United Kingdom

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    • Day 3

      Head Over Heels

      September 4, 2022 in England ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

      This morning, we had breakfast and tea on the balcony. From our fifth floor apartment we can see north to the Queen’s Olympic Park. Site of the 2012 Games, the Park runs several urban blocks, north and south. Most noticeable from our vantage point was a twisting, red, metal structure. It was odd enough that it made me curious, so I did a quick google search. It turned out to be the Arcelomittal Orbit. What the heck is that, you ask? It is the world’s longest tunnel slide, conjoined with a fantastical steel structure, created specifically for the Olympic Games. Well, no challenge like that is going unanswered. I immediately purchased tickets for an afternoon ride, and we were off to the Park in minutes.

      We strolled along a series of waterways to reach the Park. Moored to the piers, several long, slender, houseboats filled the narrow rivers. The walk was quiet, despite the bustling avenues a block or two away. Entering the Park on the south side, we walked past the Arcelomittal and the hill that once hosted the medal podium. To our right was a giant, clam shaped building that houses the aquatic center. The building shimmers a blue hue and made me want to take a swim; unfortunately, we were under time constraints. We hustled to the Olympic Rings for a quick picture, before turning around to make our slide appointment. The walk back along the river included cool shade, under oak trees, with coots lazily swimming upstream.

      We arrived for our slide right on time and took the elevator to the launching deck, about 250 feet up. The views were incredible; the outfit, not so much. We had to put on a silly hat that looked like an old time football “helmet.” The old leather ones that you see in black and white photos. Not sure what the point was then or now, but we complied. Along with the head gear, elbow protection was required and made more sense to me. As we waited in line, Kim started to second guess her choice, but I reassured her. Then came the scream from the woman, who had just slipped into the tube. The young man working the entrance of the tube smiled and said, “She’s loving it!” I’m not sure that it was a scream of joy or if she waited for her friends, but it got me even more excited. Restraining myself, I let Kim go first. She nervously pushed off and it was silent, until it wasn’t. Suddenly a prolonged howl emitted from the slide, which I later confirmed was a spontaneous utterance of enjoyment. I came down next, smiling the entire way. It was 600 feet of pure fun that ended way too soon.

      We left the slide and grabbed a quick bite, simultaneously eating and walking to the ABBA arena. We stood in the short line, with lots of platform shoes, before entering the dance floor. Although we got there with ten minutes to spare, somehow we ended up on the railing of the stage, smack in the middle. What? We just got the best dance spot in the house? Uh, yup. We then met Andy, who flew from Australia for the show. As a matter of fact, he came on Friday night and loved it so much that he was back for the matinee today. Although I had worried that my expectations might be unrealistically high, Andy just put me at ease. In only moments, the show started. I can’t really explain what I saw, but it was incredible. Andy and I had waited 40 years for this, so I smacked him on the butt and danced with him to”Does Your Mother Know.” Kim and I bounced up down but when they let loose “Dancing Queen” the entire place erupted. It was bananas. I turned toward the audience, and none of the ticket holders in the seated area were in their chairs. Jumping, shaking, singing, the whole place was deafening. It was like a huge sing-along with 2,999 of your best friends and everyone knows the words. Wow! By the time we left, I was partially deaf, and we were almost back to the apartment by the time I could hear again. Before we left, I asked Andy if he preferred his seat in the back of the Arena on Friday or center stage on the dance floor today. With a huge grin, he said, “This is the best seat in the house!” Then, he paused and leaned in toward me, as though revealing a secret, “I’m supposed to go to the theatre before I leave on Friday, but I might just skip it and come back here.” It was that good. (I have to admit, I looked but couldn’t get tickets for tonight’s show-sold out).
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    • Day 26

      London Calling!

      April 7 in England ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      An meinem ersten Tag in London wurde ich mit klassischem englischen Wetter begrüßt 😄🌧 Am zweiten Tag hatte ich aber mehr Glück und bin dann zum ersten Mal mit einem Hop On Hop Off Bus und dem dazugehörigen Boot gefahren. Es hat wirklich Spaß gemacht, vor allem der Blick von oben auf, sowie vom Wasser aus durch die Stadt war wunderbar 🚍⛴️ Auf meiner Fahrt habe ich viele tolle Orte gesehen und bin natürlich auch an einigen etwas länger geblieben, wie zum Beispiel an der Tower Bridge und dem Tower of London, Westminster und einem meiner Lieblingsplätze, dem St. James Park. An meinem ersten Tag, direkt nach einem kräftigen Regenschauer, zeigte sich die Natur dort von ihrer schönsten Seite und unzählige sehr zutrauliche Eichhörnchen waren unterwegs 🐿 Aber auch im Kensington Park gab es neben dem Palace und wunderschönen Blumenbeeten einen schwarzen Schwan mit gelockten Federn zu sehen 🦢Read more

    • Day 20

      Durch die Tower Bridge!

