Before we move out we had to take a walk to Abbey Road, only 1 mile away. Oh...by the way...here is the street our apartment was one. It is one of the apartments on the right.
Saturday, 7 December 2019
Today we move out of this AirBnB and move into a different one. It was a bit hard to find a place that was available for 3 weeks, so I had to break it into 2 places. No big deal.
Before we move out we had to take a walk to Abbey Road, only 1 mile away. Oh...by the way...here is the street our apartment was one. It is one of the apartments on the right.
Here we are at Abbey Road Shop, just a gift shop in front of the studio trying to sell things to tourists. We didn't even go inside, we just thought the sign was cool.
Ah...here is Abbey Road Studio. The Beatles recorded here throughout the 1960s.
And now the obligatory photo of us crossing Abbey Road. There was too many people and traffic for us to take a photo of the two of us together, so this is all we got. Tim actually did a better job framing the photo closer to the Beatles' photo.
We returned to the apartment, grabbed our bags, and headed to our new AirBnB. Taking the Underground to the Overground to the Imperial Wharf station took us about 1 hour. The apartment is just a 2 minute walk to the station making it very convenient. Here is the living area of our new place. Not too exciting, but the bed was really comfortable.
We decided to take the rest of the day off and not go out. Tomorrow we will check out the Victoria & Albert Museum along with a walk through Hyde Park. Until then...
Friday, 6 December 2019
The British Library and British Museum is only a 15 minute walk between them, so it makes sense to do these on the same day. So, let's get going. We arrived at the library just after 11 AM. It was a bit rainy, so a good day to spend inside. Outside the library is a cool sculpture of Sir Issac Newton measuring the universe.
The first room we explored is the maps room. The room was filled with incredibly interesting maps from different periods of time. We must have spent at least an hour here.
Tim liked this map dating to 1506. It is the earliest know printed world map to show America, represented as an extension of Asia, stretching across the North Atlantic. Note this is just 12 years after Columbus' voyage.
I know...interesting...right? That's why we spent so much time in this room.
The next room was Sacred Texts, Art of Book, Printing, Magna Carta, Art and Science, Historical Documents, English Literature, Shakespeare, The Beatles, and Music...just as interesting as well. Here is some of the highlights:
The Gutenberg Bible (1454). The intricate lettering and drawings were done by hand. By the way, this is 1 of only 49 Gutenberg Bibles that exist.
The Codex Sinaiticus from year 350. This is one of the oldest compete bible in existence and is written in Greek.
The Magna Carta (1215). This is not one of the four originals , but a copy dating from the same year as the Magna Carta. The British Library does have an original, but it was burned and impossible to read.
Shakespeare's First Foilo (1623). This book was put together after Shakespeare's death by friends. This folio includes 36 plays of which 18 would have probably been lost forever.
Johann Sebastian Bach's "Where should I flee" (1724). Pretty cool to see the actual sheet music written by Bach.
After 1.5 hours we had our share of documents and maps and such, so we headed out and walked to the British Museum. This place is huge. RIck Steves has a tour in the guidebook that he promises we will see the highlights in 2 hours. We arrived just after 1:30 PM so we should be done by 3:30 PM. Uhm...no. We actually left the museum at 6 PM...4.5 hours after we arrived. I told you this place was big. Tim took almost 80 photos, and here they are. Just joking...here are some of the highlights.
WOW! The actual ROSETTA STONE!
This is an actual beard piece of the Great Sphinx that stands with the Great Pyramids in Cairo.
This is the Two-headed Winged Lion. There is another one on the other side of the archway. When you walk through the arch, you enter Ashurnasirpal II's Palace at Nimrod. It is set up so you can picture what the actual palace looked like with panels of battle scenes along the walls.
When you exit the palace, there are the Two-Winged Bulls from the Palace of Sargon, then you enter the North Palace of Ashurbanipal with panels depicting a royal lion hunt.
There is a whole room set up to resemble Parthenon. While the actually Parthenon is standing in Athens, Greece, many of the Parthenon's best sculptures are here, in the British Museum.
