Wednesday, May 2, 2012

London, England - 2006 Trip

I'm writing this today in 2010, so my memory may be a bit fuzzy.

In 2006, my husband and I decided to stay in London for a few days after IPEX.  I was looking forward to London.  I've read many books set in London, and had an image in my head.  Uh oh!  Expectations!  We know where this is going...

My strongest memory about our time in London is that I couldn't get warm.  I was cold all the time.  Hot tea, hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot baths, hot showers, indoor activities.  We even went shopping for sweaters, so I would dress warmer.  Nothing worked.  I was just plain cold.  I shivered until my skin actually became sensitive and then I shivered some more.  I have no idea why.  My husband wasn't that cold and neither were any of the people we met.

My second strongest memory is the word "check".  We were racing around to see the things we were "supposed" to see - the can't miss for tourists.  Every time my husband finished photographing one, he'd say "check" and we'd be off to find the next one.  Much of the trip became a bit of a blur for me.


  

I know we saw Big Ben - we have photos.
 
I know we saw the London Bridge - we have photos.
 
We rode the London Eye.  That I actually remember.  It was fun and the views were great.  For those who don't know, the London Eye is a huge ferris wheel with glass cars that you buy tickets to ride.  The cars look quite large until they're filled with people. Then you do the best you can to see around people - at my height there's rarely over people's heads.
 
We took photos outside Buckingham Palace and in a field of flowers nearby - I want to say daffodils.

We visited Harrods where we took photos of the the Dodi and Diana Memorial.  We looked at the jewelry and tried on overpriced clothing.  We bought ice cream and hot drinks.

We visited Piccadilly Square - again I have pictures.

We visited Tate Modern Art Gallery.  There was some really cool artwork there to view as well as some fairly odd stuff, but that's okay.  Artistic expression is all about studying the contrasts of our world and how they fit together.

I usually review all the restaurants from our trips - or at least most.  In this case, there was only one restaurant that was memorable.  We stumbled on it by accident, and I no longer remember the name.  It was a little Indian place with tasteful decor and tasty food.

Our hotel, Hotel Saint Gregory (now Crowne Plaza London Shoreditch) was really nice though it bordered an area that seemed to be undergoing a revitalization.  There was a lot of construction going on when we were there.  Our room was clean and comfortable.  The decor was modern and inviting.

So, all in all, I think it would've been more enjoyable if we'd been less hung up on making it to see the touristy stuff. We ran around so much during the day that by the time we finished dinner (usually around 9:30 or 10), we were too tired to even attempt to enjoy the night life.  So, my advice if you're going to London, don't worry so much about the stuff you think you "should" see and concentrate on the things you really want to do.

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