      April 9, 2022 in England ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

      Das war ein ganz besonderer Moment: Nicht nur weil kaum ein Schiff die Tower Bridge passieren darf sondern vielmehr da wir am Nachmittag zuvor die Hiobsbotschaft erhalten haben, dass aufgrund von Demos und Protestanten die Tower Bridge besetzt wurde. Daher war es ungewiss, ob wir überhaupt am nächsten Morgen durchfahren können. Wir hatten dementsprechend eine schlaflose Nacht vor uns, in der ein neuer Plan mit neuem Anlegehafen und neuen Ausflügen erstellt werden musste. 15h standen letzten Endes auf der "Stechuhr". Glücklicherweise hat dann in London jedoch alles planmäßig geklappt und wir haben uns erstmal ordentlich der einheimischen Küche gewidmet. 😄Read more

    • Day 5

      London (Pt 1 - St Paul's & Tower Bridge)

      July 14 in England ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

      This evening we walked from our hotel next to St Paul's Cathedral to the Tower Bridge (often misidentified as the London Bridge) and then back again via the Globe and the Millennium Bridge. These pictures are of St Paul's, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.Read more

    • Day 2

      Au hasard des rues

      September 24 in England ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Après notre petite visite de Camden nous décidons d'aller visiter le british museum mais finalement la visite tourne court au vu de la file d'attente interminable. Nous cherchons un endroit pour se poser et boire un coup et désespéré nous finissons dans un Nero café (si si Thomas c'est une chaîne !!)
      Finalement comme nous avons rendez vous en fin de journée au Sky garden on décide de marcher le long de la Tamise pour se perdre dans les rues. Bonne initiative on tombe sur des petits quartiers supers sympas et la balade sur les quais est un vrai plaisir.
      À 18h nous arrivons devant le building pour monter au Sky garden. Bon le temps ne nous permettra pas de voir le coucher de soleil mais la vue est quand même plutôt sympa.
      Et enfin nous terminons notre journée par un bon steak au Flat Iron London Bridge faut pas déconner on l'aura mérité avec nos 30 000 pas !!! 🤪
      Allez il est l'heure de regagner notre suite au savoye ! 🤭 Bonne nuit ! Souhaitez-nous bonne chance !!! 🤣
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    • Day 10

      Kleine Ausflüge

      August 6, 2022 in England ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

      Ich bin jetzt in einem anderen Hostel mit einer besseren Lage in London, die Leute sind im Schnitt 10-15 Jahre älter, also bin ich gerade eher für mich. Dazu kommt, dass sich gerade auch eine Erkältung einschleicht, dadurch lasse ich es gerade ein bissen langsamer angehen.Read more

    • Day 107


      July 6, 2022 in England ⋅ ☁️ 73 °F

      Miles: 5.7 Steps: 14784
      Flights stairs: 39

      Spent the day seeing just a few sights. We started with St Paul’s cathedral, another crazy beautiful church. I can’t help but think as I sit in each of these of the waste of resources and space tho. At the time these were built, there were so many people who were in such need. Certainly could have been a better use of the money it seems, then building these massive ornate cathedrals. But, what do I know. 🤔

      We then headed over and took a tour of the Tower Bridge. 432 people worked on the bridge; only 10 people died. For those times, probably not too bad. Walked up and back down 235 steps.

      Then we kept walking and went through the Tower of London - basically a big old mid-evil fort on the waterfront. It had been remade so much (and gift shops added everywhere) that it seemed like it was built this decade. Compared to other historical castles we’ve been thru, somewhat disappointing. The outside looked much more “historic” than the inside, but it was still hard to not notice all of the “improvements” that shouldn’t have been there.