This is Lindow Man (AKA the Bog Man). He was used as a Druid human-sacrifice and was preserved for 2,000 years in a peat bog. He was found in 1984.
This helmet is from the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial. The ship-burial probably dates to teh early 7th century and was excavated in 1939. The museum has a collection of things that were found in the ship-burial site, including this very cool helmet. As quoted from the Wikipedia article:
It [the helmet] is described as "the most iconic object" from "one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries ever made," and perhaps the most important known Anglo-Saxon artifact.
Can you believe it is now 6 PM?!? 4.5 hours of walking around the British Museum. We are done. As we leave, we look back at this amazing museum.
We took the Underground back to the apartment and made dinner. This is our last night in this AirBnB. Tomorrow we move to another apartment for the rest of our time in London. Until then...
Thursday, 5 December 2019
Today I want to buy tickets for a show in one of the West End theaters. West End is London's equivalent of Broadway, but the tickets are more affordable. Like Broadway, West End has a TKTS booth that sells same day show tickets at discounted prices, so that is our destination...the TKTS booth. Conveniently, Rick Steves has a walking tour in the guidebook that begins at Leicester Square, exactly where the TKTS booth is, so we took the Underground and popped up right in Leicester Square. It wasn't Broadway, but there was a Broadway-esque sign:
The signs and lights might not be better than Broadway, but there is a nice pedestrian area which NYC doesn't provide.
Aha...we found the TKTS booth. I managed to get tickets to see the musical "The Man in the White Suit" for $33 each...great price. The show starts at 7:30 PM, so we have the next 9 hours to sight-see. Cool! Our walking tour took us right past our theater for tonight. We will return soon.
We continued walking at arrived at Covent Garden. A market has been here since the medieval times.
Tiffany & Company set up a winter wonderland outside the covered marketplace that even had a small skating rink.
This intersection is called "Seven Dials"...notice the 7 sundials at the top of the structure. Seven small streets intersect here.
This is Cambridge Circus. Check out the really nice red-brick Victorian architecture, one of which is home to the play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child". We are not fans of Harry Potter, but I'm sure this is a stop for many American families visiting London.
Welcome to Denmark Street known for its association with the UK's music industry. This used to be the home to recording studios where the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, the Beatles, David Bowie, and Black Sabbath have recorded some of their biggest records. Also on this street, Reginald Dwight AKA Elton John worked as a office boy.
This square is called Soho Square, London's Greenwich Village. This is a gardener's hut in Soho Square Gardens.
As we walked through Soho, we noticed a blue plaque on a building that says "In a house on this site in 1764-5 WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART 1756-1791 lived, played and composed"....Cool!
Further down the street was Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, the the last place that Jimi Hendrix jammed just days before his death.
The end of the street is a small Chinatown (notice the Chinese lanterns), where we plan to eat tonight before the show.
It was now almost 2 PM, so we headed to the National Gallery, home of Britian's greatest collection of paintings, and only a 5 minute walk from here. Places like this can be intimidating because you don't know where to start. Luckily Rick Steves has a tour laid out in the London guidebook. Because many of the artworks move around, it is like a scavenger hunt looking for the pieces he suggests and describes. Here are some of the more popular works of art that Rick Steves pointed out:
Here is another one that Rick Steves points out. He says that you may not be familiar with this art, but fans of Monty Python's Flying Circus may recognize the right foot of Cupid (bottom left corner).
Rick Steves is correct...it is the foot!
Most of the museum wasn't too crowded, but when you enter the Impressionism room, there was a crowd. People love Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, and Van Gogh.
Enough paintings...time to find Chinese food. After a search on the phone, we wondered into Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar, a small eatery with only 3 tables in the back. We sat at a table with 3 others already eating. I can tell this place will be good. I ordered a big bowl of noodle and Tim ordered green pepper in black bean sauce. we also shared a couple of starters. SO GOOD! I want some more now.
