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Embankment Pier

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    • Day 44

      Flåm

      June 10 in England ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux
      Flåm is quite scenic. We managed to restrict ourselves to taking only 164 photos and videos in the 22 hours we were there, not all of which we plan to share with you.
      Today (2nd June) we catch the Oslo train from Bergen, alight at Myrdal, then board the historic Flåm train. Very crowded. On the side of the train it says “One of the world’s most beautiful train journeys”. Hard to argue. The train line drops from about 900m at Myrdal to just above sea level at Flåm. One of the steepest in the world. It is 20km long and takes about an hour. Not fast. There’s a 5 minute stop at Kjosfossen to admire the waterfall. Spectacular, see video. There’s a dancer high up on the rocks and some haunting Norwegian music.
      When we arrived at Flåm there were people milling around everywhere. Maybe because it is a sunny summer Sunday. We have an apartment booked for the night but check-in is not until 3pm. It is now about 1pm. The entry codes don’t work. We have a fjord cruise starting at 3pm and need to park our suitcases. Ursula phoned head office (in Oslo). They ‘changed the time zone’ then the code worked.
      Flåm itself has the fjord in front but is ringed by steep mountains. Spectacular (overused word, but appropriate). It is actually like a holiday village with some shops, lots of accommodation, a big hotel a couple of restaurants and a food market with lots of temporary stalls.
      Our 2 hour cruise goes down the Nærøyfjord to the little village of Gudvangen. Big electric catamaran with lots of people on board. Stunning scenery as we had expected. There’s a shuttle bus to take us back to Flåm.
      The many tour buses have departed, taking most of the hordes. Flåm is now a lovely village. Very peaceful meal in the pub, followed by a restful night in our apartment, which is about 50m from the railway station, ready for our trip to Oslo tomorrow.
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    • Day 11

      London!

      May 20 in England ⋅ ☀️ 52 °F

      We made it to the Capital City! Soon after checking into our hotel at Charing Cross, we changed our shoes and started walking. We walked along the Thames to Tower Bridge, we walked back to Charing Cross, we took a break and rubbed our feet, then we walked to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Palace of Westminster before kicking off our shoes and calling it a night. Tomorrow, I think we'll ride the "Hop on Hop off" bus just to save our soles!Read more

    • Day 6

      London

      May 3 in England ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

      “Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.” – Elizabeth Drew
      We arrived at 5:30am (thanks flight scheduling) into a grey foggy Heathrow. After a flurry of WhatsApp calls we found our driver for the trip to Highgate. She was Eastern European and did the driving jobs to support her studies. Nice electric SUV.
      Warm welcome by Sue and Blaise. Ursula acclimatised by socialising and a couple of local walks. Tony, for the first time ever feeling poorly after the flight, rested for several hours. Sue: “You looked grey faced with blue blotches”.
      Thursday 2 May. On our first full day in London we completed our Regents Canal walk. The canal runs from Little Venice to Limehouse Basin on the Thames River. We have done 2 previous sections on other trips. Remaining is Islington to Limehouse, right near the apartment in which we used to live.
      There was a little interesting back-tracking and bus travel before we finally found the towpath. Then it was a lovely long walk featuring the canal, locks, a stop for a really nicely made flat white coffee, varied and new housing, lots of narrow boats, long stretches of lovely parks, lots of cyclists and joggers. Walked past our former apartment at Limehouse to Canary Wharf for lunch. Then back home via DLR and bus. We much prefer the slower and cheaper bus over the tube. MUCH more scenic, especially from the big front windows up the top.
      Dinner out with Blaise and Sue at 500 Restaurant. Sounds much classier in Italian – Cinquecento. It is named after the famous Fiat 500. Had a delicious meal there last time we were in London (2017). The restaurant is Sardinian. Caught the bus there and back. Too much to eat. Too much to drink. Perfect. Food still as good.
      Friday 3 May. Grey miserable looking day. After the usual healthy and stimulating breakfast we set off to the Science Museum. (Stimulating because Blaise introduced us to Worldle, another brain game to add to our Waffle and Wordle morning warmups.) For the museum you have to pre-book online because of the large number of tourists. Went by tube this morning and realised why we prefer the bus.
      At South Kensington there is a long tunnel leading to the museum precincts. Full of tourists but protected from the steady but light rain.
      Fascinating few hours here. 3 floors of exhibits. We looked at Science City (1550-1800), Mathematics, Information Age, Flight, and the Energy Revolution. Could have stayed all day.
      Lunch at a café in South Kensington. Whole area was heaving with people. In the evening Sue had invited daughter Jo and Andrew for dinner. Lovely food and very interesting conversation. Late finish.
      On Saturday, 4th May we bussed to Westminster. Walked across the Thames at Lambeth Bridge and along the South Bank walk. The VERY LONG national Covid Memorial Wall lines much of the walk. About 239,000 children and young adults died, and there is a small red heart painted for each one. We were stopped by the seething wall of humanity caused by Westminster itself and The Eye. The uniformed man Tony spoke to said £45 for a ticket ($85.41 Aus). The web says £30 if you book in advance. Further away from the river the crowds die out and we found Archbishop’s Park. Green, peaceful with people playing tennis, hockey and football.
      We are meeting Patrick and Margaret (whom we met on a cycling holiday in France in 1994!) for lunch at the Garden Café in the Garden Museum. Green peaceful setting like the park. Lovely food. Nice to catch up with old friends. Afterwards we had a good look around the museum. Margaret and Tony climbed the 131 steps to the top of the tower. Spectacular views, somewhat cheaper than The Eye.
      Tomorrow, Northern Ireland.
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    • Day 2

