Friday, July 13, 2007

London Called - The End

This London trip story is really dragging on for too long. I'm starting to forget details. Here are the last two days of our trip in point form.

Day 5 - Greenwich
  • took first Thames ferry to Greenwich, avoided the crowds, straddled the Prime Meridian, took photos
  • did not see the historic ship, the Cutty Sark, because it was under restoration - a week later, vandals had burned most it down -this is in keeping with the disastrous effect I have on the cities I visit (ditto for New York and New Orleans)
  • met up with Aunt Irene who drove us in her Renault to Bluewater Shopping Centre
  • Bluewater was relatively empty due to the football finals being played out that afternoon; everyone was in the pubs or at home
  • returned to Aunt Irene's house in East London - very exciting to see a real London house and suburb
  • watched the overtime period then the shootout of the football final
  • got a whirlwind tour of East London and the new financial district at night
  • took the Tube back to hotel exhausted

Day 6 - Leftovers

  • went bright and early to Spitalfield's Market - at 10am, walked cautiously around drunken Londoners coming out of clubs and punching each other in the face
  • bought lots of great stuff at Spitalfield's - much better than Bluewater!
  • went to the Victoria & Albert Museum - unfortunately, British Galleries were closed - no repression and hooped skirts for us
  • walked over to Hyde Park (busy and large) and spent some time watching rollerbladers play a game of street hockey (at least 2 Russians and one Maple Leaf fan) - felt like eating Timbits and drinking maple syrup
  • walked past Kensington Palace too late to visit plus it cost money
  • ate final dinner in London at East Indian Restaurant again - curry lamb one more time

Day 7 - Flight home

  • took an Air Canada plane that was just put into service in 2007
  • had many choices of movies and chose to watch: Music & Lyrics (lame), PrĂȘte-moi ta main (Charlotte Gainsbourg's wardrobe was amazing), another movie I can't remember, and the first half hour of The Painted Veil (looked promising)
  • my parents surprised us at the airport and drove us home - so nice!
  • ate some takeout then loaded our photos onto the internet

I did not love London like I always believed I would. All those years of dreaming of the BBC, Sherlock Holmes and Depeche Mode did not match up to the reality: an impersonal and fast city with vestiges of a colonial attitude and an affinity for Big Brother cameras everywhere. Joe and I don't bar a return to London but it won't be at the top of our vacation list.

The End (finally).