We actually had to eat pretty quickly and then walked to Wyndham's Theater, 220 feet away. Tonight we are seeing "The Man in the White Suit," a musical based on the 1951 British satirical science fiction comedy film.
The show was pretty good and enjoyable. I think even Tim liked it. After the show we headed to the Underground and back to the apartment. What a great day. Tomorrow we visit the British Library and British Museum. Until then...
Wednesday, 4 December 2019
The Tower of London opens at 10 AM and we wanted to try to get there as close to opening as we could. We bought our ticket online to save waiting on line, plus you get a discount...win win. We took the train to Tower Hill station and popped out just after 10 AM. At least that is what this sundial told us:
We entered the gate of Tower of London around 10:45 AM. We had 15 minutes till the Yeoman Warder tour, so we walked around a bit as we waited. Tower of London was built by William I (William the Conqueror) starting in 1077. It served to keep Londoners in place as well as a lookout for seeing invaders coming up the Thames River. It was built on and built up throughout the years and has served as a royal residence, the Royal Mint, the Royal Jewel House, and as a prison / execution site for those opposing the Crown. As you can see, we arrived before the crowds.
The tours here are given by the Yeoman Warders AKA Beefeaters. Looking at this guy makes we want a G&T AKA Gin and Tonic. The tour group wasn't too big.
This is Traitors' Gate. It is the boat entrance to Tower of London from the Thames. This is the entrance used for "traitors" that were eventually executed including Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. She was beheaded in 1533.
This is White Tower, the original structure dating from 1077 in which William the Conqueror lived. Over the years, the other walls and buildings were built around it.
The tour continued, and as as I watched our guide, I still thought of a drinking a G&T. Oh look...that is Tower Bridge behind him...pretty good shot Tim!
Here is Tower Green, the town square for those who lived in the castle. Can you see the Queen's Guard standing in front of a door straight ahead? This is still officially a royal residence.
The tour ended here and we all dispersed to enter the various buildings. We first went into the White Tower to see the armory and arsenal collection. Check out the father and son armor:
Some more nice photo by Tim.
This guy is guarding one of the doors to the crown jewels.
We did go in to see the crown jewels, but photography wasn't allowed. I "stole" these photos from the official website to show you what we saw. This is the collection of Cornation Regalia that one day will be bestowed upon Prince Charles when he becomes king. The crown is "St. Edward's Crown" and dates back to 1661. The original crown dating to the 11th-century was melted down in 1649.
And now, a bunch of Tower Bridge (not London Bridge) photos:
This photo was taken during our "Walk on the Wall" of the Tower of London:
Time to walk over Tower Bridge.
How about a photo of Tower Bridge on the south side of the Thames:
That is all for today. Tomorrow we do the Westend Walk and checkout the National Gallery. Until then...
Tuesday, 3 December 2019
London's East End is historically the poorer side of town being downwind from industry, but Rick Steves' guide has a self-guided walk, so off we went. We took the Underground to Liverpool Street station where the walk started as soon as we popped out on the street. We got a late start and it was around 1:30 PM, so I was starving. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a restaurant called Pilpel The people were coming out with amazing looking falafels, which I now needed. Holy wow....it was so good. I wish I took a photo to share with you, but I was hungry and couldn't stop to take one, but believe me...it looked good and tasted amazing.
Now full, we were ready for the walk. We walked through Spitalfields Market with market stalls and a food court. I kind of wish we waited to eat here, but I was so happy with the falafel, that it didn't bother me too much. We didn't buy anything, but I did look at everything.
This is Christ Church with a 225-foot steeple. This is actually a Protestant church built by Queen Anne in 1711 for the non-Church of England immigrants.
This is Brick Lane AKA Banglatown because of its high concentration of Bangladeshi residents. This street also has multiple Indian restaurants each claiming to have the best, award winning curry and markets selling sweet and savory treats. By the way...it was also in this area that in the fall of 1888, Jack the Ripper was terrorizing the neighborhood.
