My London report, pt. 1.

May 30th, 2003, 01:26 PM
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My London report, pt. 1.

I almost hesitate to post yet another report on what seems to be everyone's favorite European destination, but I promised one, so here it is.

It was my 6th time in London and the city certainly has not lost its ability to interest and enchant me. Of course, being a history and culture buff helps me to appreciate this vast metropolis just a teensy bit more.

This time I stayed at the Cumberland Hotel ($60/night from Priceline), which I have already reported on earlier. Just across the street from me was lovely Hyde Park and the day I arrived (with a bad cold yet!) I wasted no time in walking through the park to Knightsbridge and Harrods where I bought some goodies, which sadly were disappointing considering the outrageous prices one pays at Harrods. Frankly, I did much better at the local Sainbury's and at Pret a Manger!

Other highlights of my trip:

British Museum (a must-see and it's free!) and their grand newly renovated reading room. This is the home of the famed Rosetta Stone and the Elgin marbles.

My Fair Lady - with Anthony Andrews of Brideshead Revisited fame, a terrific production overall. A treat!

Greenwich and its Royal Observatory (free!) and the Royal Naval College designed by Wren - This was a pleasure indeed. Greenwich was quaint and the parklands surrounding the observatory lush and beautiful. We saw some ancient looking trees that seemed to have been there for centuries. The observatory itself was well worth the visit. ...(continues)
Rebecka is offline  
May 30th, 2003, 08:21 PM
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Rebecka
Thank you for sharing your trip to London. I look forward to reading more. My husband and I leave for our 2nd trip to London on June 9, so I want all the information I can get!
Lee4 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 05:28 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, Lee. I'll post more as soon as I have the chance. Wish I were back in London already! ;-)
Rebecka is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for the info on London, My husband and I leave for London on June 8. We are hoping the weather is good.
We are staying across from Hyde Park, how long a walk is it to Harrods?
What is a must to purchase at Harrods?
Have you heard of Jo Malone's?
Thanks!
HannahHall is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2003, 01:14 PM
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Great report. I'm tacking your 2nd part on to this thread. If you start a new thread each time they will get separated. Just bring this one up to add your next installment.

Date: 06/02/2003, 04:56 pm

Message: Greenwich Observatory (continued):

Those of you familiar with Dava Sobel's bestselling book "Longitude" should visit the observatory because all of John Harrison's clocks (H1-H4) are here on view in all their cleaned and restored glory. For those of you not familiar with the story, Harrison was the man who in the late 18th century built the first marine chronometer that allowed seamen to accurately determine longitude at sea. Some of you may have caught the NOVA special on longitude a few years ago and/or the A&E dramatization of Harrison's life, which I'd also recommend. I'm no scientist but it's a fascinating story and seeing the actual clocks was even more compelling when you know how historically important Harrison's clocks were. Harrison's final (successful) seaclock even sailed with Captain Cook!

There was also another exhibition there of various timekeeping devices dating back to the 1500s. All very interesting and worthwhile. (You can tell I'm a history buff, can't you?)

The meridian timeline runs through Greenwich and this is probably what the observatory is most famous for. However, the older building dates from the 1670s and was also where England's astronomers royal lived and worked. I enjoyed seeing the modest living quarters where some of them lived and the octagonal room which I recall seeing in many old printed illustrations of the observatory. This was were the early astronomers would scan the heavens with a telescope similar to the model that is there now.

Greenwich is also where you will find the famous ship Cutty Sark in dry dock. I never went inside, but it was open to the public.

Author: mendota98
Date: 06/02/2003, 05:04 pm

Message: Hi, I was at Greenwich this past December and loved it. Can you tell me what the red laser light outside represented? The museum at the foot of the hill was interesting also.
janis is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:18 AM
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Trying to keep this as a single thread....

London trip report, pt. 3
Author: Rebecka
Date: 06/05/2003, 03:12 pm
Message: While wandering about the area one evening, my friend and I decided to ride the London Eye. We paid for the tickets there and there was no line at all to get on. For panoramic views, you really can't beat the Eye. Although the day was hazy, we still got a nice overview of East London slightly beyond St. Paul's and Buckingham Palace to the west. Am glad to say that even through the glass, I got some very nice London shots to take home. There was also something almost poetic about seeing a good length of the Thames as it winds its way through the city. If you have a fear of heights, you may want to think twice about the Eye, which is 450 feet in diameter. It does move quite slowly, however.

Lastly, what might have been the highlight of my trip was the visit to the Dollhouse Miniatures Show in Kensington. As a miniaturist myself, I was astounded by the quality of work I saw there - everything in 1:12 scale, i.e. an inch to the foot - rendered with exquisite precision. Miniature people (dolls of course, but almost too finely detailed to be called that), tiny chinaware, silverware, exquisitely furnished rooms with working chandeliers, furniture of every kind, tiny books, plants, and miniature food so real that you could almost imagine tasting it. I know that most people may be bored if I go into more detail, but I would recommend this show to anyone interested in crafts and to miniaturists (artists and artisans working in 1:12 scale or smaller) in particular. I believe it is held for 3 days in London every spring. Much of what I saw there could really be defined more as art than craft. It was simply wonderful!
Lesli is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 01:03 PM
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Okay, Lesli, I see your point for keeping the report together and appreciate your effort at organization, but there is a reason for my posting these in shorter, multiple threads: it is just so those who seek comments on specific London sights don't have to wade through a single long thread like this just to find them. Now my posting is repeated which frankly doesn't seem like much of an improvement to me.
Rebecka is offline  

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