4.19.09 Last London Day

London Travel Blog

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4.19.09    Last London Day


Today’s Bus Antics:  Running for the wrong bus- yes, complete with waving and watching the bus pull away as we were at the door.  It’s a good thing too- we were on the wrong side of the road!  Ha!


Another lovely day- we cleaned and organized Sugar today.  rode the bus and tube to London Bridge.  A short walk got us to a long queue (line) at Shakespeare’s Birthday celebration day at The Globe.  Fortunately, it went very quickly, the volunteers were very festive, and we really enjoyed our time exploring the exhibits, seeing the costumes, and watching volunteers reading sonnets on stage. 


We walked The Queens Walk along the river west from the Millennium Pedestrian Bridge, where we hadn’t yet walked.  Street performers, a book fair, and tons of people were enjoying this delightful stroll on a lovely Sunday spring afternoon. 


We rode the London Eye!  We really enjoyed the experience.  While I’d thought it would be a tourist trap, three locals have told me they’ve done it and recommend it.  So we took their advice and had a lovely ride.  The wheel never stops and takes a full half hour to get the one time around.  So the “world’s largest farris wheel” is in no way scary, just really pretty.  We bought tickets and could return anytime before 8pm for our ride.


So we walked further west, across the Waterloo Bridge, and found a Tesco Express- just what we wanted!  Tesco has some really good, inexpensive prepared picnic foods:  roasted chicken with honey mustard pasta, barbequed chicken and bacon pasta, then we also bought 2 baguettes, a selection of British cheese, milks, and a huge Cadbury chocolate bar for our goal of 10L total.  It was really good and we could not eat it all.  We calculated that had we bought just the food we needed, the four of us probably could have eaten for 7.50L.  We are still perfecting our picnicking skills.


We crossed the Waterloo Bridge again and sat on the marble wall overlooking the riverwalk.  It was a lovely view with Big Ben sounding out our time for us.  We laughed that it chimed the “Westminster Chime” before the time – since it is part of Westminster!


Then we wandered back to the Eye and had a delightful ride.  The view was outstanding, the timing of 6:30 – 7:00 pm was close enough to sunset to be really pretty.  Our cabinmates- there can be up to 30 in each eye (pod) – spoke many different languages, but we managed to take pictures for each other and laughed when we were all turned the wrong way for our pod’s picture at the end.


Then we caught the bus (the right one after our first attempt at the wrong one), which was really full as the city emptied and made it back home to the campground.  We were so grateful that we got to spend the entire week at this campground!  We love knowing the transportation and the people are so very nice.  We just love it here.


I sought help at the campground office when I went to switch over the propane, but it came out the plug as I tried to open it.  It turns out that the Calor Gas that I bought in Salisbury is the wrong type of fitting.  Ugh!  Again!  This one is a “British” style where the rings on the canister are too deep and the opening too large for my Irish regulator to fit.  Besides that, the canister is significantly smaller than the Irish canister.  No wonder it cost less.  No, I did not see this when I bought it because I was paying while Jazy was supervising installation.  I’m sure she gets it from me though.  Ned would have caught all of these propane issues.


So now we have an empty Irish container and a full, but unusable, British container.  The kind, Dave, at the office gave me the Calor Gas number to call tomorrow to get a suggestion as to how to handle it. 


Nice Jackie, at the office, is letting us borrow her Delongi electric heater.  It is awesome!  We want to buy one and just stay in campgrounds with electric.  Then we just need propane for the stove and shower water heater.  Given how nice the showers and dish washing facilities are at these European campgrounds, we might just use theirs.  I could use the microwave to cook with electric.  Given the price of Propane, we might find it just as cost effective.  It’s about 30L for gas that lasts 5-7 days.


Still, I’m sure we’ll want propane.  We probably should just survive until France and then find an Irish to French adapter.  It seems silly to worry over an English tank when we’ll only spend one more night in the UK after tonight.  But I’ll call tomorrow (with my phone card at the payphone) to the local Calor Gas to get their advice.  Maybe there’s a plant where they can refill my Irish and trade out my unusable English tank along our way to Leeds and Canterbury.  One can hope!  How do you say “Propane” in French again?


We are somewhat sad to be leaving London. Sad because we didn’t get to do everything:  Kew Gardens (UNESCO), the Maritime Museum, the Science Museum, the National Gallery again, another theatre show, etc.  But we know that we cannot do it all in one trip and we are pleased we spent some time just walking around and exploring.


Here are highlights of fun things we did in London:


  • Les Miserable- incredible show at the Queens Theatre
  • British Museum- Rosetta Stone, mummies, etc
  • Royal Observatory and seeing the clock in Greenwich (UNESCO)
  • Cambridge day trip- King’s College Chapel, Saturday Market, Arts & Crafts market
  • Chinatown Dinner
  • Harrod’s - Champagne Afternoon Tea
  • Harry Potter- Platform 9 and Âľ at King’s Cross rail station
  • Pub Grub- at oldest London pub - Lord of Moon on the Mall (Whitehall at Trafalger)
  • Shakespeare’s birthday celebration at The Globe
  • Church Service at St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Riding the London Eye at sunset
  • Walking around Westminster Abbey and Cathedral (UNESCO)
  • Walking around Tower Bridge and Tower of London (UNESCO)
  • Hamley’s – Britain’s largest toy store- twice
  • Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
  • Hyde Park walks
  • 10 Downing Street
  • Transportation:  Double-decker buses, the tube, and the train, and personally drove the motorhome through London’s Central Zone
  • Crystal Palace Park- dinosaur park, biking, lakes, and stage
  • Lewisham- my walk down memory lane- old apartment and Lewisham Hill
  • Met, and been assisted by, many very nice people along the way- going in the grocery stores, riding the buses, and experiencing life as a local makes it real


It has been a fabulous week!  We leave here pleased with what we’ve seen and done to experience this great city!







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photo by: ulysses