurant near the Piccadilly Theatre. To think a few years ago I thought I didn't like Indian food - now I eat it all the time! The show was excellant. Swayze can still move and surpisingly can sing well...just never thought of him as a singer! He still smiles like a little boy and even from the balconey you think he is looking right at you. He is as good or better on stage as he is on screen.
On Friday we ventured out of the hotel for breakfast then headed up to the discount places for tickets again. This time the lines were really long at most of the booths. I was happy though since we got good tickets for my first choice - A Voyage Round My Father, starring Derek Jacobi (I Claudius, Cadfael.) I had not heard of the play before but it had great reviews and of course it had Derek Jacobi one of my favorite actors! It was a bit cold and threatening to rain so we headed over to The Sherlock Holmes Museum. OK, so it is very touristy and a bit wierd how much I love Sherlock Holmes but we all have some wierd spot somewhere! The photo on the right is me sitting in Sherlock's chair with the tour guide dressed as Dr. Watson. It is actually a cute little museum though it did only take about 20 minutes to get through.
We then headed over to the National Museum, which can neither be called cute nor little! What an amazing place. In two hours we only got through a couple of exhibits - the Egyptian and the Greek. Both are amazing. There are dozens of Mummies with all that goes with them on display. I'm a big fan of the Amelia Peabody mystery series and going through this reminded me of her books!
The exhibits of mosaic tiles were fascinating....this one reminded me so much of a quilt! Flying geese can be found everywhere! At this point I was starting to wear out...big time. I crawled back to the hotel and got a nap before dinner and the show. My eyes were starting to act up - I couldn't see very well in the dark and the actors on stage all had funny halos around them - but even with the eye problem the show was wonderful! ( Funny that it was about a man who had lost his sight!) I love Derek Jacobi's voice and to be fair the other actors held their own. The story reminded me a bit of my own family. The main character was blind but no one ever talked about it! He loved his son and daughter-in-law but never talked about it. In the end the son became very much like his father.
Saturday I was pretty much worn out. I wanted to go to one of the antique markets but thought better of it and will do it on the next trip!