Monday, April 23, 2018

London-Scotland: warning vacation photos

For Christmas, I bought us tickets to London. Warren was very surprised. We stayed most of our time there an old hotel with a lumpy hard mattress in a very small room, but still managed to have a great time. I had been forewarned to bring along a top sheet, as they hotels don't usually use them, they just have duvet covers on comforters & it's too warm for people from Alaska, who like to sleep in a cool room. Thank God I listened to the piece of advice.
We stayed near the Marble Arch, which sets in the northeast corner of Hyde Park, & is very near Kensington Palace & Buckingham palace. We walked a LOT. The first day we walked about 5 miles. Not so smart, because & ran out of steam fast after that & didn't make very good use of our London Passes.

 London is so full of historic buildings, & amazing architecture.

 Below is Chris, our guide on the Sherlock Holmes bus tour that I booked for our first full day. It was a great introduction to the area, & fun to see so many places in person that we've seen on TV & in movies. This tour was about the BBC version of Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch.

One of the places we went was the Borough Market. The first stall on my right welcomed me with my father's middle & last name.

Below is the hospital building where Molly works in Sherlock, & the same place that Sherlock takes a dive off of to commit "suicide".

 The spot where he lands is covered with graffiti from people all around the world. (no we didn't add our names-the practice is discouraged) 

After all of our hiking Warren found a beer he liked. It turned out to be his favorite  It was served cold, & had hints of coffee & chocolate. We ate here twice-The Grazing Goat.

The only thing we really used our London Pass on was the Tower of London. We saw the Crown Jewels (no photos) & had a rainy day, but really enjoyed it in spite of the Jet-lag

The Beefeaters were friendly & kind of cute

These animals were sculpted from chicken wire. There was a bunch of them & they were amazing

A Jester put on quite a show. He used what smelled like Kerosene, & I kept wondering when he will end up with oral or lung cancer from doing this act. It was crazy!

Yes, there are still ravens at the Tower

I had a horrified fascination with the emergency vehicles trying to negotiate traffic. People don't pull over to let them pass, they just keep moving with the flow. They had medics on motorcycles that wove through traffic ahead of the ambulances, who could get to the scene first & start triage & stabilize where they can.

On our first Sunday we had the traditional "Sunday Roast" chicken at the local pub. It was served with mashed sweet potatoes, creamy cauliflower, roast potatoes & Yorkshire pudding & gravy.

This Sticky Toffee Pudding was my favorite dessert out of everything we tried while there.
Warren went for the chocolate mousse

Every morning we had coffee at the local barista.

We went to Madame Tussauds on our first Monday. It was fun seeing the figures, that looked so real, but I found I was very claustrophobic while we were there. There were 7 different lines outside, depending on if you had a ticket, & what type it was. I discovered that the London Pass was no good for this, so should have gone somewhere else this day. After standing in line for 45 minutes or so, (it really felt like waiting for a right at Disneyland, only cooler). We were herded through a maze of narrow stairs & hallways.1000s of people packed tight. All I could think of, if this place ever caught fire, or the power went out we would be in big trouble. When we got into a large room full of displays, we had trouble finding the exits. I was in near panic mode when we finally got out of there.

Hyde Park ended up being one of my favorite places.

I left a Ladybug stone from Homer, that I had painted , for someone to find near Diana's memorial.

The birds in the park were fun to watch.

Smoked salmon. No idea where I ate this!

Wednesday we did another movie tour. This time it was Harry Potter.

We walked on the Millenium Bridge form the Deathly Hallows opening.

We went to the Leadenhall Market, where Harry & Hagrid went to the Leaky Cauldron & Diagon Alley.

& we visited outside the Ministry for Magic.

The highlight of the trip for me, was the 2 nights we attended the Cursed Child Play' It was truly MAGICAL! We stayed at the St Giles Hotel for the 2 nights of the play. It was really nice. & the bed so much better!
We got to Platform 9 3/4 early in the morning before to cart was put in place, but had to get at least one shot in. This was our 3rd stop at King's Cross, but the first time we could get near P 9 3/4. There is always a line of people waiting to snap pictures. We were on our way to Scotland for a couple of days.
Kings Cross Station. This was fun seeing the real thing, especially after 2 nights at the play. Note the arches with the circles were used in the stage production. They would slide in & out, & go from Kings Cross to the Dark Forrest. It was amazing how they did it.

We made it to edinburgh, later in the day than planned, because someone had been hit by a train & mucked up the line. People had to stand because they put us on a full train, so we made it in too late to go to any of the sights I had wanted to try & get to.

The Blue Indigo Hotel where I booked our 2 nights in Edinburgh was beautiful. It was the best place we stayed on the whole trip.

View from the window. Across the street was the train station.

We got to Edinburgh just a little early for dinner, so we stopped in a Pub & had an appetizer of musels in garlic sauce.

Dinner that night was at Dishoom, an Indian food place. It was delicious!!!

The dessert that I had was a play on Eton Mess. It's meringue pieces, with clotted creme & strawberries, but the twist here was a rose syrup . I was a little odd eating something so flowery, but the burps after tasted & smelled like roses!

 I'm sure by now, if you've read all of this, you are sick of my vacation. There are a few days left, but I'm tired of sitting at his computer, so will spare you the rest until another day. Cheers!