United Kingdom

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  • Day1

    London by night and Wicked

    January 5 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 4 °C

    After a couple of hours of nap, we went to the local pub called The Swan. A huge gin menu but didn’t indulge since I knew I would sleep during the play. Of course we had to have fish and chips with mushy peas and shared a Black Forest dome which is really just a layer of chocolate mousse, a layer of cherry mousse and a layer of cream mousse formed like half a ball. The dessert size is small and logical not like the huge portions at home. Then off to the Apollo Victoria Theatre to see Wicked. I usually read up on these things but had not this time. Surprise ending. Loved it. The subway ride back was so quick, 22 minutes. We should have one in Winnipeg. Now for a big sleep in preparation for more sightseeing tomorrow.Read more

  • Day3

    Last day in London

    January 7 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    Set the alarm for 8. Good thing because too much caffeine too late in the day messed up my sleep. Went to the shopping district, walked through Selfridge’s department store — bigger and more expensive than Saks Fifth Avenue. Also found Marks and Spencer’s— more sensible and affordable, a reminder of when we had M & S in Polo Park. The donuts were 4£ each, that’s roughly $7 each! Walked past the Marble Arch and through Hyde Park where I found the squirrel, the maple leafs and the irises. The parrots came back but didn’t stop because we didn’t have peanuts for them. Then back to our hotel to pack our bags and rest before the train trip to Huddersfield at 1:30.Read more

  • Day60


    June 9, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    A late start from the day, slept until almost 9AM!! To bed after midnight 2 nights in a row is highly unusual for me. Today is a double header theater day so down to the West End for a bit of shopping and the first play at 2:30PM.

    Was in search for a tie for a friend of mine and have been looking since Milan as the criteria are quite specific. Finally found what I have been looking for in the Saville Row environs of London. Quite the area, all high end men's clothing stores. It was a fun find. Then to the matinee for today, The Moderate Soprano. The drama is a new play and the sometimes funny story of John Christie, who built and founded the Glyndebourne Opera house in pre-war Sussex. A touching love story as well and very well done.

    Found my way back to the Southbank and the busy area around the National Theater. Spent an hour watching the fascinating scenes around me with a glass of wine. Had a lovely pre-show dinner in the Terrace Restaurant at the theater - small plates, wonderful Croquettes and an asparagus salad. Tonight's show was Julie, an old drama by August Strindberg - Miss Julie, con temporized to modern day London. Vanessa Kirby, Princess Margaret in The Crown, was the lead and outstanding. The play is rather depressing but the acting and staging was terrific. A thoroughly enjoyable day.

    Miles: 5.7
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  • Day15

    Staying Local

    September 18, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    I decided to explore the local area a bit today. I started out with Kensington gardens and palace. Even following google maps I had to turn around twice. The gardens weren’t that exciting although I didn’t explore them fully.
    The palace was interesting, highlighted were William and Mary’s rooms, Victoria’s rooms and an exhibition of Diana’s outfits. I’d forgotten that Kensington Palace was where Victoria was born and raised as a child. It was all very interesting. I wasn’t all that interested in Diana’s outfits but quite enjoyed it. They looked quite different in person.

    I had lunch at the palace, soup and a slice of Victoria sponge (the Queen’s favourite). It was a bit hard to eat as there were wasps around but as no one seemed all that bothered by them I ignored them.

    I headed over to Portobello rd to take a look at the market. It wasn’t one of the main days but there was still quite a lot there. I needed the toilet so ended up in a distillery. I had a very nice berry summer drink but no alcohol.

    Last stop for the day was the physiotherapist. I’ve been in quite a bit of pain with my calf muscle. It’s just a sprain though and already feeling better. I’m going back tomorrow for a proper massage.
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  • Day2


    August 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅

    Beautiful weather and clear blue skies awaited us in London. Getting in early meant we had to put in a full day before going to bed, so that's what we did. Luckily for us, the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's biggest street party, was hotting up just as we were about to head out, basically right on our door step.

    First stop though was to buy a data pack, and with that in hand we were on our way.

    The end of the main street was being cordoned off ready for the parade, so we just had to follow the crowd and wait. The Carnival is a celebration of the Caribbean culture, so there was plenty of colour and lots of loud horn blowing (called vuvuzela). There were loads of people and when Craig went out later in the evening to forage for food, he felt as though he was in a distopian movie as there were so many people moving around. Finn commented his first impression is that people in London all travel in "gangs".

    Unfortunately the parade wasn't quite as coordinated as we would have hoped, so to save waiting around, we watched the first little bit and headed off through Hyde Park on our way to the Natural History Museum. Contrary to my sister's experience, we walked right in without lining up for an hour.

    After that, we went next door to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and ended up having some scones with clotted cream and jam in a rather ornate tea room.

    By this time, the feet were getting weary, so we jumped on a bus and headed home for an early night. Given we are at the tail end of summer, we were in bed before the sun went down (which the children thought was peculiar).
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  • Day14

    To London

    September 17, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    Just one night in Paris. The Eurostar was closed over the weekend for maintenance otherwise I would have travelled straight through to London. I didn’t do much in Paris. I managed to navigate my way from Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord but I was grateful for the experience 2 years ago in using the French railway system. My hotel was by Gare du Nord, an area like many that surround train stations. I did find a really good vegetarian Indian restaurant for tea though.
    The train ride was uneventful, I watched a movie “The Angels’ Share” which was set in Glasgow and came with sub titles.