      London 2nd

      March 4, 2020 in England ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

      Uff what a City! So many impressions in so little time! Luckily I could sleep through the night even though I shared my room with 20 others and one of them snores so loud that I could hear it through my earplugs...
      Starting my day at 11am means keep walking through the city (you can see it in the map) until 5pm and only taking a break of 30 minutes for a nice coffee. I basically saw every tourist attraction you can imagine which was quite nice but I do hate being a tourist and always try to fit in and behave as a “normal” kid 😄
      It is still challenging to keep looking right first Begierde crossing the street and even taking the stairs on the left side - crazy! Luckily there was no rain... until 2pm - but hey I don’t want to complain the rain could have been heavier!
      Me feet hurt now but hey I just need to explore Anke her city tomorrow 😉
      By the way: I found a host for Bristol and for Fort William and hooked a hostel in Edinburgh (it just looked so cute and was soooo cheap an somehow I just felt like it) - so I just need a host for Cardiff and Glasgow and that’s about it.
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    • Day 5

      Off to the big city

      August 17, 2022 in England ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Today, we started the day with a strange feeling. Yesterday, I switched off the mobile phone, woke up in the night. To look after the time, I started the mobile phone. Bähm... I entered the wrong pin. So, I switched off again and tried it in the morning.
      Bähm... also in the morning I entered the wrong pin again.
      The third time I was so sure. This is it. Bähm... "You entered a wrong pin three times. So, the mobile phone will be locked. Shit, shit, shit... That cannot be true...

      So, because we didn't achieved somebody at home, we had to check out at 10:15 a.m. and drove to the airport. Without taking photos, without playing games on the mobile for Michael...

      Departure from Jersey was planned for 1:50 p.m. Due to very bad weather conditions in London we departed at 2:50 p.m. Arrival at London after a turbulenced flight was at 3:45 p.m.
      There was so much rain there and chaos so that we had to wait in the aircraft for further half an hour. After the busses arrived at the runway there was no steps to went out. So we had to further wait again...
      After preparing the steps a few minutes ago we left the aircraft by heavy rain. So we got wet from top to bottom.

      The Heathrow Express was found quikly, we bought a ticket for 38 pounds (return ticket). After a short journey with three stops we arrived at Paddington Station. It was so crowded, I regret leaving Jersey for this trip to London. Everything was so easy in Jersey, so relaxed. London was crowded, confusing, loud and dirty.
      But we learned that due to that bad weather conditions there was closed a few tube stations and the people gathered en masse everywhere.