      We bought the “London pass” - basically pay a flat fee to see as many sites you can in 48 hours. It definitely pays off with just a few places because London charges sooo much to see the sites. With the pass, came access to a roofless, double decker “hop on/hop off” bus. It was a great vantage point to see the sites and the modernistic skyline - and fun with the wind in your hair. Nice idea, but in the end didn’t work very well. In London just way too much traffic so we just sat there not moving for much of the trip. 😩 Glad we didn’t actually pay the £40 to use it and that it was “free” with the card.
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    • Day 33

      What a day and what a great night

      October 6 in England ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      Four sleeps to go, so best to make the most of it huh!
      Beth and Kelly went off to get the trench coat Beth has been looking for and which was spotted yesterday. Susie and I had a lovely coffee and croissant at the coffee shop in our driveway…wish I had one on mine….
      Then popped onto a bus no26 the City Mapper said, and off we went looking for the Tate Modern. Got off at the right bus stop, and google maps tried to trick me…but we sussed it out. A short walk and then over the Thames on the bridge, down some steps around the corner and there is was. Now there had also been talk of going to OXO for cocktails on the terrace but Mr google had said it was an hour from the Tate Modern so Susie thought her memory must be going cos she was sure it was just next door!!!! However….as we walked along the bridge I was looking all around and said to Susie…is that tower a clock or does it say OXO. Yes, yes thats it, you can see St Paul’s Cathedral from the terrace! YAY…might have to pop up there for lunch.
      We let Beth know where we were as she was joining us later, so we went into Tate Modern. Amazing space with lots to see. Decided to look at the ‘free’ exhibition first and it was quite interesting. The Otherworld photography exhibition we would wait for Beth before we went in, and she was on her way. She had got on the no 26 as instructed, got off at the correct stop, but due to her crook knee I suggested a Black Cab to bring her to the door. Duly got the thumbs up she was in the cab…and could you take a pic of me getting out please Di…sure thing. Up the ramp I walked out to the front and waited. Now I thought a video would be good…and yep I videoed 3 black cabs arriving and no Beth wasn’t in any of them! But at last she arrived and did a great photo shoot.
      We then all went and looked at the exhibition, you had to pay to view, but I said to the guy, i am an old person do I get a discount…he said oh yes you do..so we all got the pensioners rates!
      I’m not really an art buff, but it was interesting, some of it quite confronting, some of it just weird. But each to their own.
      That job done, we were off to the OXO bar… and it was just amazing. We all had a cocktail, Beth -Pornstar Martini, Susie - Regular Margarita, and I had the 8th Floor Smash. Trouble was Susie quite liked the Pornstar, and quite a few ‘tastes’ was had. Finally they just swapped. Beth and I had another cocktail each, I tried a new one I think called Bombay Rain, and Beth had a Margarita. We were all VERY happy, giggly and had fun. Small lunch was delicious.
      Decided catching a Black Cab home was the best option and a quick rest before makeup lights and action, to get back to the Theatre district for dinner and drinks before our Tina Turner Musical. Lulu has rejoined us for the show as well so good to catch up on her shenanigans all over the place. We saw Gino’s restaurant on our way to dinner so couldn’t resist a pic.
      Wow wow wow, could not recommend seeing this musical enough. It was just fantastic. A very real portrayal of her life, no holds barred. Instructions were to not sing and to remain in your seat…was very difficult to do. Such amazing voices. Very talented people.
      A really great way to end the day.
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    • Day 8

      Tower of London

      May 3, 2022 in England ⋅ ⛅ 50 °F

      We had the BEST Beefeater tour guide. We walked right into the Tower of London as he was starting off. He's beefy409 on Facebook.

      This is the place of kings, queens, and executions. The crown jewels are houses here (no pictures allowed).

      The Beefeaters are the Queen's personal guard and still live here. They must serve 20 years in the armed forces before being able to apply. More people have been to space than have become Beefeaters.

      Legend has it that as long as the ravens still live at the Tower, England will not fall.
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    • Day 2–3


      September 30 in England ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

      Wandering around London:

      Morning walk along Southbank, Tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Looking at Art (and looking at people taking pictures of themselves 'looking' at art) at Tate Modern, People watching in Green Square and stumbling across the cutest church-converted-garden museum with great views from its tower.

      Fun Fact of the Day: It's a bad idea to launch a cannon for fun in a building made of wood and straw.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Southwark, SWK

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