Blogs from Greater London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London April 20th 2019

we arrived in southampton to a cloudy, wet, bleak industrial port. it's definitely not the most scenic of places. i spent the last few days disassembling my cabin home and enjoying my last days at sea. the bay of biscay lived up to it's reputation. on our last night we had a beatles tribute band perform for us in the palladium theater. they were excellent. they even looked like the beatles, especially the one who was paul. i am not a big fan of beatles music but i did find myself singing along and jigging about in my seat. afterwards the entertainment manager brought some crew and officers from all areas of the ship onto the stage so we could thank them all with applause. the beatles sang a few more songs and we all stood ... read more
entering bay of biscay
janice, cabin steward

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London April 19th 2019

So, there was no blog last night because we had a very early flight out Friday morning and had to pack! Its amazing how several little things have a tendency to crowd an overcrowded suitcase. We managed, made it to the airport, caught our flight and are now in Rome. We really hated to leave the Balmoral House Hotel because we loved it so much. We especially loved Flavio, our young Italian who checked us in, made taxi arrangements for us, gave us great travel advice (for both London and Rome). I really think he hated to see us go! So Friday was a big day. We wanted to go to the changing of the guard. We got up early, had another wonderful breakfast at the hotel. This time beans were served with the eggs, ham ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London April 18th 2019

We really love our hotel!! Today started out with an unbelievable breakfast at our hotel which was included in the price. It was a typical English breakfast.....two eggs, ham, toast, Chocolate croissants, outstanding coffee and hot chocolate. Can't wait to have it again tomorrow! The staff here is so friendly. The young man who checked us in is available at all times and has taken a liking to all of us. His name is Flavio. He is Italian but lives here in London. He has given us great advice on places to visit, places to eat and how to move around the city. Following breakfast we headed out to be picked up by our BIg Bus Tour Bus which is just a block from our hotel. We drove through Sussex Gardens (right near our hotel) and ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London April 17th 2019

Today seems so very long. We boarded our plane and took off at 7:30 last night. Dinner was served at 9:30 and then we tried to sleep. I really don't sleep well on a plane. I cover my eyes, use noise cancelling headphones and still just don't sleep. I did get about 3 hours of sleep. Because of the time change breakfast was served at about 2:00 am (7:00 am in London). This threw us off just a little. We landed at 8:30 (London time) which was 3:30 West Virginia time There's a 5 hour time difference. We were happy to get off the plane and walk a little. We walked right to customs and stood in line for the next two hours. It was so easy to get from the airport to our hotel. We ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Camden Town March 19th 2019

Visit to Camden Market - pictures tell their own story, except for the socks. There was a stall owner with “card” socks and her dress was red white and black, but did not match. There were plenty of weird scenes and fashions, if you could call it fashion.... read more
Camden Market 16 Mar 2019
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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 19th 2019

Visited Notting Hill and it seems many others had the same idea on a cold and wintery Saturday. Notting Hill was a movie and featured a bookstore, but it is also an iconic area of London.... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » London City February 14th 2019

I only ever go to London on short trips; get the train down, do something touristy, eat something foodie, see a show, sleep, go back home, cry when I see my bank balance. In truth I don’t know if I like London much. It’s crowded, and I find that overwhelming. It’s so focused on tourism such that I don’t believe I’m in the real London. You know the real London; Chelsea Pensioners, Pearly Kings, the cast of Eastenders arguing, doing the ‘Lambeth Walk’ (Oi!), flower sellers, the occasional ‘ore wiv an ‘eart of gowd, guvnor, Sid James laughing, the musical genius of Chas and Dave (that’s enough cockney clichés). The ‘City’ one visits is like a movie set surrounded by an ocean of suburbia where real Londoners live. It... read more
London Bridge
Coldstream Guard

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Notting Hill February 3rd 2019

I recently saw a list of "worst" attractions. Not sure of their criteria. Here are mine: Hollywood Walk of Fame (hokey) Stonehenge (big disappointment) Venice canals (stinky) Any bull ring in Spain (they all look the same!) Statue of stars, Hong Kong (reminds me of Hollywood) Macao (basically, Las Vegas east) Universal Studios (terribly boring) London Eye (go to the country fair instead!) Napa Wine Train (an expensive ride for mediocre food and wine) Any wax museum (enough said) But to be fair, there are many great ones: Amazonia (one of the two best places I have been) Angkor Wat (ditto) Berlin Wall (no longer there) Torres del Paine (magnificent) Milford Sound (ditto) Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo) truly unique, now gone!! van Gogh Museum (like a dream) Our great National Parks Fenway or Wrigley (shrines to ... read more
Perhaps just a little stress??
Stinky Venice
Boring Stonehenge.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London January 11th 2019

I still have three shows to go over the next two days, but there are four shows I haven’t written about, so here are some brief comments. We had three Shakespeare plays scheduled this week. I like Shakespeare. Really. But I generally find myself in a bad mood when I go to see the Royal Shakespeare Company at their winter home at the Barbican. I always get lost finding my way to the Barbican complex and then to the theater within the complex's endless warrens. And then I find myself in the huge, impersonal theater, watching actors lost on a too-large stage. So Macbeth Monday night. It was acceptable but unexciting. The one interesting idea was placing on stage throughout the porter, who fulfills multiple functions aside from his famous comic scene at the gate. He ... read more
Curious Incident
Simon Russell Beale as Richard II
Pinter

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London January 10th 2019

Hadestown is a folk musical, now Broadway-bound after a long production history. Anais Mitchell (daughter of Quaker sheep farmers Don and Cheryl Mitchell of Middlebury) started with a concept album, which then became an off-Broadway show directed by Rachel Chavkin of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. It’s now on the huge Olivier stage at the National Theatre. And it’s good. The charismatic narrator (André de Shields as Hermes) recalls Morgan Freeman in The Gospel at Colonus as he guides us through the elements of a universal story. With a few twists. In this version, the underworld is not simply where we go when we die. It’s a kind of corporate dystopia, where Hades rules over workers who have signed over their freedom for a slave-like existence that provides the necessities of life in ... read more
Amber Gray (Persephone) celebrates her life above ground
Reeve Carney (Orpheus) and Eva Noblezada (Eurydice)
Patrick Page as Hades has a voice that comes from unimaginable depths




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