So here I write at 6:20 am on a Sunday morning, one week out from our dream trip to England.
Reflections on the time? Summations?
I loved it. There were a few points of tension (not knowing where the car park was in Stratford and not being able to get internet service to reload our Google maps), but all in all, it was beautiful. The itinerary (will I ever be able to spell this word without spell check?) really did go without a hitch. I am so glad I have an active husband. There is no way someone out of shape could have done that (unless they had taken taxis or the Tube from point A to point B).
Some things I would have done differently in London might have been to not do the "City Walk" that Rick Steves' suggested, mainly because it is a very congested area of London. It would have been better to just do it when we were on the Hop On Hop Off bus because we go down the street that is most central in the walk. Maybe doing those walks SUPER early in the morning or in the nighttime. He likes you to do it during the hustle and bustle of the business district, but it was too chaotic for me. We did incorporate this walk with seeing Dr. Johnson's House, which was a nerd treat for me me. I loved the back alleyways around Ye Old Cheshire Cheese and his house too. Of course I like them though because they were QUIET. The noise and chaos of the City of London really was not my cup of tea.
Speaking of tea, I also didn't need to go into Twinings. IMHO it is just a tourist trap for people. That is why just seeing it from the Hop On Hop Off bus would have been more than sufficient! I did like the picture we took though.
I think the Westminster Walk was valuable. Again, it would have been better to do it in the early morning without the hordes of tourists in that area. It was somewhat exciting then though. It was wall-to-wall people on a Sunday afternoon.
So, overall though, I think his walks are a little too overrated and many of the places he mentions are just not that interesting. I would have preferred more leisurely strolls through the many parks. We did that quite a bit too, and it was very fun to do them at night when all the people were out and about, sitting in lounge chairs.
I calculated we walked about 47 miles in London alone, and this is probably more without all the inside walking we did and the towers we climbed!
It was fun to get so much exercise though, and it was all in my Mary Janes. I love those shoes! :)
So, London was a smash hit. The only miscalculation was the British Library. So, if we ever go back there, I will take the Tube directly there and linger longer over the special room. We got to see what we wanted, but it was too rushed for my taste, and it would have just taken a bit less time having tea at the British Museum! DRAT!
The British Museum was also too crowded. I am processing the pictures, and George hardly took any! It is my own fault. I should have just taken the camera. He doesn't think to take pictures of things like I do. There are also no pictures of Handel's rooms. I was shocked that a place so important was not documented by him. Not sure why he did not do it. Oh well.
I would also go to the Charles Dickens Museum. It was just too far out of the way, and we were there on the day when the London Pass was not activated. The other days, it would have been closed by the time we got to it because of all the other things we had going on.
Overall, a great trip in London though. We scored on the hotel. It was so WELL LOCATED. Perfect for everything we needed. It was also clean and comfortable and so thankful we chose air-conditioning over a quaint bed and breakfast that Rick Steves recommends. Solid nights of sleep with no street noise because of having the windows open on a hot and muggy night.
So great! I love traveling with George. He is the easiest travel buddy and always up for an adventure. He doesn't like to overdo it at any one place too. After a while, I get overloaded at reading things at a museum (or listening to audio guides that go on and on and on)
Oh dear, my timer went off, and I did not have the sound on my computer. I better sign off.
Oh by the way, I am reading Bandersnatch, and I love it. Review coming soon!