back from london: trip report!

Old Sep 16th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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back from london: trip report!

we arrived home from london last night, got to bed around 2a (7a GMT!), and i'm just now beginning to process all we saw & did...i'll try to make this brief:

london was FABULOUS! we spent the first afternoon after arrival getting the hotel, cell phones, etc. sorted out, then took a quick (1 hour) nap before heading out into the city. we walked around, trying to get our bearings, grinning from ear to ear, until 10p, when we went back to the hotel & collapsed.

the next day we took the hop on/hop off double decker bus tour, hopping on & off quite a bit: trafalgar square, the national gallery (van gogh's "sunflowers" right there, right before my eyes!), tea at st. martin's in the fields, picadilly circus, covent gardens market...then we cruised the thames, and finally walked home around midnight.

other days:

*took the train to salisbury, then a bus to stonehenge. when the bus rounded the corner and stonehenge first came into view, i was surprised to find tears rolling down my cheeks. amazing. strolling through salisbury, a pint of guinness in the sunshine, a bit of shopping...

*took the train to brighton, where we spent the night, and took in a concert (chris difford, of squeeze). walking on the shore, eating fish & chips as gulls circled overhead, people-watching. lovely, lovely, lovely!

*returned to london the next afternoon, and took a 4 hour walk through hyde park. stopped for shish kebabs before going home to bed.

*went to greenwich to meet up with friends, took a long walk from their flat, through greenwich park, past the royal obesrvatory, to a pub where we met other friends for a drink. walked past the cutty sark, to a thai restaurant where i enjoyed one of the best meals i've ever had. ended the evening in another pub, then hoofed it to the station, where we caught the last train back into the city.

*tubed to portobello road, where i found loads of gorgeous indian boho things for myself and friends. purchased a full length velvet coat, deep green, with embroidered flowers (for me!), several scarves, an embroidered velvet bag, a sequined belt. yum.

after shopping, stopped back at the hotel to drop off our bags, then met friends at the tate modern. coffee in the cafe on the 7th floor, then toured the exhibitions. one of our friends had brought his children, 2 year old charlie, and 4 month old molly. i am of the opinion that all modern art should be viewed with a 2 yr old...

charlie's commentary:
on rodin's "the kiss": "look, dada! cuddles!"
on picasso: "awwwww, mama...she's fallen over?"
on some abstract black & white painting (not sure by whom): "shhhhh! it's night-night!"

after the tate, back to their house for supper. knowing it was our last night, we didn't want to leave. made tentative plans for them to come visit us here, and of course, began planning our next trip there.

i can't begin to express how wonderful every moment was. we took full advantage of each and every minute, getting up early, having breakfast at the hotel, then heading out for the day. we never returned to the hotel before 10-11p. not one moment was wasted.

general observations:

*even packing carry-on only, i had more clothes than i needed. next time i'll pack even less.

*comfortable shoes are a MUST! just because you can walk around the office all day comfortably in a pair of shoes doesn't necessarily mean they'll be suitable for walking around the city all day. we walked 5-10 miles every day we were there. i bought proper walking sandals the 2nd day, and wore them every day after.

*no need to spend a lot of money on a fancy hotel if you're planning to be out & about all day. clean, safe, comfortable, and centrally located are all you need. (ours was a 5 minute walk from victoria station. perfect.)

*we'll be back.


pixielily is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2005, 10:50 AM
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That was lovely pixielily! You reminded me of the day trip to Brighton I did with my mom in 2000. We had fish 'n chips with mushy peas at a place near the pier called Harry Ramsden's.
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 10:54 AM
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Thanks so much for that wonderful report! We were there in May and had a great time but maybe next time we should go with you! I love your idea about how to view modern art! Oh yes, the shopping sounded great too! Welcome back.
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

I've never found London a particularly exciting place to visit(although I do like Greenwich), and I'm often amazed it gets such enthusiastic reviews from others. But I suppose places are like people, if we all loved the same ones it would be really dull, not to mention crowded!

Come back to England soon... there's lots more to see than London, Stonehange and Brighton!
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Old Sep 16th, 2005, 12:00 PM
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actually, the trips out of london made for a perfect balance. london itself is a bit overwhelming, but still fascinating, exciting, & vibrant.

"Come back to England soon... there's lots more to see than London, Stonehange and Brighton!"

indeed! we've already decided that next time, we'll spend a day or two in london, then get out & away to see more of everything else. i figure it's going to take numerous trips to get my fill.

that said, i wouldn't have changed a thing about this trip, our first.
pixielily is offline  
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