    My visit to London is really just a transit to Ireland but also to break up the travel. I’m staying in an interesting area. I got off the train at Paddington and to get to the hotel I passed through what look like council flats to get to Prince’s Square. The immediate surroundings are more gentrified.

    I stopped for lunch at a pub. I gave the fish, chips and mushy peas a try to see if either my tastes have changed or they way they prepare the mushy peas has. Alas no, I still don’t like mushy peas. The fish and chips was okay though.

    The hotel is actually serviced apartments. I’d say it is several buildings joined together and a real rabbit warren. I’m in the basement. I’d booked a studio (one room) but have a two room apartment. The kitchen/living are is connected to the bedroom/bathroom via a corridor. I also found a bed made up in the living area. It takes up most of the area and I can’t help wondering if the room was actually prepared for someone else who didn’t like it. When I stopped at reception the two people in front of me were both complaining about their rooms. I’ve asked that they return the extra bed to a sofa tomorrow. It was nice having a home cooked meal.
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  • Day16

    Natural History Museum and a Chalet Meet

    September 19, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    This morning I intended to head to the Victoria and Albert Museum however my route took me past the Natural History Museum and it was such a beautiful building I decided to go in.
    It would be easy to look at the exhibits through modern eyes and disapprove of the taking of so many specimens from around the world but looking at it from the times it was done it is pretty amazing. I suspect I only saw a small part of the museum, it is huge with so many exhibits.

    I did get to see stuffed dodos and a great auk.
    The gems were interesting. I got excited when I saw the famous diamonds but they were only models. Seeing a rough diamond and then the polished version I don’t think I’d recognise one in the wild.

    The building itself is worth the visit. It was apparently designed to be a cathedral to nature and it is beautiful.

    I cut my visit short as I had to go to my physio appointment. Hopefully the massage will improve things.

    This evening I went to the London Chalet Meeting. Many of you already know that I collect children’s school stories from the early-mid 20th Century. One of the main series is the Chalet School. It influenced where I stayed in Switzerland as the school is set in the Interlaken region in the later books (and set in Pertisau in the earlier books, hence my visit in 2016).
    It took some courage to go to a meeting of people I didn’t know but I knew they’d be “my people” and they were. I had a lovely evening discussing medical disasters in girls own books amongst other things. I did let Australia down by not having read The Silver Brumby and Ivan Southall though!
    I did get to see synthetic maps (which will only be of interest to other Chalet fans). They were more or less what I imagined but it was interesting to see them in the flesh.
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  • Day61


    June 10, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

    Up and out for a day in London parks. Had brunch out this AM, was tired of my yogurt, berries and cereal and ready for something more substantial. Had mashed avocado on toast with poached eggs and smoked salmon!! Should last all day. Then off to Regent's park, the primary reason, to get tickets to Peter Pan in the park's open air theater this afternoon. Regent's Park is known for its Rose Garden. The roses are still beautiful, maybe a week past their prime. Picture do not do them justice but a lovely walk thru the roses on a warm, sunny day in London. Sold out for the afternoon show today so got tickets for this evening. Back to flat for my phone charger and off to walk the famous parks of central London. Took tube to St. James station and walked through St. James, Green, Hyde parks and Kensington Gardens. Lots of sights to see as usual. Always something new going on. Lots of Londoners taking advantage of this Sunday afternoon. The spring flowers are gone but still beautiful roses, lots of lavender and of course the English gardens with grasses and shrubbery that they manage to put into such lovely pictures. On the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, Christos has an installation that is set to open on June 18. Especially meaningful as 4 of us went to his last installation, the Floating Piers, on Lake Iseo 2 years ago. This one is colorful barrels that are being fit together into a huge pyramid (with the top cut off). See pic. It will float around the lake all summer! A stop for frozen yogurt and a rest in the lawn chairs that are stationed at various places in the parks.

    Back to flat to grab something to eat and back out to Regents Park for Peter Pan. An open air theater and the entire experience was terrific. The show is very hard to explain. A dark remake of Peter Pan WWI with the opening and closing scenes in a field hospital in France with the war going on around it. The fantasy scenes, pirates, flying children were spectacular. The interpretation takes the concept of children that do not want to grow up from Peter Pan and compares to the young men (mostly) that lost their lives so early in WWI for Britain. It never fails to amaze me how these playwrights think of these things. An evening to remember. Website if you want to know more. https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/peter-pan-review

    Miles: 10.3!!
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  • Day7

    Meet Dick.

    April 28, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅

    This bus driver was a dick, and I don't mean his name was Richard.

    Left us standing outside in the rain while he played with his cell phone for 10 mins. I get that bus isn't set to leave for 10 more mins, but could we not sit inside the bus? He let us in right at the pull away time and not a moment sooner.Read more

  • Day30

    Notting Hill

    July 31, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

    Decided to walk to Notting Hill today, tried to look like Julia Roberts but couldn’t find Hugh Grant so had to give that up!!! Ha ha. Walked the length of Portobello Road, looking very drab and every stall holder was either Indian or Middle East. I was a little disappointed but it has been done now. Very busy today. Went across to Hyde Park again, today very busy, probably because the weather is a little better. I spent some time organising to do research when I get back here and rang a couple of relatives, so all good. Catch the train to Ely in Cambridgeshire at 10 tomorrow morning. Looking forward to being up there again.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Bayswater, בייזווטר, बेज़वॉटर, ベイズウォーター, بیزواٹر

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