This smokestack belongs to Truman Brewery. As soon as I read that, I was like...yes, I can use a beer. Unfortunately, the brewery is gone and the building is now filled with markets. We did walk around them, but as usually, we didn't buy anything.
Like most revitalizing neighborhoods, there is plenty of street art (poor Boris):
We wound up right on the boarder of the East End and The City, two very diverse area. TIm enjoyed taking photos of the skyscrapers in The City and the older buildings of East End.
Beer...beer...time for beer. I checked on google maps and there are 2 breweries another 25 minutes east of here. Since we are already east of London, we decided that we should go for it since we are halfway there at this point. So, onto an Underground to an Overground and after about 25 minutes we were in the neighborhood of Hackney Wick.
We chose to go to Crate Brewery first since they have pizza and it is time to eat. There is no photo of the pizza, but of course we have a photo of the flight we had.
After the flight, a pizza, and a couple of pints, we walked the 1 minute across the parking lot to Howling Hops Brewery. There was a vegan Guatemala food truck there, so I ordered a sampler platter from them, and of course a flight from the bar. This place actually have a very cool look. Check out the bar on the right. The beer is in those tanks...pretty cool.
Wow...they had a lot of tanks of beer. The flight consisted of 10 beers...AWESOME!
After more food and all this beer, we were pretty done. We had a 1 hour train ride back to our apartment and got back around 10 PM. Tomorrow we are going to visit Tower of London and we want to get there early before the huge crowds. So, until then...
Monday, 2 December 2019
Today should be a nice day. It is sunny with a high of 45 degrees which is perfect for a walk around Historic London. This walk will take us from Trafalgar Square to London Bridge, 2.2 miles along the Strand. We took the Underground to Trafalgar Square (30 minute ride with no transfers) and walked upstairs. We popped out right near Trafalgar Square, which was closed for them to put up the Christmas tree. Trafalgar Square is London's central square. The building behind the square in The National Gallery which we will come back to one of these days.
This is Nelson's Column (1843) to commemorate Lord Nelson's victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, the British naval victory in the Napoleonic War. That's him at the very top. It is pretty cool that we were on the ship that Lord Nelson fought the battle, just 1 week ago in Portsmouth.
This is St. Mary-le-Strand Church (1723). Charles Dickens' parents were married here.
Double-deckers and taxis abound. This double-decker has a veterans theme to it.
We turned right and walked out onto Waterloo Bridge:
The view east you can see the London skyline. The view west you can see Big Ben behind the scaffolding and Westminster Abbey.
There was an ice skating rink set up in front of Somerset House, one of the last riverside mansions that once lined the Strand.
We passed by King's College where John Keats, Florence Nightingale, and Desmound Tutu (just to name a few) attended. The building was nothing special, so Tim took a photo of the gate.
Royal Courts of Justice, Britain's highest civil court.
We popped into Twinings Tea Shop (established 1706). I considered buying some, but decided against it. They sell this tea in the US.
I was hungry...as usual, and saw a line of people in front of a sandwich shop (Sandwich Express), so we joined the line. The sandwich was so good. They actually press it so the cheese melts and the bread caramelizes a bit. It is definitely a good tip that if you see a line for food, get in it.
Down a narrow lane and around twisting alleyways is Dr. Johnson's House, where in the attic, Johnson produced, A Dictionary of the English Language. When it was published in 1755, it was the first great English-Language dictionary.
Just as interesting as Dr. Johnson is a statue of his cat Hodge, who supposedly dined on oysters. The pedestal says "Hodge – A very good cat indeed."
Just a 2 minute walk from here is Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Tavern (AKA "The Cheese") where Johnson frequented. This has been a tavern since 1538, and seemed worth going in for a half-pint. Oh...Charles Dickens also frequented this pub.
We left The Cheese and walked out of the narrow lane back onto the main street and was met with a view of St. Paul's Church.
This is St. Bride's Church (1675) that is said to have inspired the wedding cake with all the layers. Interestingly, St. Bride's Church is is known as the "Printers' Cathedral" and "Journalists' Church" since the first printing press with moveable type was brought here in 1500. Because of this, the pews bear the names of departed journalists. There was also this memorial set up for journalists that lost their lives in the line of duty.