      My phone didn't still work so I couldn't took any photos from the crowd.
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    • Day 138

      Day 138 - London (Greenwich), England

      May 7 in England ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

      LONDON (GREENWICH), ENGLAND
      Greenwich, a borough of London, is home to the Royal Observatory. From here, the world's longitude is measured from the prime meridian, and Greenwich Mean Time sets the global time standard. At the port, the clipper ship Cutty Sark, one of Greenwich's renowned historic landmarks, is preserved as a fascinating museum. Upriver, London is home to Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. In addition, this major economic and cultural hub boasts a long tradition of arts and architectural innovation-from Shakespeare's Globe Theater to West End musicals. Discover Greenwich's maritime and royal history by foot. You will join your guide for a walk that will take you past the famous Cutty Sark, the world's only surviving tea clipper and the fastest sailing ship in the world when it was built in 1869, and the Greenwich Market, an eclectic mix of arts and crafts, and street food. Continue on to St. Alfege Church, dedicated to the archbishop of Canterbury who was killed on this spot in 1012 and where Henry VIII was baptized. Then, we stopped for photos at the Queen's House, the first classical building built in England. See the National Maritime Museum, housed in a former royal palace and the world's largest seafaring museum, and the iconic Old Royal Naval College, the architectural centerpiece of Maritime Greenwich.Read more

    • Day 12

      Site seeing in the cold

      November 25, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 43 °F

      Once again, the weather was clear and dry.  However, it was still much colder than Russell was prepared for.  So one of our first stops was to find Russell some earmuffs.  Good thing there were places set up for tourists who came to London unprepared.

      Then we wandered about separately for a while.  I checked out some small Christmas markets and wandered about London streets, while Russell visited the National Portrait Gallery.  I ended up window shopping in a pretty ritzy area.  Saw these really good looking men's dress shores.  They were close to $1000, so they better be good looking!  Eventually, we met up again and did some more wandering.

      There was a large peace protest planned, but we tried to avoid the blocked off roads.  We ended up passing another giant blocked off road where they were filming a movie.  They were filming a car stunt while we were there and we got to see one take where a guy is jumping from the top of one moving car to another speeding vehicle.  I could only see the very beginning of the stunt, but it was still fun to see how much effort goes into about 10 seconds of screen time.

      After several hours of wandering around, we headed back to the hotel before heading to our early dinner reservation.
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    • Day 4

      Walking the Thames

      June 17, 2013 in England ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      The River Thames known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London.
      At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.Read more

    • Day 5

      Mystery cruise!

      June 15 in England ⋅ 🌬 18 °C

      No photos. We didn’t get to the Scilly Isles. Gale force winds and high seas prevented us from visiting yesterday. Instead the ship was diverted to Portland and Weymouth.
      Phoned a friend and headed into Weymouth on the Shuttle bus for coffee and a catch up. Lovely sunny afternoon.
      Back to the ship for Formal night. Posh frock time.
      Question on our lips? Where will we be tomorrow?
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    • Day 576

      In the long run..........

      October 3, 2021 in England ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      It's been a long time---30 months in fact---since the last London Marathon. It's also the 40th anniversary of the first such event. Starting in Greenwich, the route winds through south-east London, crosses the river at Tower Bridge, does a loop around the Isle of Dogs with the home straight taking the runners along the Thames Embankment to St. James's Park.

      Quite apart from the competition of the elite and wheelchair contestants, it's the chance for many thousands of ordinary people to have a good workout, raise money for charity and perhaps have some fun as well. About 40,000 altogether took part.

      These images show the closing stages, with the Houses of Parliament peering from beneath Waterloo Bridge. With the race for the mass start having started around 9.30, most of the runners look exhausted when I arrive at 4 p.m. It's a great free day out for spectators however and a huge achievement for all those who complete the course.
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