Sunday, November 26, 2006

back from London

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!

14 comments:

quiltpixie said...

you must be exhausted! All that walking around and sightseeing sounds like fun, but completely draining. I love the mosiciac tile picture. I thought it was a quilt until I looved closesy and you told me :-)

joyce said...

What an interesting time. You are so lucky to be within striking distance of such a great city. THe theatre alone would be worth the trip. Thanks for sharing with us so we can visit London vicariously.

Darcie said...

Oh my! What an adventure, Sio! You must still be smiling from ear to ear! Glad that you enjoyed yourself! Thank you for sharing your trip with us.

Shelina said...

That sounds like such a fun trip. Thank you for letting me come with you. The mosaic tile does indeed look like a quilt. One that is worth duplicating!

Fiona said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your time in London. I've never been to the Sherlock Holmes museum but it looks really quaint. I'll bet the place was heaving with Christmas shoppers.

Patti said...

What a marvelous time you had. No wonder you were tired! You packed a whole lot of adventure into a very short time. Obviously you want to make the most of every day you are living there - and it certainly sounds like you are doing it.

We can certainly understand the Holmes addiction. Both of us have read all the stories at least 3-4 times. We have a huge two volume annotated addition of all his stories - with wonderful pictures of the places in England they each happen plus drawings, etc. that illustrate things that are mentioned in the story. We have all the Jeremy Brett DVD's too, and have watched them numerous times. And what did Fred spend his birthday gift card at Barnes and Noble on? A CD unabridged version of Hound of the Baskervilles!

Tonya R said...

Would you just rest once in a while? Make more time for tea and scones. Glad you had a good time, but not happy to hear of your eye troubles. Hope you are recovered from the trip!

Dawn said...

Oh I'm exhausted just reading it all! What a wonderful trip! I would so love to see those things someday!

Sandra said...

Good grief - I'm exhausted just reading about everything you did LOL. It all sounds so wonderful :-)

Judy said...

I all looks wonderful and exciting!! I love when people move to fabulous places and I get to tag along on their visits!!

Karen said...

How miraculous that you saw Derek Jacobi in a play! Love the account of your English activities!

Clare said...

Ohhh - you are making me feel homesick! A Voyage Round my Father - you lucky lucky thing!. Saw the original on tv with Laurence Olivier as the father and Alan Bates as John Mortimer. Strange to think that the son is now the father.

There you are - I told you you'd like Liberty. We arrive in London 27th December and leave on New Years Day. Liberty here I come!

Hedgehog said...

I love the mosaic! I have lots of quilty architecture photos from my travels - maybe someday they will inspire projects!

SCquiltaddict said...

You dog...Sir Derek AND Patrick S AND Sherlock and Dr. watson...hog heaven for you i am sure...Boy has your hair grown...you look great though!