20 Feb 2005

We land at Heathrow in the morning and walk through Kensington Garden while we wait to check into our hotel. We check in, then buy a Tube pass and ride to the Tower of London. Following that, we walk over the nearby Tower Bridge for a great view of the city. We then take the tube to Leicester Square for dinner and walk around the city at night. We see the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, built 1726; Trafalgar Square, which is presently home to a London 2012 Olympics tent; and Piccadilly Circus, which is to London what Times Square is to New York.

21 Feb 2005

We begin today with a Tube ride to St. Paul's Cathedral, where we climb many steps to the top of the dome. Another outstanding view. We cross the Millennium pedestrian brige to the Tate Modern art museum. After that, we check out the nearby Globe theater, built near the spot of the original Shakesepeare theater. After lunch, we walk along the south bank of the Thames, past the Great and Terrible London Eye (which we do not go up), then cross the Westminster Bridge and walk past the House of Parliament and Big Ben. It finally dawns on me how the famous "Westminster Chimes" clock tune got its name. We buy a ticket to Westminster Abbey, the state church, which is filled with elaborate shrines to famous Brits in history. After touring the Abbey, we walk along Parliament Street past Downing Street and through Trafalgar Square. We walk to Covent Garden and explore the London Transport Museum. As snow falls, we walk back to Leicester Square and meet my friend Pervin for dinner and drinks at some delightful London pubs.

22 Feb 2005

We ride the Tube to Westminster, cross the bridge again, and catch a ferry at the London Eye which takes us to Greenwich. In Greenwich, we see the tall ship the Cutty Sark (in dry dock) and explore the National Maritime Museum. After a quick lunch in the town of Greenwich, we climb the hill to the Greenwich Observatory, where the Prime Meridian was set. The Observatory is now a museum of clockwork and astromony, marvelously nerdy stuff. We walk back down to the Thames and through an underwater pedestrian tunnel, supposedly the first underwater tunnel ever built. Back on the north bank of the river, we catch the new DLR (Docklands Light Railway) and ride it back to London. In London, we walk past Buckingham Palace, then ride the Tube to Leicester Square where we buy same-day discount tickets to "The Complete History of America - Abridged," playing at the Cirterion at Piccadilly Circus. It's a funny show put on by a comedy troupe of three Americans. (We are almost fooled by the phoney discount ticket stands set up outside the Leicester Tube stop, but find the authorized TKTS booth in the square itself.) Tomorrow we will catch the Eurostar at Waterloo station and ride to Paris.

To Paris! ->
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