And here we are at St. Paul's Cathedral. It costs almost £20 per person which seemed way too much for what it is, so we did as Rick Steves' said, and popped into the basement for free and took a peek into the crypt to see Admiral Lord Nelson's tomb.
Another "secret" in Rick Steves' book is to take the glass elevator to the top of One New Change shopping mall for a view of St. Paul's Cathedral and the London cityscape.
We made it to The Guildhall, a free art gallery, just before 4 PM. We knew we didn't have enough time to finish the walking tour, so we popped in the museum to see what they had to offer.
This was kind of interesting. In the basement of The Guildhall is the remains of a Roman amphitheater. In our travels, we have come across many of these remains, but what was interesting is how they project on the ruins to show what is missing. So, I am currently looking down the walkway that enters the amphitheater.
We then went upstairs and checked out the collection of Victorian paintings. We left The Guildhall just before 5 PM hungry and thirsty. Google maps shows a brewery only a 13 minute walk from here, so off we went. We passed the St. Lawrence Jewry Church, the Mayor of London's official church.
Fifteen minutes later we arrive to Long Arm Sports Pub & Brewery. We wanted to have a flight, but we got there on a night that for the price of a pint you get a liter, so we had to go for that. By the way, we shared the liter.
After the beers, we took the Underground back to the apartment. Wow...what a great day! Tomorrow we will do the East End Walk. So far we are really enjoying London.
Sunday, 1 December 2019
After sleeping in and eating breakfast, we decided to take a rest day today. We figured that most places would be pretty crowded on a Sunday, and I still need to figure out our London plan to ensure we see everything we want to see. 17 days seems like a long enough time to see London, but as a read through Rick Steves' London guidebook, there are a lot of things to do and see.
Anyway...today will be a planning day, Netflix day, and snacking day. Pretty much a day on the couch. Just for the fun of it, here is a photo of our apartment (photo captured from AirBnB website).
Tomorrow we will be doing the "Historic London: The City Walk" in Rick Steves' book. Until then...
Saturday, 30 November 2019
We slept in a bit and had breakfast. Today we will be doing a walking tour of Bankside, the neighborhood between London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge on the southern bank of the Thames. We took the subway AKA Underground (10 minute walk from the apartment) to the London Bridge Underground Station with a transfer at Baker Street Station. Baker Street...hum...that address sounds familiar.
As expected, it was quite the scene when we got outside. As I mentioned yesterday, there was a terrorist attack on London Bridge yesterday where 5 people were stabbed, 2 fatally. The bridge was blocked off and there were cameras and reporters everywhere.
We just avoided the scene and went on the Bankside walking tour in Rick Steves' London Guide. This is Southwark Cathedral, dates back to 1207, and is where Shakespeare prayed.
And here is Shakespeare, the eternal resident of the church:
After touring the church, we headed outside to the Borough Market. There has been a market here for over 1,000 years.
This is London Bridge. Many people think Tower Bridge is London Bridge, but it is not. The original bridge was built by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. The next version was built around 1200 followed by the 1823 version that was sold to an American and reassembled in Lake Havasu City. There is a running joke that the Brit's think the American believed he was buying Tower Bridge, but this is London Bridge:
And here are the reporters and news vans and an interesting comment on Google Maps. Our current location is the blue dot.
Here is the Golden Hinde Replica. This is a replica of the 100-foot clipper Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe with from 1577-1580. This replica actually circumnavigated the globe as well between 1974 and 1979 covering over 100,000 miles. It is now a museum.
A cool mural with musician playing in front of it. Fire actually came out of the top of his tuba as he played.
This is a replica of Shakespeare's Globe theater. The originally one burned down a performance started from a spark generated by a stage cannon going off. This replica, built in 1997, is a very realistic replica that even has wooden nails and a thatched roof.
