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Published: September 23rd 2010
Episode 8 (Thursday September 23, 2010)
Blogged by Craig
Hi everyone. Hope all is well back home - we will be back there shortly.
We have come full circle. Having arrived in the UK five weeks ago, we are now back in the grand city of Londinium, as the Romans named it. Our great run with the weather has been capped off by an unusually warm week here in London for this time of year (yesterday, it was 25 degrees !).
London is a great city, packed with history, iconic buildings and cool pop culture. And the whole place heaves with activity at night, in the bars and restaurants, even on week nights. We have spent the past four days doing the touristy stuff. We went inside both Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. (The later is only open to the public for 8 weeks of the year, when QEII is at Balmoral). Both were magnificent and opulent beyond belief and we were both gob-smacked at the grandeur and beauty of the state rooms. Ross again was in seventh heaven ! ( Nana Winton, the China and crockery on display was AMAZING !) We did the Tower of London this morning - gruesome beheadings, suits of armor, crown jewels, medieval history, etc.) and the various galleries and museums are also on the list before we leave.
Some random observations that we have made while here in England:
- Riding on a double decker bus, up the top and at the very front, is lots of fun.
- Beer served at room temperature is most unappealing to the sophisticated Australian palate. Mate.
- In January of this year, all of Britain was covered by snow and ice, according to an amazing photographic exhibtion that we saw in Bath, showing a white UK via satellite.
- Every English pub seems to claim some sort of link to a literary figure. (Here, is 1490, Shakespear's gandmother's maid's cat coughed up a fur ball.)
- There is a chain of betting agencies here called "Ladbrokes". Painfully ironic.
- Buckingham palace has 78 bathrooms
- The UK is criss-crossed by 190, 000 km of "public right of way footpaths" - these have existed for centuries (Anglo Saxon times) and are enshrined in law. The paths cross between people's farmland, along rivers, thru cities. All have right of access.
Last night, we had dinner with Scott, Leah and baby Oliver, who have just moved over here for at least 2 years. All are doing very well. (I think I had one too many Hoegardens, Scott). Tonight we are about to take ourselves to the West End, to see the Agatha Christie play, The Mousetrap. I have wanted to do this for years. It is the longest running show of any kind in the world - now in its 58th year !! Everyone who has seen in over the years has faithfully followed the request at the end of the play not the give the secret ending away. Although I read the short story many years ago and I know the murderer and denouement, it will be interesting to see if Ross gets the twist. He was very good at guessing the murderer on most of the Poirot TV series.
We leave tomorrow night, and will be back in Melbourne early Sunday morning (September 26). Then back to work on Monday !
We have had another excellent trip, or, as the locals here would say: "We was well lucky."
Take care and happy travels to all
Craig and Ross
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