Sunday, June 3, 2012

London, continued

I snapped this pic of the girls in the their three little beds in a row before heading out for my coffee.  Greta on the couch, Evelyn on the sofa bed, Clem on the extra bed.  The windows in this place were great--you could either open them as they are in this pic, leaned out from the top for ventilation.  Or you could open them wide to look down on the street.  And, since we also had a window on the courtyard, sometimes the wind would howl through--perfect because, as everyone knows, London is very hot.

This is the lane our hotel was on.  Sort of captures the gritty feel of the place.  But the 16 bus to Victoria stopped right out front, the overground train to Euston station was a few steps away, and the Kilburn Park underground was just a block away.  I can say, that after our week of winging here and there on public transport we are definitely advanced 
beginners in getting around London.

Greta lined up all our shoes--she's still two short in this picture.  16 pairs.  One guess who's got 4 pairs.

Our beefeater tour of the Tower of London.  Lots of head chopping.  I think he's raising his hand like an axe.

On the tube.  When we first arrived the girls would squeamishly refuse to sit next to anybody.  By the end they would throw themselves into any available seat.

Evelyn found more carnivorous plants--at the British Museum!  In the outside courtyard there was a Kew Gardens at the British Museum display of "An American Garden".

Evelyn gave us all a tour, and I noticed a woman cocking her ear to listen from across the garden.

Naturally mummified body.

Hadrian, our benefactor, who had the wall built.  I've read a bit of Dickens' A Child's History of England to the kids and he calls it Severus's Wall.  I wonder when it became Hadrian's.

The Globe Theater tour.  A bit disappointing.  We did get to see a rehearsal of A Comedy of Errors--in Dari Persian.  Still funny.  There were no Shakespeare plays in English while we were there.  

A street in Covent Garden.

I happened upon Monmouth Coffee and there was a line out the door, so I jumped in it.
Here is the woman who made the only really good cappuccino I've had in nearly a month.  Bless her.

After our matinee of Matilda--fantastic.  I've no doubt it'll make its way to the U.S.

The kids had to take Mike to the London Eye.  Here you can see the bleachers set up for the Jubilee and Trooping the Color in front of Horse Guards (the building) with the London Eye behind.

On the Jubilee Bridge.  What is that over my head?  One of the pods from the London Eye has flown off.  
Digital editing by Greta.

This one is not edited.
We've been having great fun running behind the photographer to appear twice in panorama pics.

Our final day was too much of a whirlwind--we whisked through Westminster Abbey and on to The Portrait restaurant at the top of the portrait galley.  Great view, food just ok.
Our map has about seen its day.  A few hours later, it would blow to pieces in the wind.
Dashed by a few portraits on our way out.  

Then on to the embankment.  This side of the Thames the tide was still too high to mudlark.

Combed the Thames for more treasures--we would consider mailing them and then reject the idea as too costly and almost miss our Eurostar train because the baggage inspectors had to look through them.

Greta's wearing her Hadrian's Wall T and her Matilda badge (The bigger the telly the smarter the man.)

Evelyn combs the Thames under the eyes of the royal family.

We had to reject this attractive artefact.
From here it was on the Museum of London, where the information desk is staffed by archeologists.  One helped the kids to identify their finds--19th century pipe stems, "post-medieval" pot shards, Victorian china, modern glass.

As if this wasn't enough we caught an evening show of Les Miserables.  This was just overkill.  We were all too tired.  I think with the exception of Clementine, whose eyes glowed bright the whole time, we were all just a little bit miserable there.


  1. "The bigger the telly the smarter the man"? Ha. Ha ha ha. That's about as 'Matilda' as it gets.

  2. Ooh, I saw the queen go by that giant picture of the royal family on TV this morning. And as dazzled I am by all the views of London, it's your kids who take the cake. They are so beautiful, and each one so different. A gorgeous family all around.

    I laughed over your map. Tim had a rude awakening when he landed in Paris and realized the new iPhone he got for the trip didn't actually work for data transmission. He rediscovered paper maps too. (He leaves Paris for Normandy on Tuesday morning.)

  3. Sasha, glad you liked it! Clem's button says, "Sometimes you have to be a little naughty."

    Jennifer, thank you! I've been off photography for a while and it has been fun to annoy my children with constant photos again. It is very true that the phone thing is not as easy as it should be. In London Google maps was excellent for navigating public transportation. In the morning I'd plan our itinerary and find out what buses and stops we'd need. Here in Paris we'll stick to the metro, I think.

  4. I didn't realize the Thames got so low. Where were you that you saw exposed sand from the bottom? Literally every place I saw the Thames when we were there last year it was full, bank to concrete bank.