Our plan was to tour the theater, but decided against it after reading reviews. It would have been cool to see a Shakespeare play here, but they were all sold out, and we saw a play in Stafford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace). So, this is all we saw of the Globe Theater, albeit, it is a very cool building.
The view from in front of the Globe was pretty cool. In the walking tour, this is where we read about the 1666 great fire. The fire started on 2 September 1666 and burned for 4 days. 80% of the city was burned to the ground, including 13,000 houses and 89 churches.
The buildings from right to left is 20 Fenchurch Street skyscraper (AKA "The Walkie-Talkie"); 52 Lime Street (AKA "The Scalpel"); The Leadenhall Building (AKA "The Cheesegrater"); and The Pinnacle (AKA "The Helter Skelter").
This is looking to the left (east). This is Millennium Bridge where we are headed to next. The dome building is St. Paul's Cathedral.
And here I am, standing on the Millennium Bridge:
here is the view looking east. This is London Bridge closer and Tower Bridge further.
The long view. The tall building on the right is the Shard, the tallest building in the UK (1,016 ft high).
The only thing left on this side of the Thames that we want to see is Tate Modern art museum, but it has it's own walking tour and we don't have enough time to see it now, but we did duck in to warm up a bit.
We were warmed up and ready to walk around 2:30 PM. We have to be somewhere by 4 PM and it is only a 15 minute walk from here. So, we turned back from where we came and walked slow, re-enjoying the sites we saw today. Where are we going you may ask? Well...today is Saturday, 30 November, the day of the last Ohio State regular season football game, which mean that today is the Ohio State versus University of Michigan Football game. I was able to find the Ohio State Alumni of Greater London on Twitter and saw that they are having a viewing party at Belushi's by London Bridge.
We arrived at Belushi's around 3:30 PM, a bit early, but not too early for a beer....ha. It wound up that the Michigan fans were meeting downstairs and the Ohio State fans were upstairs. Interesting that they separated the crowd, but I guess thing can get messy during European football games, so they are used to separating fans.
It was pretty fun meeting and talking to others that attending Ohio State, and to make it even better, Ohio State won 56 - 27.
It was a fun night out after which we returned to the apartment. I don't know what we are going to do tomorrow. Maybe we will do nothing.
Oh by the way...remember the photos of the reporters above? Well, here is a screen capture of the actual broadcast:
Friday, 29 November 2019
We woke up early enough to have breakfast at the hotel which was very good. We checked out, scraped ice off the window of the rental car, and headed to London to drop off the rental car and check into our AirBnB apartment that we will be staying in for the next week.
Wow...two awesome things to look forward to. First, dropping off the rental car will be a big relief. It marks the end of me driving on the other side of the road and it removes that little nag at the back of my head that we are responsible for a rental car. Second, we get to stay in one place (London) for the next 17 days. What a relief...that is after we drive though the traffic of London to return the rental car.
We left the hotel around 8:15 AM as planned and got stuck in London traffic as planned.
We arrived at the rental car agency just after 9:30 AM, with relief of being 30 minutes early. By the time we returned the car, we had driven almost 1,000 miles (979 miles to be exact), in 11 days. Wow...that's a lot of driving. By the way, here is a photo of our rental car we took a couple of days ago at the tin mines of Cornwall. It is a Fiat Tipo.
Now that we are in London, I will let the train conductors and bus drivers do all the driving for us. It was convenient that the rental car agency was located near the train station, so we headed in and was in our neighborhood in 30 minutes.
We arrived here earlier than we can check in, so we found a coffee shop and hung out there for 1.5 hours. They didn't seem to mind as we made purchases throughout our stay. We finally checked in, unpacked, and headed to the store for groceries. By the time we arrived back to the apartment, we decided to just stay in and start exploring London tomorrow. This gave me time to come up with a plan for the next 17 days. Using Rick Steves' London Guide, I came up with a day-by-day plan to ensure we see everything we want to see.
