Holiday Break... London

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
1
7
91
Trip End Jun 01, 2012


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Wednesday, December 19, 2007


We landed in London and jumping the train to the center of the city... zone 1... Bloomsbury went quick and efficiently... the boys and Deb and I enjoying being able to understand the language...

An hour later we arrived at St Pancras/King's Cross Train Station... a beautiful neo-gothic marvel... a visual prelude to the pomp and arrogance of a city that has spent many centuries constructing buildings that scream to many visitors about the historical importance and power of this island culture... a culture that has circled the world...
a global empire... today one finds all aspects of those foreign lands that were engulfed into the British Empire strewn throughout the city of London... spicing up every crevice and corner that they reside... making London one of the most flavorful cities of all...

We took a quick and easy black taxi ride to our B&B in the heart of London... and before we settled in for a good night's rest...
scooted down to the local corner store and indulged in a pile of food that could not be found in Turkey... bacon potato chips (crisps) for Aidan, veggie wrap warmed in the microwave for Deb, an aged cheddar cheese sandwich for Carsten and a hunk of Lester cheese and a baguette for me... washed down by sodas for the boys, a spritzer for Deb and a hard cider for me... followed by an array of excellent English chocolate...

After waking up and consuming our traditional English breakfast... beans, bacon, eggs, toast, fried tomatoes with tea or coffee... but only after Aidan had his fill of four servings of bacon... we headed off to the massive building holding the world's greatest depository of looted antiquities... that being the British Museum...
in turn making it one of humanities most fabulous museums... the boys loved the Egyptian collection, especially the halls filled with the hundreds of mummified forms... humans, birds, cats
and other creatures that probably haunt the halls... after the lights go out at the end of the day... We hit the highlights of the museum... making sure to see the famed Rosetta Stone, Easter Island statue, collection of Japanese Samurai armour, the Elgin Marbles... statues that were taken off the Parthenon in Athens... and many Greek, Roman and Lycian antiquities that were removed from various locations throughout Turkey...
of course the boys and Deb were finished long before their social studies teacher of a father and husband was... there is strange sort of drug like addiction that takes over any good social studies nerd while perusing through history... making a trip to the British Museum a virtual drug filled binge... after many "Oh we need to see just one more thing"... my family managed to pull me out into the streets of London...





We spent many days allowing our noses to lead us around to the various smells of the many local... but mostly ethnic foods found throughout... within five days we ate our way around the world...spicy Indian... complex Thai... greasy British fish and chips... fluffy Middle Eastern hummus... fresh Greek salads... rich Belgian chocolate...
mouth watering American pizza... and numerous other gastronomical delights... many of these foods could not have been found within most of Turkey... certainly not in Ankara... particularly the quality... so we indulged in one of the world's great consumer societies... in all it's fattened glory...

One evening was spent taking in London theatre... mind you we have two young boys... bringing a bit of limited choice to the array of productions that would engage them... so we chose STOMP... an excellent choice... for those who have not seen this production... it is done without any verbage... just percussion... using all sorts of junk...
from empty bags, garbage cans, squeaky shoes... and dozens of other stuff... in an offbeat interaction between "street kids" clammoring in an effort to outdo the previous... we were lucky enough to get half price tickets the morning of the production...
at Leicester Square ticket booth... ending up with second row... which in turn prompted two of the musican/artists/rock stars to jump off the stage and pass a few pairs of drum sticks to Carsten and Aidan...
the whole way back to the tube (subway) and the B&B we kept trying to keep the boys from banging on everything from light posts, signs and buildings... I guess it was kind of like an auditory "tagging" romp through the streets of London... better than spray paint I guess...


Tower of London was also a popular choice... the beginning of the British Empire's early days of royal dominance... starting with William the Conquerer's White Tower built around 1078...
and added onto throughout hundreds of years... some of the favored aspects were the beefeater guards,
castle walls, crown jewels,
torture chambers,
armour belonging to man and horse, historical records of the malice deeds of demented kings, beheadings of queens,
the stories of the hauntings of murdered princes and lastly the story about the last prisoner held and executed at the Tower --
Hitler's nazi deputy, Rudolf Hess...

In an effort to make this short(er) and not so wordy I am going to throw this part of our journey into fifth gear...

Our time in London also included riding on the upper heights of a double decker bus past Piccadilly Circus... becoming slightly motion sick from the abrupt stops and swingingly wide turns ---
ice skating on a bed of artificially frozen ice framed by a few palm trees in Kew Gardens...
weird... the tropics in London! --- riding the Tube...
keeping up with the boys as they continually ran to catch the next train --- an audio tour of the National Gallery art museum... the boys choosing the grisly and gruesome paintings to learn about... this angle always seems to work --- climbing the massive lion statues at Trafalgar Square...
hoping the bobbies didn't shoo them off --- walking through Saint James Park at night... on route to Buckingham Palace...
to cold for a changing of the guard... didn't matter... the mock sword fight with sticks beat out the palace... a mere glance by the boys as they continued to swing at each other --- a quick jaunt through Chinatown...
boys grimacing at the fully roasted ducks hanging from the shop windows --- lunch at Cafe in the Crypt at Saint Martin's in the Field... eating relatively cheap gourmet food in the burial crypt within the depths of an old church is strangely satisfying... something about appreciating ones possibly last meal...
I don't know... it might just be that morbid and grisly thing again... it is such a strange draw ---

watching mindless British tele in the evening while munching on junk food... some of the programs ended up being a pre-cursor to a future sex-ed class...
British television is not nearly as filtered as that in the U.S. ... many statements of "groooooss" followed by 8 and 10 year old giggles ---
lastly having the boys pick out one Christmas present each at the World's Greatest Toy Store, Hamley's... a childs dreamland and a parents five story Christmas nightmare... this was mostly due to the fact that C & A didn't quite buy their parent's story about "traveling to London and Denmark being their Christmas present"... but it was worth a try..
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

friendsfanatic
friendsfanatic on

Deja Vu?
Wow. your description definitely reminds me of our trip together to London during my senior year at SAGE. Still one of the best trips I've ever taken, hopefully I can join you the next time you decide to hit up the wonder of London. Thanks for the wonderful memories!!! Mohammed

Add Comment

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: