London under siege

Trip Start Mar 28, 2009
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Trip End Apr 14, 2009


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, April 3, 2009

Obama mania and the G20 summit hit London at the same time - what a combination for me. I really wanted to get close enough to Barack Obama to see him but I didn't want to risk my life for it. With that in mind I decided that I would avoid the Square Mile i.e. the oldest part of London and the heart of the London financial district for the next two days. Seems like a good plan - lets implement it. As a comment, the protesters at the G20 summit are protesting against capitalistic system that has resulted in the global recession. The result as we all know has been that there have been numerous bail out packages for the ailing financial systems. The protest action that they took is meant to shut down the economy of London for at least the duration of the summit - which is ironic because all those people who can't work, can't put money back in the economy and the result is a deepening recession. I see the logic in that. Enough of my rambling (which did have a purpose - I promise) , I will get off my soap box and tell you about my travels ;)

We spent the day in Kensington, far from the G20 protesters yet still enjoying the sightseeing that comes with being a traveler / tourist. Well I spent some money in the English economy and wandered through what is really quaint street (with great shopping). It is very easy to believe that we have been transported to the Georgian  era and some gentlemen in a horse and carriage is going to pass you by. The houses are all still very Georgian to Victorian in architecture and I found it to be quite romantic. From High Street Kensington, we wandered into the immaculate Kensington gardens and to Kensington palace. I have to admit,I found Kensington Palace to be informative but disappointing. I learned a great deal about the debutantes (which kept me in the Victorian age for a bit)  and saw Queen Mary's boudoir but other than that it was not very inspirational. King William moved into Kensington Palace because he suffered from asthma and as we emerged from the palace I realized that much of the reason that King William of Orange moved here is still intact and that is truly remarkable. We ended the day in the immaculate grounds of Kensington Palace watching the world go by. It was then that I realized that I truly enjoyed this wonderful Spring day in a chilly London.

Day two of the G20 protests - and know what do you if you want to avoid the mess.You go the Science Museum!!!!We also needed to be close by to the hotel as we had tickets to watch Phantom of the Opera in West End. The Science Museum left me with very sore feet and feeling like a kid again. There was so much to see, experience and discover. It can be information overload if you are not careful. I decided on the divide and conquer strategy - picked those things that I wanted to see and enjoyed them all thoroughly. We left the museum and realized we needed some rest before our night out at the theater. The play and the music is something that I extremely familiar with but it still managed to delight me. The sets and the music were awesome but it does come with a warning - this kind of theater is not for everybody. As I laid my weary head on the pillow that night, I became acutely aware of how blessed I am to experience all of this.
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