Oh...I forgot to mention. Do you remember the terrorist attack on London Bridge where 5 people were stabbed, 2 fatally? Well that just happened today. Just in time for our arrival to London. What is even more interesting is that we are going to be in that area tomorrow to visit an outdoor market. I guess we will see if it will be opened tomorrow. Until then...
Wednesday, 27 November - Thursday, 28 November 2019
Wednesday, 27 November
Here is a rare photo of my this morning as I study the route of today's drive before checking out of the B&B.
Talking about the B&B. What an incredible breakfast we had. The rooms are actually above a really nice bistro called Whitehouse. We could order anything we wanted off the menu...it was so good. Rye really was a great overnight stop.
Dover is just a one hour drive away, so we loaded into the car and headed out and arrived right at 11 AM. We are doing a walking tour that Rick Steves has in his book. It starts in the Market Square with the Dover Museum.
Inside the Dover Museum is a surprising item, a large and well-preserved 3,500-year-old Bronze Age boat unearthed near here in September 1992. According to the display, it is "the oldest know sea-going vessel in the world." The boat consists of four oak planks held together with oak wedges and yew stitches with the holes packed with moss and beeswax. It is 31 feet long and 8 feet wide. Very interesting.
This is a model in a display that shows what the boat looked like:
We left the museum and continued our Dover walk. Here is Market Square with Dover Castle in the fog. Dover isn't that pretty, basically because it was destroyed in WWII and had to rebuild.
Here is a better photo of Dover Castle. It cost £20 per person to visit, so we decided to skip it. We have been to many castles and this one didn't seem too special. The only thing we would have liked to see is the secret WWII tunnels.
We then walked down to the waterfront promenade along the English Channel.
Here, I am standing at the start (or finish) for people swimming across the English Channel to/from France. You can see the swimmers on the top of the rock pedestals.
Aha...here are some of the White Cliffs of Dover:
We did decide not to visit the White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Center since we saw some spectacular cliffs yesterday, so we returned to the car and drove the rest of the way to Canterbury, 30 minutes away.
We checked into the B&B around 3 PM, settled in, then went out to explore. That is Canterbury Cathedral in the background:
5 minutes from leaving the B&B, we arrived to The Foundry Brewpub where we had a flight:
Oh...we also had dinner here which was pretty good. After dinner we headed back tot he B&B. We have a lot to see in Canterbury tomorrow, so we want to get an early start.
Wednesday, 28 November
Today we tour Canterbury then head to a roadside hotel just outside of London to make it easier to drop the car off tomorrow morning.
The Canterbury Cathedral opens up at 9 AM, so our plan is to be there then. Luckily, our B&B is a 1 minute walk to the cathedral, so we didn't have wake too early. After the continental breakfast at the B&B, checked out of the hotel, put our bags in the car, and headed to the Cathedral.
The Canterbury Cathedral is the headquarters of the Anglican Church (like the English Vatican). In the 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in front of the alter. Becket was canonized a saint 3 years later, and the Canterbury Cathedral became a destination for pilgrims. This place is huge. We spend 1.5 hours following Rick Steves' Self-Guided Tour in the book as Tim took 65 photo...and here they all are. Just kidding. Here are the highlights:
The next stop is the quirky Canterbury Tales experience. When in Canterbury, you must...right?!? This experience uses live actors, lighting effects, and plaster figures. It dramatizes five of the tales in amusement-park like rooms. The Canterbury Tales were written by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400.
As I was putting together this Blog entry, I tried to find more information on this place and found that it has closed for good..too bad.
After the Canterbury Tales Experience, we wondered around town:
After the walking tour it was time to eat. I have had a craving for Chinese food for a while...actually, I always crave Chinese food, so I found a place on the phone that had pretty good reviews. We wound up at Super Noodle and wow....it was really good. I guess I forgot to tell you that I wasn't really feeling great, so after lunch we headed to our car and drove to a Best Western just outside of London.
We arrived at the hotel and I got under the covers. We have to return the car by 10 AM and it should be about a 1 hour drive, but we want to give ourselves plenty of time to account for traffic and getting lost, so we are leaving around 8:15 AM. Until then...