Wow – what a day!
Yesterday begin with our picking up a tour bus – one of those two story, open top things, and beginning a trip ’round the city. Lots of photo opportunities. Its one of those “hop on, hop off” deals. We hopped off at Waterloo pier. There we saw the Dali exhibit (a-maz-ing – TRULY!) and caught a boat to Greenwich.
Its about an hour by boat the Greenwich. The fella narrating the cruise was amusing. When we arrived, knowing we had limited time there, we headed straight to the maritime museum (where we had lunch in the cafe) and then up the hill to the Royal Observatory. Interesting note: until recently, the Astronomer Royal has been the same as the director of the observatory. That changed when the first female director was hired – they also picked someone (surprisingly a male) to be the Astronomer Royal.
Then it was back to the boat and up to Waterloo pier again (the Eye of London actually looks like it would be wonderful and avoids the biggest problem with ferris wheels in that it never, ever stops – so no herky-jerky moments).
We wandered back to the hotel after getting off the tour bus near Soho and Chinatown. Dinner was a Greek/Middle Eastern affair. Then early to be because…
…this morning we head to Stonehenge!
Well, its been a wonderful, wonderful day.
We started off this am around 5.40 when Astral Tours picked us up for our trip to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. Our tour guide, Dick, was marvelous. Truly. He had an inspired grasp of the history of the area, and an interesting take on local issues and politics. Our bus had nine other folks besides dad and me on board – it was a small, intimate group (though we met up with a second Astral Tours group – making a total of about 20 all together). If you’re considering a visit to Stonehenge, I’d highly recommend this company.
We arrived at Stonehenge at 8 am. We had a full hour walking among the stones (the only rules: no climbing or sitting on the stones – oh, and no graffiti, but that went without saying!). I did a walk about with the video camera around the outer circumfrance of the stones. I must say, its was much smaller than I expected! However the interesting details (like Christopher Wren’s having carved his last name and symbol in a stone, as well as the mortice and tendon, and tongue and groove, construction details were so interesting!). My father was particularly pleased when Dick, on learning dad is an astronomer, called on him to clarify a point during his talk at Stonehenge.
Afterwards, we headed back to London – with a stop on the way to the hotel at Liberty so I could buy a bit of fabric for myself (having only bought some for someone else earlier this week). We also managed to find a “Charles and Camilla” commerative place (complete with the wrong date) for my sister – it was her only request of our visit to London!
After a brief rest (and off-loading of many gifts the hotel room) we headed off to Royal Geographical Society to view photos from the doomed Scott South Pole expedition (did you know my dad has been to the South Pole four times?).
Next up was a bried look at fashion at Victoria & Albert. (NOTE the link to knitting history of interest here as well.) While there I designed my own fabric using their computer system – and had the results emailed to me – see below.
Dinner was at a place called “Adams Rib” on Shaftesbury. Dinner was nice enough – and we were seated at a window on the corner near the theatres. I was looking through, watching people, when who should I see but Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn! My first celebrity siting.
We came back to the hotel more-or-less straight after dinner – its a short walk from there to here.
Tomorrow we’re trainbound and headed for Edinburgh. Yay! We may – train schedules and left luggage allowing – have lunch in York tomorrow. I’ve got my copy of The Highway Code so I can begin learning for my day of driving later this week. Wish me luck!