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Published: April 18th 2018
Dangling above the Thames
Larry and Danielle perched on the Tower Bridge spanning the Thames river.
We spent our last few hours in Tours, packing and tidying-up the apartment, in preparation for our flight to London later this afternoon. As a farewell gesture, Sophie insisted upon making lunch for us, and it turned out to be a gourmet's delight.
Yet again, she went above and beyond as a hostess, serving us a delicious appetizer of salmon dip with toasted baguette slices and champagne; and then prepared Coquille St. Jacques, a classic French recipe for scallops served in a cream sauce. For dessert, she served an apple tart with strawberries. What a memorable meal to end our stay in Tours!
Shortly after lunch, she drove us to the Tours-Val de Loire airport (smaller than Daytona's airport), where we waited for our Ryanair flight to London at 4:30. Of all the airports through which we've traveled in the past, including such huge airports as Beijing and New Delhi, we'd have to say our experience at this little airport (where only a handful of commercial flights arrive and depart daily) was the most tedious and time-consuming!
On top of that, I got nicked by Ryanair to the tune of 44 euros for being almost 5 kilos over
the allowed baggage limit. Still, the flight was smooth, and we departed and arrived at London Stansted on-time. Our pre-arranged taxi delivered us to our apartment in London after an hour's drive---on the wrong side of the road! When we pulled-up to our apartment building at 12 Shad Thames Street, Danielle and Larry were waving to us from the 2nd-floor balcony.
The apartment building is located in a neighborhood of converted warehouses near the south bank of the Thames river, not far from the famous Tower Bridge. The flat itself is very contemporary in style, with two large bedrooms and bathrooms, modern kitchen with dining nook, and a small balcony overlooking Shad Thames street. There is a small grocery store down the street, and we're not far from a promenade that runs alongside the Thames, where a variety of bars and restaurants are located.
Larry and Danielle had a light meal and cocktails ready for us, and it was great to see them again. Having arrived early on Monday of this week, they've already visited the Tower of London, and taken a tour of the Tower Bridge (see photo), where those who are able to overcome vertigo can
Coquille St. Jacques with rice
Scallops served in a cream sauce.
walk on glass surfaces with a view of the river and road traffic far below.
The weather in London has been quite pleasant recently, with temperatures in the 70s, and the forecast for the rest of this week is for more of the same. Hopefully we can access public transportation, buses and the underground (tubes), because most of the important sights are quite some distance from our flat.
In any event, Dee and I will have trouble keeping up with Danielle and Larry (aka the "Roadrunners), so we may have to set more modest sightseeing goals for ourselves.
Dee's comments: Up early to finish packing, then lunch at Sophie's. Oh my, salmon dip to die for, then coquille St. Jacques, served with champagne! Sophie continues to amaze us!
Then she drove us to the airport, where Ryanair nailed us for an overweight bag. After a 1 hour flight, our cab driver was waiting; then another hour drive to the apartment, with lots of traffic, and people hustling to and fro once we got into central London. Arrived at apartment, where our friends Danielle and Larry welcomed us with cocktails and a lovely dinner. Long live the
Building facade, 12 Shad Thames
Our flat is the one to the left of the "St. Andrews" sign.
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